Wednesday, February 10, 2016

According to Chris Tomasson, the Vikings will pick up the fifth-year options for both Harrison Smith and Matt Kalil. GM Rick Spielman implied earlier that the 2012 draft picks would be re-signed for 2016, but the team made it official Monday morning.

Smith, drafted No. 29 overall, will bring in a $5.2 million paycheck; Kalil will make $11.096 million as a No. 4 overall pick.

No questions existed about Smith remaining in Minnesota, as he is arguably the top safety on the team and a no-brainer to keep around. In his first three seasons in purple, Smith tallied 192 tackles, 62 assists and 10 interceptions. He also added three sacks in 2014.

Smith played in all 16 games last season; if he stay healthy moving forward, he will continue to play a huge role for the Vikings’ secondary. Tomasson reported that the Vikings plan to work out a longer-term contract with Smith prior to the regular season. Smith has been vocal about wanting to stay with Minnesota, which is great news for fans.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Who won the draft?

In the grand scheme of football things, that generally doesn’t matter—winning the Super Bowl does. But to simplify it to that ignores the massive amounts of work and effort that goes into a playoff push, where the draft is often key.

We don’t know who “won” the draft in the context of results-based grading, because we don’t know the results. But if we’re just as willing to give prospects “round grades” or evaluate whether or not a team made a good pick, we should be able to summarize our thoughts on those teams, and the easiest way to do that is “grades.”

So in the sense that one can’t “grade” the draft until we’re three years out, I suppose that’s true but not useful information. In the same way that we can’t criticize a coach hire, a free agency move or a trade until we’re three years into the contract, we can’t criticize player acquisitions in the draft until we’re through.

But there’s no point to analysis if we’re going to defer it to an unknowable future—you wouldn’t read this blog if you weren’t willing to engage in some speculation. We predict win-loss records, argue that a team may make the playoffs or not, say that one team is destined to succeed or fail, and no one minds that. But when people “grade drafts” that’s too soon.

Anyway, so long as we have information on how people grade prospects, we have information on what people in the aggregate think about the talent a team has acquired.

To the Consensus Board!

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    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    It wasn’t quick and it certainly wasn’t painless, but the return of one of the best Minnesota Vikings of all time seems all but certain at this point.

    Some have questioned our varied coverage of Peterson’s unraveling ever since he was charged in an incident involving injuries to his son. With the saga now coming to a resolution, however, I want to clarify that the way Peterson’s career was derailed over these previous months stings each of us here at VT, and we all wish things had happened very differently.

    With all signs now pointing towards a return (including agent Ben Dogra’s sudden change in tone), we all hope that Peterson is able to make things right within his family, and are interested to see just how well he will be able to pick up where things left off.

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    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    The moments immediately following the conclusion of the NFL Draft are hectic for undrafted prospects, front offices, agents, and media members alike. Ever since getting duped by reports of LeGarrette Blount signing with the Vikings years ago, I’ve hedged on the side of letting the dust settle before trying to track the signings.

    The dust appears (disclosure: the team hasn’t announced anything yet) to have settled this year, and reports from multiple outlets have the Vikings reaching post-Draft agreements with the following rookies:

    DAVARIS DANIELS, WR, NOTRE DAME: At 6′ 1″ and 201 pounds, Daniels was a guy on the rise in the Notre Dame system prior to being suspended for an academic honesty scandal. Nothing blows me away about this guy.

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