Sunday, August 30, 2015

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According to Chris Mortenson at ESPN, the Vikings don’t have plans for Adrian Peterson in their future. On ESPN’s Sunday morning NFL show, Mortenson said “Several league sources say Adrian Peterson has not come to grips with the fact that his 2014 has all but officially ended.  His future is in doubt after being indicted for these child abuse charges related to inflicting injuries on his four-year old son.”

His piece at ESPN follows that up by specifically citing team sources for his information. According to Mortenson, sources say Peterson is “in denial” when it comes to his future with the Vikings and that he “doesn’t get it.” Also on the show, “Mortenson said the Vikings themselves do not foresee Peterson in their future.” Mortenson also indicated that any punishment from the NFL will be severe, particularly because Roger Goodell specifically used the phrase “child abuse” in his catch-all press conference on Friday.

On a different note, Ian Rapaport has a report indicating that Adrian Peterson is asking for his trial to be expedited:

It sounds like we already know what that decision will be.

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The Vikings have announced their actives/inactives list for tonight:

NAME POSITION INJURY WED. THU. FRI. STATUS GAMEDAY
Floyd, Sharrif DT Shoulder DNP LP LP Probable Active
Greenway, Chad LB Hand/Rib DNP DNP LP Questionable Active
Loadholt, Phil T Ankle DNP LP LP Probable Active
Mauti, Michael LB Foot FP FP FP Probable Active
Patterson, Cordarrelle WR Chest LP FP Probable Active
Rhodes, Xavier CB Groin LP FP FP Probable Active
Rudolph, Kyle TE Abdomen LP LP LP Probable Active
Smith, Rodney WR Hamstring LP FP FP Questionable Inactive
Watts, Brandon LB Knee LP LP LP Questionable Inactive
Johnson, Charles WR None Inactive
Prater, Shaun CB None Inactive
Yankey, David OG None Inactive
Ponder, Christian QB None Inactive
Chricton, Scott DE None Inactive

Chad Greenway is playing, as many people expected. There will only be four receivers active on gameday, but that shouldn’t have a huge impact, even with Patterson’s chest injury. The Vikings will have a lot of offensive linemen active (eight, compared to the usual seven).

The Saints inactives:

NAME POSITION INJURY WED. THU. FRI. STATUS GAMEDAY
Ball, Marcus S Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Goodwin, Jonathan C Elbow DNP LP FP Probable Active
Hawthorne, David ILB Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Ingram, Mark RB Hand DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Knox, Kyle ILB Ankle LP FP Probable Active
Lelito, Tim C/G Back DNP Questionable Active
Lofton, Curtis ILB Shoulder LP LP FP Probable Active
Lorig, Erik FB Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Morgan, Joseph WR Knee FP Probable Active
Toon, Nick WR None Inactive
Jenkins, John NT None Inactive
Jean-Baptiste, Stanley CB None Inactive

There aren’t any surprises from the Saints, but without starters Mark Ingram and David Hawthorne, the game is marginally easier for the Vikings.

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We may not see too many VT contributors today—sounds like Adam will be busy and I am always a little out of it. But the Live Chat this week is active, and this is just a reminder that our Live Chat Page is always ready to go.

Join us! We’ll watch Minnesota’s new look team take on New Orleans.  For all the drama surrounding the team, it should be a good time to just sit back and talk football.

Hope to see you in there.

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According to the New York Post’s celebrity gossip section, Page Six, minority owner David Mandelbaum’s son has been charged with domestic assault and has entered a pre-trial intervention program. As far as I can tell, the son, Michael, does not own any share in the Vikings. SINow also has a story on this.

Honestly, Mandelbaum is not really associated with the Vikings, but the story has been slowly accelerating throughout the day, so there might as well be something on it here. It looks like things will build for the Vikings, and though there is honest criticism on how they’ve handled the latest controversy, it may not be fair to rope this one in with it.

Michael Mandelbaum has reportedly entered a pre-trial intervention program similar to the one Ray Rice entered (both were in New Jersey at the time of their incidents). Michael Mandelbaum handles the legal affairs for his family, but not the Vikings.

The Wall Street Journal and the New Jersey Star-Ledger both have reported that Mandelbaum has been charged with domestic assault for pushing his wife down the stairs. Per the Wall Street Journal:

The divorce proceedings began in 2013, after Ms. Mandelbaum got a temporary restraining order over a Dec. 19 incident at their Warren, N.J., home.

