Friday, December 9, 2016

Part 1

undrafted NFL free agent
Image courtesy of Jerrod Black

The iPhone illuminates the cabin of a pitch-black Chevy Tahoe. It’s one o’clock in the morning, and Jerrod Black’s eyes dart from clip to clip. He’s watching game film, training videos, anything he can get his hands on. Cars flash by on the quiet road and crickets buzz in the grass, breaking the silence within Jerrod’s truck. He’s hyper-focused on the screen in front of him, analyzing every step, get-off, and rip or swim.

This quiet moment outside of 4th and Inches Sports Performance is the culmination of a years-long journey for Jerrod. He’s an undrafted NFL free agent, one of hundreds each year who miss their chance to play football on Sunday afternoons. But living in his car isn’t a deterrent for Jerrod — it’s the ultimate motivation.

“Not having an actual house, bed, or couch, you become even more grateful for the little things,” he said. “When you’re sitting in your truck at 1 am, sitting in front of the gym you spent eight hours at that day, you convince yourself it’s worth it and envision yourself doing good things.”

Vikings 2016 Offseason Plan Part 3

[In the final entry of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth NFL Draft plan for the Minnesota Vikings. Part 1 and 2]

Introduction

Cameras click and lights flash during the first round of the NFL Draft, but it’s often the players out of the spotlight that make the biggest impact. We’ve seen prospects taken in later rounds — Danielle Hunter (third round, 2015) and Stefon Diggs (fifth round, 2015) — contribute more than many of their first round counterparts. While the first round is important, constructing a competitive team requires thorough planning, scouting, and strategy that extends all the way through the 256th-overall pick.

We began this process in early February, when we laid out a vision for the future of the Vikings. Later that month, we took to the virtual phones, signing free agents and making a few controversial roster-building moves along the way. We’re taking the same approach to the NFL Draft, crafting a plan that not only allows us to add the right talent to the team, but to do so in a way that sets the Vikings up for long-term success.

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Vikings Territory Free Agency Live Blog
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

It’s like Christmas morning here, as today marks the beginning of a long stretch of offseason craziness. The Vikings Territory Free Agency Live Blog is back, and it will be your go-to stop for all things Vikings and all things free agency!

Visit the 2016 Free Agency Live Blog

There, you can find everything you need over the next few days, from our ranking of the top-40 free agents to  an interactive live chat that allows you to join the conversation in real-time. We’ll be updating the page with every free agent announcement as soon as the news begins rolling, taking particular care to give the speculation and reporting a Vikings slant. The rumors are already swirling, and we’ll be doing our best to keep up with the likes of Adam Schefter and Jay Glazer.

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Vikings need to cut Matt Kalil

Our very own Adam Patrick thinks the Minnesota Vikings need to cut Matt Kalil this offseason. He thinks the left tackle is a disappointment and far too expensive to keep in 2016. With a salary cap hit of $11.096 million next season, I can understand those points.

But I think Kalil deserves another shot to prove he’s the team’s long-term left tackle, and I think the strides he made last season warrant that chance. That’s why I’m throwing a challenge flag and asking Adam to join me for another Vikings Territory #CoinToss! We’ll duke it out, blog-style, and hopefully, I frustrate Adam to the point where he wants to knock my hat off my head.

Here we go! Adam, state your case, convince me that Kalil should be gone!

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