Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Blog Page 11

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

It was announced today that the Vikings will square off with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL’s annual preseason kickoff.

By playing in the Hall of Fame game, the Vikings will have 5 preseason games in 2015 and will have plenty game time to get a feel for their roster. Believe it or not, I do think this does give the team a bit of an advantage going into the season. Entering the season with what will likely another young roster, the extra time in game situations will help in development and give the Vikings plenty of time to evaluate their team.

Although we likely won’t see much of the 1st team, this game gets a national audience and allows the NFL to showcase a former Viking center Mick Tingelhoff and former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis who will be entering the Hall of Fame.

Traditionally, the Hall of Fame game is played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

For the second time in a row, the Vikings will meet the Steelers in a unique setting. In 2013, the two teams played in London with the Vikings winning 34-27.

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the seventh article, focusing on the wide receivers.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backs, tight ends, fullbacks, specialists and safeties.]

The 2014 season didn’t exactly pan out as planned for the Vikings when it came to the position of wide receiver. Going into training camp, there was tremendous belief that second year receiver Cordarrelle Patterson would have a break out season while taking his game to another level.

Patterson did take his game to another level, but unfortunately, it was a regressed level of play, which eventually caused Patterson his starting role on the offense.

The silver lining to the Patterson storyline is that the Vikings may have found a diamond in the rough in second year man Charles Johnson. Originally, a 7th round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2013, Johnson seemingly developed promising chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater right out of the gate and ended up providing the Vikings with their most consistent threat through the air.

Although Johnson seems to be a player with a lot of promise, the uncertainty of the position created a belief that the Vikings should add a wide receiver to bolster Teddy Bridgewater’s arsenal.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the sixth article, focusing on the safeties.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backs, tight ends, fullbacks and specialists.]

There is an enormous talent gap between Harrison Smith and the next most talented safety currently on the Vikings roster, whomever that might be.

Smith is a dominant force that doesn’t get enough recognition, yet, on the national level. Soon he will almost certainly sign a blockbuster extension that not only gets him the money he deserves, but also the ink.

Smith is set to have a $2.271 million cap hit in 2015, but his new contract could come at any time. I would be very surprised if the Vikings let the contractual matter play out into next offseason, where they would risk having to use the franchise tag to ensure Smith remains a Viking. The good news is that Smith has recently stated he plans to remain a Viking.

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The Hall of Fame selection process and enshrinement festivities is just another great way in which the NFL keeps us all paying attention on a year-round basis, even during the quietest of quiet periods of the offseason.

With Mick Tingelhoff officially selected to the Hall of Fame, I got to wondering who could possibly end up being the next Viking to get in. Then I had a hunch that this could end up being a greatly debated topic and figured you guys might like to hash it out in the comments section this week.

For starters, let’s review the purple fellows that have already made it to Canton:

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