Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest free agency news, be sure to follow Arif’s live blog here on Vikings Territory. 

Sunday marked the second day of a busy free agent tampering period, which saw the Vikings sign two key players to new contracts. Tom Johnson, a cog in the defensive tackle rotation, agreed to a three-year, $7 million contract with $3 million in guarantees. The Vikings’ long snapper, Cullen Loeffler, also signed a one-year deal with the team.

In addition to the signings, reports also linked the Vikings to a few more free agent names, including guard Mike Iupati and safety Rahim Moore. Below, we take a quick look at all of the potential targets:

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(photo by Lindsey Young)

Well, it’s official. Veteran long snapper Cullen Loeffler will remain with the Vikings for at least one more season. According to sources, Loeffler signed a one-year deal with Minnesota on Sunday. Details of the contract have not yet been released.

Loeffler played college ball for the Texas Longhorns, and he joined the Vikings in 2004 as an unrestricted free agent. Since that time, he missed only five games at the end of the 2011 season due to a fracture in his lower back.

Loeffler’s position may often go unrecognized, but he has certainly played an important role on the roster. The veteran played a significant part in kicker Blair Walsh’s record-breaking rookie season, and Walsh offered to pay for Loeffler to join him in Hawaii for the 2013 Pro Bowl.

Last season, Loeffler made an error in the Week 16 37-35 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The long snapper bounced a snap to punter Jeff Locke deep in Vikings territory, leading to a blocked punt and a consequent safety. The blunder was the first one by Loeffler after an incredibly dependable stretch.

Loeffler was an unrestricted free agent prior to re-signing, and it will be great to retain the consistency he brings to the position.

Don’t forget to head over and visit the Vikings Territory live blog presented by Arif Hasan!

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Tom Johnson reportedly wanted to be paid like a starter, which presumably meant he wanted to be a starter, so some thought he would be leaving the Minnesota Vikings where Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph sit atop the rotation at defensive tackle.

I am happy to pass along, however, some news that should be viewed as a good thing for the depth and quality along the defensive line:

Tom Pelissero says that the Vikings have signed Johnson to a three year deal worth $7 million, with about $3 million in guarantees. Without all of the details, that seems like an easily managed contract that keeps the Vikings armed with continuity and dependability at the defensive tackle position.

Johnson had 22 tackles, six sacks, and a forced fumble in a limited role during the 2014 season.

Be sure to check out all the latest free agency news and rumors with Arif’s Live Blog right here.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

UPDATE: Paul Allen, as well-connected as ever to the Minnesota Vikings, disagrees.

Another update, pasted from the live blog:

(12:44 AM CDT): If it is the case that the market is heating up for Rahim Moore, I don’t expect the Vikings to be involved in a bidding war. The basis for our report that the Vikings would pursue Rahim Moore was that he would be undervalued in the market. If that’s not the case, I don’t see the Vikings pushing.

This may be the reason Paul Allen didn’t see the team as interested and that I had heard the team was planning on contacting Moore. Should Moore command $6.75M or Mooremore, it could have changed the calculus for the Vikings.

We stand by the original report that the Vikings were interested in Rahim Moore at the onset of the tampering period.

No word on whether or not the Vikings have placed any calls yet into Rahim Moore’s camp, but a source tells me that the Minnesota Vikings will pursue Rahim Moore in free agency, and he will be a priority. I’ve covered Moore’s fit previously at several places, but the best roundup is at Vikings Journal:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Fans of the Minnesota Vikings collectively wondered “What are they thinking?” when the San Francisco 49ers signed Jerome Simpson to a two year deal on Thursday. The best theory I saw was that the increased attention being paid to defensive pass interference could make him incredibly valuable.

Still, the signing was a curious one considering his multiple transgressions in Cincinatti and Minnesota, especially with Niners CEO Jed York vowing all offseason long that he would be instituting a new “win with class” mission in San Francisco.

The team has been ran through the wringer over their many off-field problems and York has been quoted as saying he is the person ultimately responsible for making the necessary changes.

So, what was his response when asked about the signing of Simpson?

“You have to ask Trent,” York told The Chronicle.

“I don’t know what the thinking was.”

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