Friday, December 15, 2017

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And other Free Agency thoughts

Eddie Lacy to the Vikings Makes Sense
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Say what you will about Eddie Lacy’s eating habits or his love of Chinese food, but the former Packers running back is a perfect fit for the Minnesota Vikings. In his five-year career, he’s gained more than 3,400 yards and scored 23 times, averaging 4.4 yards per carry in Green Bay’s pass-happy offense.

Nevermind his weight; Minnesota knows all too well how effective Lacy can be on the ground. In seven games against the division rival Vikings, Lacy amassed 618 yards and scored five touchdowns to contribute to Green Bay’s four series victories. At 5’11” and 231 pounds, he’s a load to bring down and the potential “thunder” to complement the “lightning” that is Jerick McKinnon in Minnesota’s backfield.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Carolina and Minnesota continued their player swapping well into Friday night, a theme that makes this offseason’s free agency period somewhat unique.

We already knew that the Vikings lost left tackle (and pizza maker) Matt Kalil to the Panthers this week. I openly mused at that point, in our ongoing Live Chat, about the possibility of Mike Remmers joining the Vikings and being of more value at half the cost than what Kalil ends up being in Carolina.

Amazingly, that theory will now be tested by reality, as Remmers has signed with the Vikings. Then news broke that two more Vikings free agents are going to be Carolina Panthers moving forward.

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Mike Remmers to Visit Vikings on Friday
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings landed Riley Reiff yesterday without knowing where he’d play tackle. Reiff has the unique qualification of starting on both the right and left side, giving the Vikings flexibility in future free agency pursuits.

If today’s reports are accurate, the Vikings see Reiff as the left tackle for the foreseeable future. According to Pro Football Talk, former Carolina Panthers tackle Mike Remmers is set to visit the Vikings this afternoon. Remmers will visit Minnesota today and Houston tomorrow (if necessary) but is expected to play right tackle wherever he signs.

Last season, Remmers started 16 games for the Panthers, with most coming at left tackle in relief of the injured Michael Oher. He allowed nine sacks and 49 quarterback pressures, per Pro Football Focus. The numbers aren’t encouraging, but Remmers’ departure from Carolina signals a fresh start at right tackle for the five-year pro. Matt Kalil‘s arrival in Carolina also precludes Oher’s move to right tackle, thus squeezing Remmers out of the team’s plans.

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Vikings' Pursuit of Alshon Jeffery
Image courtesy of Vikings

Can the unexpected disappoint? It’s a question I asked myself this afternoon as I watched tweet after tweet declare Alshon Jeffery a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Not more than an hour earlier, I’d heard—in real-time, with my own ears—Ian Rapoport interrupt a live NFL Network broadcast to break some unforeseen news: the Minnesota Vikings were “all in” on acquiring the free agent receiver from rival Chicago.

Mind you, I’m pretty even-keel,but Rapoport’s mention of “Minnesota” and “Jeffery” in the same breath nearly elicited a coffee-spitting reaction. I’d seen the receiver torch the Vikings as a member of the Bears, but not once did I imagine he’d potentially end up in purple and gold.

And not only were the Vikings pursuing Jeffery; general manager Rick Spielman was making a “strong push” to snag the star receiver away from the Bears, the Eagles, and the Colts.

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