Saturday, November 28, 2015

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Former Cincinnati Bengals CB Terence Newman visited the Vikings without word getting out beforehand, according to Ian Rapaport.

It goes without saying that Newman played for Mike Zimmer while in Cincinnati and at the time was an athletic phenom, running a 4.37 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical, to go with a 11’4″ broad jump. He was our #36 free agency target; this is the summary:

Newman has had a shockingly good year for the Bengals, though that’s not to say it has been stellar. At 36, Newman only has one or two seasons left, and it may not even be as a starter. Nevertheless, the Vikings should consider bringing Newman in for the same reason they brought in Chris Crocker: to have a knowledgeable defensive back in team meetings and on the practice field to accelerate the development of the other defensive backs.

Newman is still a smooth corner who can play with the kind of savvy that allows him to stay in-step with some of the best receivers in the NFL, and didn’t find himself toasted as often as you’d expect of a cornerback his age against some of the elite athletic talents in the NFL.

Still, Newman is set to drop off a cliff sooner rather than later, so it’s not as if the Vikings would be buying the two-time Pro Bowler at his peak. Still, Newman can play and he may still be able to play at a high level. If confusion was a primary issue for the Vikings secondary last year (it was), then they can get rid of a lot of it by signing someone who revived his career in the system and knows the calls.

His value doesn’t come as much in preventing receptions so much as refusing to give up the big play—he only allowed one play above 40 yards last year (to Demaryius Thomas for 46) and two over 30 (to Emmanuel Sanders for 33 and Antonio Brown for 32). Same story in 2013—one play above 40 and three over 40.

He closes well in zone coverage, reads receivers well and still performs well against the run. He’s clearly lost a step and keeps investing in technique in order to hide it, but will still get exposed, possibly in a big way many times this season. Though never the biggest turnover machine, Newman does a good job getting his hands on the ball and can at least force quarterbacks to reconsider targeting him.

Should the Vikings spend a roster spot on what amounts to an emergency cornerback and another coach? Given that the confusion in the secondary was one of the biggest weak spots to an otherwise stellar defense, and that one can never have too many cornerbacks… probably.

Of note, his agent is Ben Dogra, Adrian Peterson’s agent—the one who engaged in the shouting match with the Vikings Vice President of Football Operations, Rob Brzenzinski, during the NFL combine.

No word yet on whether or not the Vikings made an offer (though they probably did) or what his market is expected to be. He may also be worth considering as a safety convert. The Vikings plodding free agency period mucks on.

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Math is hard. That’s why we brought Brad Davis (@DeltaBCDad) on the show to breakdown his three-part statistical analysis at Vikings Territory on the likelihood of Adrian Peterson’s decline as a running back. 30-years old has been the standard age cliff for NFL running backs, but does the data suggest that Adrian will follow the trend or buck it? (No matter which team he’s on)

We get into the numbers with Brad as well as talk recent offseason moves as the Minnesota Vikings, not just the NFL, have become a year round sport. #VikingsTwitter may be upset with the lack of free agent action and Jennings being cut, but the Vikings are building for beyond 2015 — not loading up for a one year Super Bowl or bust push (ala 2009).

Teddy’s the face of the franchise and hopefully will have a decade+ of success here in Minnesota. It makes sense to build a young team with him rather than fill the cap with bloated veteran contracts in an attempt to “win” free agency. Ask the Buccaneers how that worked out last year…

All that and more on this episode of the Purple FTW! Podcast! Full episode after the jump.

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Just days after missing out on free agent Michael Johnson, the Minnesota Vikings may be in the market for another veteran defensive end — former Dallas Cowboy George Selvie.

Per ESPN’s Ben Goessling, Selvie is set to visit the Vikings later this week:

Selvie started 13 games for the Cowboys in 2014, finishing the season with 3 sacks and 23 tackles. The Cowboys need edge rushers, but Selvie likely won’t return in 2015 — Mike Fisher of 105.3 THE FAN reported early Monday morning that the Cowboys are negotiating a contract with defensive end Greg Hardy’s agent.

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    (photo used with permission)

    In the midst of NFL Free Agency and looking ahead to the 2015 Draft, lots of buzz revolves around last season’s weaknesses and which position should be first addressed by the Minnesota Vikings during the offseason. Coming off the 2014-2015 season, a lot of attention is given to the offensive line. While it seems like the team has struggled to provide great quarterback protection for several seasons, that was not always the case.

    Former tackle Todd Steussie remembers when the Vikings not only had a strong O-Line, but they were known for it. That’s because he was part of it. Debuting for Minnesota in 1994, Steussie played through the 2000 season alongside some of the best in the business: Randall McDaniel, Jeff Christy, Korey Stringer and David Dixon. McDaniel established himself a few years before the rest, but the line solidified in the mid-late 90s.

    “We all kind of grew up together,” Steussie said. “We were basically raising the bar as a group; Randall was already up there, and that’s the target we reached for. Jeff’s playing better made me want to play better, and so on. The standard just kept rising.”

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    Free agency is winding down, and the Minnesota Vikings have enjoyed a quiet, if intriguing week of trades and transactions.

    Things truly kicked off on Friday, when the Vikings acquired the deep threat they’ve been lacking by trading for Miami’s Mike Wallace. Shortly after making the move, Rick Spielman released veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings, freeing up more than $5 million in cap space. The flurry of roster changes seemingly solidified Minnesota’s wide receiver corps, but I’m hard-pressed to believe the front office is finished tinkering.

    Austin’s Mock Draft 2.0 

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