A police report filed in court said that an officer found Ms. Mandelbaum at the bottom of a staircase in a semiconscious state. Mr. Mandelbaum told the officer, according to the report, that she slipped while walking down the stairs and hit her head.

Later, Ms. Mandelbaum told paramedics, according to the report, that she was arguing with Mr. Mandelbaum when he had “grabbed and pushed her, causing her to lose her balance and fall.”

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Mandelbaum will be entering the pretrial intervention program that the New York Post mentions, where charges will be dropped upon completion.

After the Ray Rice controversy, the pretrial intervention program came under fire in New Jersey, and there’s currently a proposal to change who would be eligible for the program, limiting out those accused specifically of aggravated assault. Both Rice and Mandelbaum were charged with aggravated assault in the third degree.

The Mandelbaums’ role as minority owners became prominent after the stadium debate after the Wilf family lost a 21-year-old court case over charges of fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty and were required to pay out over $80 million of damages. Mandelbaum was subject to a financial review by the Minnesota Sports Facilities authority in order to assess the Vikings’ ability to pay their end of the stadium deal after the lawsuit news came down. Again, Michael is not said to own any share in the Vikings.

The Wilfs are said to own over 80 percent of the Vikings, with three other minority owners—Mandelbaum, Alan Landis and Reggie Fowler—own the rest. Mandelbaum has ownership over a number of assets, including a share of Vornado Realty Trust worth more than $500 million. Michael Mandelbaum is contesting the divorce on the grounds that the two were never legally married in the twenty-years after their marriage ceremony.

Though charged in January for an event that occurred in December, it looks like the story is gaining momentum now because Mandelbaum just entered the program while the NFL is currently hanging under the cloud of the same problem among their players.

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The Vikings have announced they have signed former Grand Valley State wide receiver Charles Johnson to the 53-man roster, taking Adrian Peterson’s former spot. This moves the Vikings to six receivers and keeps them at four running backs (including Felton). The announcement:

The Vikings have signed WR Charles Johnson to the 53-man roster off of the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad. Johnson joined the Browns from Green Bay’s practice squad on October 12, 2013. He went through training camp and the preseason with the Browns in 2014, appearing in all four preseason games, totaling six catches for 65 yards. Johnson, a 7th-round pick (#216 overall) by Green Bay out of Grand Valley State, played under Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner and Quarterbacks Coach Scott Turner in Cleveland last season.

Charles Johnson is seen by many as a height/weight/speed guy, and he is indeed quite the athlete. At his Pro Day (held at his school but organized by the Great Lakes conference, not his school) he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at 215 pounds (the expected time for an NFL player at 215 pounds is 4.62), standing at 6’2″. He also had a vertical leap of 39.5″. This piece at Rotoviz tries to put his measureables into context:

We’ll get to the production in a second. The real reason Johnson landed on anyone’s radar was his pro-day where he skyrocketed (literally) into elite company. If you combine his Vertical Jump and his Broad Jump numbers, you get 172.5”. Fewer than 8% of wide receivers eclipse the 170” figure and even fewer do it at 6’2’’ and in the 215-225lb range. Consider this rarified class of historical freaks:

HOLY COW! What an impressive workout! But what if I told you that his production was equally amazing? Consider how he stacks up to other wide receivers that came from similarly obscure college teams:

V-Jax, Miles Austin, and Marques Colston have all posted elite seasons in the NFL. As you can read here, I think Brian Quick will soon join that class of premium receivers. So the only riddle left to solve is Grand Valley State WR Charles Johnson.

Though he was productive at GVSU, Gil Brandt does bring up a good point:

Johnson does have a red flag, having bounced around between different schools. He initially went to Eastern Kentucky, where he was suspended. He then attended Antelope Valley Community College (Calif.) in 2008, took a season off in 2009, and was at Grand Valley State starting in 2010

His ProFootballFocus grades in the past two preseasons have been -3.9 (with Green Bay) and -2.2 (with Cleveland). He caught no passes in the 2013 preseason on four targets and had one drop. In 2014, he caught six passes on ten targets for 65 yards, with one drop. One pass targeted at him was intercepted. He has yet to appear in a regular season game. It should be noted that the Browns have a well-known lack of depth and he couldn’t make their 53-man roster.

There isn’t much in the way of a scouting report on him, so instead consume this highlight reel:

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