Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman held a pre-Draft press conference Tuesday and he touched on a number of hot topics.
The whole thing can be viewed by clicking here.
I have watched it a few times now, and here are my notes:
January 20-25 - Senior Bowl
January 26 - Pro Bowl
February 17 - First day of franchise / transition player designation
February 19-25 - Scouting Combine
March 11 - Free Agency begins
March 23 - Owner's Meeting
April 7 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with new HC
April 17 - 2014 Schedule Released
April 21 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with returning HC
May 2 - Deadline for RFAs to sign offers
May 8-10 - NFL Draft
Vikings fans traditionally are not a fan of Roger Goodell. After his visit at the end of last week seemingly resuscitated the Vikings stadium bill, the bill now has momentum of the likes we Vikings fans have not seen before.
In the State Senate, the bill was passed along without any drama by the Senate Jobs and Economic Development Committee and up next is the Senate Finance Committee. Finance could be the last stop for the bill before it goes to the floor for an actual vote, unless it is decided that it also must travel to the Taxes Committee. The truth is that all stadium hopes could die an instant death at the hands of any of these committees, but all media reports seem to indicate a vote is in the near future.
In the House, where the bill appeared dead on arrival just over one week ago, the bill is rocketing back to life and it is being reported that a vote could come as soon as Wednesday.
Whatever Goodell said to the State officials last week seemed to do the trick, but don’t uncork that champagne bottles yet, Minnesotans.
Vikings have agreed to terms on a one year deal with WR Jerome Simpson. Even tho he's suspended to start the season he's got a lot of talent
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 24, 2012
Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com reports the Vikings have signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson to a one year deal. This news comes right after it was reported that Simpson would be facing a three game suspension this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. According to ESPN, Simpson “was sentenced earlier this month to 15 days in jail and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge in Kentucky.” Originally, Simpson received a felony charge of marijuana trafficking after it was found out that two pounds of marijuana were shipped to his home. However, Simpson was able to get the charges reduced to “a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.”
The full details of the deal are unknown at this point. As soon as they become available, we will provide another update. Considering Simpson’s recent legal issues and his three game suspension, one would imagine the contract is very small and lined with clauses.
If Simpson manages to turn a page and stay out of trouble, he could provide the Vikings with the deep threat they’ve needed to stretch the field.
Well, with only a little more than 48 hours until the 2012 NFL Draft is underway, I decided to pull the plug on any last minute changes to my 2012 Mock Draft a little early and call for a final version right now.
My final mock draft of the year is two rounds deep and can be viewed right here.
My top three picks have stayed exactly the same since I posted my first version on January 10th. Andrew Luck, RGIII, and then Matt Kalil to the Vikings. I still think there is a very good chance that Rick Spielman attempts a coup and trades back from the three spot, but the mock does not account for trades… or else things would get way too messy.
In the second round, I eschewed the stereotypical need based pick of a receiver or secondary talent and instead went with a guy I felt was clearly the best player available. Here is a hint: It’s a defensive tackle.
I know defensive tackle isn’t the biggest need on this roster, but it also isn’t the most solid position on this team either, and I just couldn’t pass up this particular prospect when the mock worked out the way it did.
Anyways, here is the link again, check it out… scrutinize it… and then come back on Thursday and Friday to laugh at how horribly wrong my mock was.
Let’s assume for a second that Rick Spielman is full of you-know-what and has had his sights on Matt Kalil since December. So, why not just come out and say so?
If this is the case, then Spielman deserves a lot of credit for successfully generating a trade market for the third overall selection despite the presumed absence of the two premier passers in this class. If he manages to finagle a trade back and still land Kalil, then the guy is going to look like a freaking genius and many of us are going to have a whole ton of crow to eat after doubting the guy all offseason long.
So, with Andrew Luck and RGIII already off the board, what kind of trade interest might the Vikings get when they pick up their phones in the war room? Let’s take a look.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder knows that the upcoming season will be all about him.
A little of confidence mixed with a little bit of realism has him predicting and eight or nine win season for the Vikings. Ponder says there will be a lot of pressure on him this season, but feels that tight ends Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson will aide him in his efforts to turn this team around.
“The guy is a freak,” Ponder said of Rudolph in a recent 1500 ESPN interview. “For how big he is (6-foot-6, 258 pounds) and how well he moves, and his hands are unbelievable. A tight end really is a quarterback’s best friend, especially when he’s a young guy. I think the sky’s the limit for him.
“I think he’ll be a Pro Bowl guy within the next two years, and I think by adding another tight end, John Carlson, You realize how important the tight end is in our system, Musgrave’s system. Kyle’s going to be getting the ball a lot more and I’m excited for him. I’m excited for myself. Having a target like that makes it a lot easier for me.”
Ponder sees confident that the Vikings can turn things around quickly under his leadership and seems plenty aware that the offense can only go as far as he can take them.
“If I play well, then things will build off of me, and I realize that. Yeah, it’s a lot of pressure on me, and we’ll see. We did get some good guys through free agency, and we’ll get a lot of good guys in the draft and we’ll see how it goes.”
As we mentioned earlier, the next hurdle for the Vikings stadium bill as it traveled through the State Senate was the Senate Rules Committee.
This was never expected to be a major problem, and more of a formality, but plenty of you Vikings fans have long been familiar with the idea of expecting the unexpected.
Rest assured, however, the unexpected did not rear its head on Monday. The bill was approved by the Rules Committee and will now travel to a more formidable threat in the form of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee.