Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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(photo used with permission)

Paul Feiner is a sports fan through and through. Minnesota sports, to be specific. Vikings, Timberwolves, Twins, Wildhe cheers for them all.

And it’s his love for the state’s teams that gave him the idea to create a Facebook page to bring all Minnesota fans onto one platform.

“I Love Minnesota Sports is a better way to follow all your favorite Minnesota teams on Facebook,” Feiner explained. “Only the best links and fan conversations. No ads. No fluff. True fans.”

The page started in June 2013 and grew immediately, attracting fans from all over. It currently has over 16,000 followers, and over 12,000 fans interact on the page weekly.

MNSPORTS screen shot

One of the challenges Feiner took on with the page was creating a logo that would be recognizable as well as versatile for the changing sports seasons.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to a Thursday report by ESPN NFL writer Ben Goessling, Adrian Peterson remains undecided about his future with the Minnesota Vikings.

Peterson interviewed with ESPN late Thursday afternoon, speaking for the first time since appearing in Minneapolis on February 6th for a hearing in federal court — the NFL Player’s Association sued the league, arguing for Peterson’s immediate reinstatement.

Currently, Peterson cannot be reinstated until April 15th, when his status on the commissioner’s exempt list is lifted. Peterson told Goessling that he is “still uneasy” about rejoining the team in 2015, citing the Vikings’ joint efforts with the NFL to put him on that very list in September. According to Peterson, the decision was an “ambush” that left him unsure of his future in Minnesota.

The 2012 NFL MVP played one game for the Vikings last season, and is under contract for 2015 with a base salary of $12.75 million. In recent interviews, general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer have expressed whole-heartedly their desire to see Peterson back with the Vikings next season.

Spielman and the organization will have a tough decision to make in the coming months, but Peterson understands the nature of the NFL:

“It’s hard to say (what my future will be). I love Minnesota. There are people that have had my back, and supported me. Last year, with the things that took place, had a lot of fans that supported me through everything. For the fans, I would definitely love to come back, but then again, it’s a business, when it comes down to business, you can’t get caught up in the loyalty to fans or to a team or anything like that. You know how it is in the NFL. I learned a lot through this process. I’m still uneasy, to be honest with you. I’m still uneasy about a lot of things that took place within the organization. Of course those guys ultimately supported me, and I’m grateful for that. But ultimately, with me being able to be on the inside and see how cards were dealt, how things were worded, this, that and the other, it’s about protecting your brand, your organization, what you have built. In the (grand) scheme of things, not one person counts over that. I get that.”

The front office has made it clear that they want Peterson back in 2015. The question remains as to whether Peterson believes that. “I know there are a lot of people in the organization who want me back,” he said. “But then again, I know the ones who don’t. It’s a difficult transition, and it’s not just about me.”

Peterson went on to tell ESPN that he is also considering the well-being of his family, which goes beyond endorsements or paychecks. “I don’t know if that would be the case,” he said, commenting on a potential pay cut to stay in Minnesota. “But you know, as far as being happy, as far as my family being happy, it’s bigger than that.”

The 29-year-old running back is in the midst of an almost year-long hiatus from football, which has given him time to rest and reevaluate his current situation:

“Just having the time to sit back and clear my mind, this has really changed me mentally,” he said. “My approach to things is going to be on a different level. With the things I’ve been through the last year, things definitely have more meaning. When I’m able to apply that when I’m working out and getting ready for something, it’s always a great thing. It’s always great when I’m able to put in great quality work. I’m ready to shock the world.”

Yesterday, fans were convinced that Peterson was going to step on the field a Minnesota Viking in 2015. Today, they’re left wondering what the star running back will do — return to the Vikings, or join another team and truly “shock the world”?

Read Ben Goessling’s entire interview with Adrian Peterson at ESPN.com, and be sure to visit Vikings Territory for the latest Minnesota Vikings news and updates.


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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Mike Zimmer is a no-nonsense, football-first head coach. When Zimmer took over a sinking ship for the Vikings in 2014, he inherited a young team coming off a 5-10-1 record the previous year. Things changed quickly, as players bought into Zimmer’s mentality and rookies like Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr performed well in key moments.

Early Thursday morning, Zimmer addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, elaborating on his debut 7-9 season and looking ahead to 2015.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the eighth article, focusing on the cornerbacks.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backs, tight ends, fullbacks, wide outsspecialists and safeties.]

Xavier Rhodes used 2014 to vault himself into the shutdown cornerback conversation and Josh Robinson, one Bears game excluded, thrived in his role on the outside in Mike Zimmer’s defense. The way those two stepped up last year was a huge reason why the Vikings were able to jump up to the seventh ranked passing defense in the NFL.

One of last year’s big free agency acquisitions was Captain Munnerlyn, who signed on for a three year deal worth $11.25 million, but he was disappointing as a Vikings and his post-season remarks indicate he knew it.  Munnerlyn is due to have a cap hit of $3.8 million in 2015, but there would only be a $0.67 million dead cap penalty if they cut him, so it would not be a surprise if the Vikings approached Munnerlyn about taking a pay cut in exchange for job security. In fact, those talks are anticipated to take place in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine.

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“It seems entirely likely to me that the Vikings will ignore the tight end position in free agency…”

Well, it appears my free agency previews are off to a stellar start.

News broke on Wednesday afternoon that the Vikings claimed recently waived tight end Brandon Bostick, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. Bostick will be best remembered in Cheese Land as that guy that mishandled the onside kick that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to make their incredible comeback in the NFC Championship Game.

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