Saturday, October 1, 2016

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Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater to the 2016 Pro Bowl
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is looking golden for Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. His two picks, Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater, have been selected to play in the 2016 Pro Bowl. The news, announced on the team’s official website Monday, gives the Vikings five representatives in this year’s game.

The two will play this Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii as injury replacements. Bridgewater will take over the spot vacated by Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Barr will fill in for New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins. This is the first Pro Bowl selection for either player.

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Norv Turner's job is safe...for now

Minnesota Vikings Name Shurmur Tight Ends Coach
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

An NFL coaching staff is a lot like a dinner table. Mike Zimmer’s at the head seat for the Minnesota Vikings, surrounded by a number of coaches who used to sit in his very position.

There’s offensive coordinator Norv Turner, former head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Next to him is offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who once buried a football as interim head coach of the Oakland Raiders. And now, former Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur’s pulled a chair up to the table. As announced on the team’s official website Monday, Shurmur was named the Vikings’ tight ends coach.

With Shurmur joining the staff to coach Kyle Rudolph and Co., former tight ends coach Kevin Stefanski will replace Kirby Wilson as the team’s running backs coach. The Vikings originally interviewed Shurmur on Friday and spent the weekend keeping their decision under wraps. ESPN’s Ben Goessling reported Saturday that the team had hired Shurmur, but hadn’t released details of his position on Zimmer’s staff.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When it comes to trades, the NFL is usually not known for these types of transactions as much as other professional sports leagues have been such as the NBA, NHL, and MLB. However, the league did have a total of 38 trades in 2015 before the start of the regular season that featured at least one player (not just draft picks) and that total is the highest it has been in the last three years.

In the last three NFL offseasons, there have been a total of 89 trades made before the start of that year’s regular season. The Vikings have been involved in four of those 89 trades, including three in 2015.

Will Minnesota and general manager Rick Spielman participate in any trades in this upcoming offseason? If they do, who has the possibility of leaving town?

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Should the Vikings trade Adrian Peterson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

“Should the Vikings trade Adrian Peterson?”

If you identify as a Vikings fan, then the odds are good that you’ve been asked this question more times than you can count over the ups and downs of the last four seasons, give or take. I know I have.

The problem, however, is that most people asking that question are looking for you to answer in a concrete way. They want a “yes” or “no” answer that they can either agree with or scoff at. They want you to enable their ability to hit that “like” button or give you the old “thumbs down.” They are not looking for a thoughtful, nuanced answer. Ambiguity beyond a “for the right price” qualifier simply won’t be tolerated.

The problem, however, is that the answer to this particular question is so complex that a simple “yes” or “no” isn’t giving it the thought it deserves, and neither of those answers could possibly be concrete and true.

For the first time in his career, however, I am not at all hesitant in saying that the Minnesota Vikings should absolutely consider trading Adrian Peterson.

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Harrison Smith named to 2016 Pro Bowl
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This is a post that should’ve been written after the 2014 regular season. And though it’s overdue, it’s no less deserved. As first reported by Darren Wolfson, Harrison Smith is expected to be named to his first Pro Bowl this week. ESPN’s Ben Goessling confirmed the report, making Smith the third Minnesota Vikings player represented in this year’s all-star contest. He’ll join Adrian Peterson and Everson Griffen in Hawaii next Sunday.

Goessling reports that two league sources confirmed Smith’s selection will be made official after tonight’s NFC Championship Game. Smith finished the season with 66 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two interceptions in 13 total games. Though he missed nearly four games with a knee injury, Smith proved invaluable to Mike Zimmer’s defense. And even if his stats weren’t as eye-popping in 2015 as they were in 2014, Smith’s greatness didn’t go unrecognized by the NFL.

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