Thursday, February 11, 2016

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This week’s Vikings Fan Spotlight will be Part I of a 3-part series. I had such an amazing response on Twitter from Vikings fans all over the world, and I decided to break this feature into three separate parts. 

Justin Nickerson – Queensland, Australia – @JustinNickerson


Q: How did you first become a Vikings fan?
A: My best friend and housemate and I used to wager household chores on any overseas sports we could find. The NFL was just becoming big on TV in Australia so I did a bit of research about the sport, watched some and was spellbound by Adrian Peterson. The rest was history.

Q: Have you been to a Vikings game?
A: Yes — in Philadelphia. We were on a month-long trip around the U.S. and had a fairly packed schedule. We arrived in Philly the day of the game, only to find it had been postponed. We were supposed to fly out the next morning to New York but managed to delay for a couple of days to get to the game. I was a bit crushed because I really had wanted to watch Brett Favre but didn’t get the chance to […] Tuesday before the game we tailgated with them, and had our first experience of moon-shine! The game itself was great and unexpected, highly enjoyable few days.

Q: Which NFL Team is the most popular in Australia?
A: Dallas Cowboys

Q: Do you own an Vikings memorabilia? If so, what is your favorite item?
A: I have a signed Brett Favre picture from his first game back at Lambeau as a Viking. (First thing I would save if there was a house fire!)

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There has been a lot of talk around receivers for the Vikings, especially since the release of Greg Jennings and signing of Mike Wallace. It seems appropriate, then, for Round 3 of Question of the Week:

Who Will Lead the Vikings in Receiving (Catches, Yards & TDs) this Year?

Brent:  Catches: Charles Johnson | Yards: Mike Wallace | TDs: Kyle Rudolph
I think Johnson will continue to be Teddy’s favorite target, mainly because he’ll thrive in the mid-range routes—where Teddy is awesome. Wallace will rack up a lot of yards via deep passes, but he won’t prove to be a significant red zone target. Rudolph’s size and consistent hands will make him a favorite for touchdowns within striking distance. The TE will be used more heavily than last year—as it has in years past in Norv’s offense.

Catches: Charles Johnson | Yards: Mike Wallace | TDs: Mike Wallace
Johnson’s 15.3 yards per catch on 31 receptions in 2014 was impressive to say the least, but Wallace shouldn’t have any problem racking up yards in Turner’s vertical offense. My guess is the targets will be balanced between multiple players, but yardage will be owned by Wallace especially if Adrian comes with a chip on his shoulder.

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The interstate trade between Wisconsin and Minnesota seems to only be flowing one way these days, as the Vikings have signed yet another former Packer to their roster.

Running Back DuJuan Harris agreed to a one year deal with the Vikings, according to his agent, and that means the Vikings have added another name to their turbulent running back situation. Harris, previously an Exclusive Rights Free Agent that was not tendered by the Packers, had his best season in 2012 when he was called up from the practice squad to join the Packers active roster due to injuries. He ran the ball 17 times for 47 and a score in a playoff victory over the Vikings that year.

Due to his status as an untendered exclusive rights free agent, rather than a “true” unrestricted free agent, this signing will not impact the 2016 compensatory picks formula for the Vikings or the Packers.

Harris, 26, has an uphill battle ahead of him in terms of making this Vikings regular season roster.

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It look as though Adrian Peterson won’t be receiving the Greg Jennings treatment from the Vikings’ front office this offseason.

According to the USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, the Minnesota Vikings will not release Peterson:

The “news” comes as no surprise, though. Peterson is still one of the league’s premier running backs, and if the Vikings are going to part ways with him, they will need to receive a solid return on investment — Peterson’s release would result in a $2.4 million strike against Minnesota’s salary cap.

The embattled running back is set to make $12.75 million in 2015 and will turn 30 later this month, which may explain his relatively quiet trade market — teams are unwilling to take on the Peterson’s expensive contract, which will pay him $45 million over the next 3 years.

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For the Chad Greenway fans out there (myself included), you’ll be happy to see this tweet by USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

Greenway has been one of those question marks as the Vikings have entered free agency, mostly because his contract takes up a good-sized chunk of Minnesota’s cap space.

In his tenth NFL year, he would count $8.8 million against Minnesota’s salary cap; if released, he would count a much smaller number ($1.7 million) against the cap. Last season Greenway willingly took a pay cut, restructuring his contract to stay in Minny, and it seems he is willing to do the same again.

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