Monday, August 3, 2015

16 games of football, and maybe even a post-season appearance, can change the way we look at the makeup of a roster and the value of an individual player.  With that being said, as I glance towards what drama might be in store for next offseason, Rick Spielman doesn’t appear to have many paramount decisions waiting for him on the horizon.

Most of the current players that are set to see their contracts expire after this season were signed (or re-signed) this offseason to one year deals.  The hope is that they will produce quite nicely and be worthy of another contract next offseason, but they really won’t be priorities until that production actually happens.

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One of the most entertaining, and knowledgable website personalities you will find when surfing the web for your Vikings fix is Andy Carlson at PurpleFTW.com. You can also follow him on twitter @PurpleForTheWin.

Andy invited me to be a guest on his podcast last Thursday night… and we had a blast talking football and “Chewing the Fat”. You can listen to the entire podcast on purpleftw.com or on youtube here.

Thanks again Andy! I enjoyed being on the podcast.

VT’s very own Lindsey Young will be making her guest appearance on the PurpleFTW podcast on June 9th. Be sure to catch all the fun!

 

For some reason I am overly obsessed with the free agency nuance that is the NFL’s compensatory draft pick formula.  It is a fairly secretive formula that seems to throw speculators a curveball right about the time they think they have it figured out.  The formula looks at unrestricted free agents (not restricted, released, traded or retired) and the contracts they sign, in addition to a year’s worth of performance, to decide how the 32 compensatory picks will be awarded.

In short, the picks will go to teams that lose more free agents than they sign, with the value of those picks increasing with the formulaic value of the players lost.  There are still plenty of unknowns at this point to truly give an accurate prediction, but I’m attempting to decipher the Vikings odds of getting an extra pick or two in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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The New York Giants have decided to cut former Vikings quarterback (technically) Josh Freeman despite the fact that he was only receiving veteran’s minimum (and therefore had a cap hit lower than he was actually paid) and that training camp hadn’t actually happened yet. The fact that it means Curtis Painter is still with the Giants speaks more to Josh Freeman’s prospects than the simple fact that he was given up on by three teams in less than a year.

Freeman’s rookie year was fairly typical for a rookie, but his sophomore season was one of the best for a young passer in NFL history (ranking ninth all-time in adjusted net yards per attempt for anyone 23 or younger). He had a down 2011, but his 2012 was incredible until the final three games—ranking seventh among quarterbacks at that point.

After that it was all downhill. In 2013, he threw four interceptions to only two touchdowns and had one of the worst years a quarterback has put together, playing for two different teams at the time—including a disastrous stint with the Vikings

I was a strong advocate of signing Josh Freeman, and a lot of the arguments I make in that post still ring true today though don’t take into account one evident fact: that Freeman, for some reason or another, doesn’t have the mental ability to run an NFL offense, despite having that ability earlier.

The fact that we debate whether or not Teddy Bridgewater should wait to start after several months of learning the playbook while ignoring the fact that Freeman had 12 days to learn the offense in 2013 is a little disingenuous, but the fact that he didn’t catch on in New York is certainly an indictment of who he is.

NJ.com has a description of one of the OTAs New York ran that paints an ugly picture:

The pecking order at quarterback during Thursday’s OTAs: Manning, Ryan Nassib, Curtis Painter/Josh Freeman. Manning appeared to take every first-team snap. That was somewhat expected, despite ankle surgery last month.

Seeing Nassib as the primary second-team QB was more of a surprise. It seems to indicate that the Giants are going to give last year’s fourth-round pick every chance to be Manning’s backup this season. If Nassib (who looked shaky on Thursday) doesn’t win that job, it’s going to be quite an indictment.

Painter is just another guy and Freeman appeared to be little more than the camp arm the Giants were trying to sell him as after they signed him this offseason. During one drill, Freeman lined up the offense incorrectly and the play was never run. He was immediately subbed out, with Painter taking his place.

The fact that Freeman was late to several meetings in Eden Prairie tells us that he gave up on the Vikings in 2013, but that may continue to be true for his career. Tom Pelissero wrote:

“You could tell Josh did not know the offense,” said one of several Vikings players who spoke to USA TODAY Sports about the situation Tuesday. The players spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they weren’t supposed to discuss team business publicly.

“Practices did not really go that well that week. But Coach Frazier was in the team meetings like, ‘Oh, I think this is the best week of practice we’ve had all year.’ And everyone’s like, what? What are you talking about?”

. . .

“Debacle,” a second player said of the Vikings’ quarterback situation this season. “When they started Josh in that Giants game, we were as confused as anybody.”

. . .

Four people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports that Freeman was late for numerous meetings in his roughly three months with the Vikings. A third player said Freeman often was among the last players to the facility.

. . .

“I feel bad for Josh getting thrown in so quickly,” the first player said.

Freeman bombed against the New York Giants on national television Oct. 21, completing 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards with an interception in a 23-7 loss, then reported concussion symptoms the next day and never played again.

The only situation that makes sense for him is Oakland, where he could compete with Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards to back up Derek Carr and Matt Schaub—and maybe play caretaker QB if Schaub underperforms. He did, after all, put up those impressive numbers in Greg Olson’s offense, and Olson currently is the offensive coordinator there, giving him a bit of a head start on Schaub and Carr.

But if the attitude he had with the Vikings continues elsewhere, his tenure in the NFL is over despite his talent. And it looks like it has.

The Vikings have, to our knowledge, made it through the holiday weekend without any embarrassing incidents off the field and are now conducting their Organized Team Activities.  We’ve had a lot of good content right here lately (scroll down, you can’t miss it), but here is what is being said from all of our friends around the web.

Go there.  Read it.  Tell ‘em who sent ya.

  • Mike Wobschall of Vikings.com is on the other side of this interesting interview where a variety of topics are covered.
  • As if you needed more optimism about the 2014 Vikings draft class.
  • Geesh, will they let anyone on the internet these days?  Good Loadholt article here.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson is quickly turning out to be one of Minnesota’s favorite professional athletes.
  • This isn’t factually accurate, and it isn’t something I agree with, but it is worthy of consideration:  Will the money given to Everson Griffen prove to be a big mistake?
  • ‘Tis the season for making lists, throwing out lofty claims, and crowing GOATs.
  • Undrafted wide out Donte Foster says he has a chip on his shoulder and is learning from Greg Jennings.
  • Five reasons why a late bye week is a benefit to the Vikings this season.
  • Chad Greenway is feeling like a younger player having to learn a new defensive scheme and play a different role.
  • Minnesota Vikings Mike Zimmer claims he can’t even Google himself because of that pesky Minnesota Viking Mike Zimmer.
  • Jared Allen says Minnesota headed in a different direction than he wanted to go in and hopes Chicago never regrets signing him.
  • Adrian Peterson says you can see Teddy Bridgewater is hungry when you look into his eyes.
  • It is sounding like the new regime are running faster and more intense practice sessions than Minnesota has seen in a while.
  • Mike Zimmer provided some insight as to why it is so difficult to find quality prospects at the safety position in recent years.
  • A lot of nuts and bolts about the Minnesota Super Bowl bid and logistics can be found right here.
  • Erin Henderson is under the impression that Rick Spielman might be willing to give him another chance at a roster spot.
  • Somewhere there is someone who just bought something that I (and most of you) once peed in.
  • More pass catching is an idea Adrian Peterson seems to welcome.
  • And, here it is, your moment of Zen:

 

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