Friday, May 22, 2015
Blog Page 167

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For most of the postseason, the consensus big board on the drafted quarterbacks has mostly oscillated between a Big Three and a Big Four, where Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles would round out the top of the quarterback class and Derek Carr would occasionally be included.

This is generally common practice for the NFL draft, as usually talent evaluators agree on who is in the top tier and who follows immediately afterwards, with 2013 as a big exception.

But for this year, it looks like draft evaluators are far more split on the subject than they have been on the past, and while rumors of Teddy Bridgewater’s unstable place at the top of the board have been persistent, never has there been this much indecision when it comes to QB rankings. Tony Pauline of Draft Insider reported through Walter Football’s Combine rumors (thanks to the Daily Norseman for this tip) that there’s been a shakeup in what we perceived to be the Top Four:

In conversations here in Indy it’s apparent the quarterbacks stack up 1) Blake Bortles, 2) Teddy Bridgewater, 3) Derek Carr, 4) Johnny Manziel on a number of team boards.

But Pauline isn’t the only one.

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Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk is reporting that the salary cap will increase from $123 million to “more than” $132 million (speculated to potentially reach $135 million), which is more than the $130 million reported last week. That $130 million was a surprise, because it is a greater cap than what was reported in December. That report in December was an increase from a report earlier in the same month that increased the projected cap from $123 million to $126.3 million.

The most interesting impact is that delay in the “true” cap number may end up helping NFL teams, intentionally or not.

The Minnesota Vikings have unusually revealed that they’ve flagged eight prospects this year for worrisome tweets they’ve sent out during and after the season, and have compiled a report on sixty or so potential rookies who caught general manager Rick Spielman’s eye with their active twitter feeds.

All 32 NFL teams are available to the media on the first two days of the combine, usually with one member of the front office and coaching staff answering questions in a presser, and then making themselves to individual members of the media shortly afterwards.

For some front offices and coaching staffs—Jacksonville and San Francisco are good examples—are fairly open and willing to talk shop to a point. National media learns a lot more about their intentions and inner workings on these days and they generally are a fairly interesting bunch.

But for the most part, teams will clam up and be profoundly frustrating and useless. Often, the Vikings are one of those teams.

This year, however, Spielman expanded on a part of the evaluation process that has perhaps been the least opaque part of the Vikings draft strategy: character.

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My name is Arif Hasan, and for some reason, Adam decided to ask me to be the Editor-in-Chief of his operation—an incredible honor and one I hope to pay back with quality content and curation.

As such, I figured I should introduce myself so that people know where I’m coming from and who I am.

To start things off, I should just begin with how I became a fan of football and the Minnesota VIkings in particular. My commitment to football has been fairly recent, and it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I had ever thought about having more than a passing interest in football.

A few of my friends decided it would make sense to invite me into their fantasy football league, a decision of theirs I still don’t understand. After a few initial refusals, I relented and joined their league several weeks before the draft.

This was a bad decision for all parties involved.

I had an insatiable desire to win and in my drive to humiliate my (far more knowledgeable) friends, I stepped through the looking glass. It took me two years to make the championship game and three to win the league. I still have fond memories of Team DukeBasketball—so named because the owner I was up against in the finals was an ardent Jayhawks fan. It wasn’t as strong a roster as Gerhart of Gold, but it had more spunk.

Along the way, I turned from a casual Vikings fan to a dedicated one, and then an unreasonably committed one in the 2009 season.

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There is an old saying: “If you can’t beat ‘em, trick them into joining you.”

Or something like that.

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been neglectful of my duties here at VT of late.  I have all the normal excuses you’ve all heard from me before, and I won’t rehash them all right now, but I fear that life simply does not allow me the time to devote to writing that it used to.  This impacts the quantity, consistency, and quality of the work you all read on our pages.  Quite some time ago, I determined that this was unacceptable and something would have to change.

Talking about my gloomy forecast for our site with my trustee cohort, Brett, he said something to me this winter that stuck with me for quite some time.

“We need our own Arif,” he told me.

Brett was referring to powerhouse Vikings analyst Arif Hasan who most will recognize for his work over at Daily Norseman.  The statement stung a little bit, knowing full well that Arif was everything I wish I could be from a blogging standpoint.  His thoughtful, analytical, and informed onslaught of football articles had been pissing me off for quite some time… because there was no way for me to ever top it.

After our own version of Arif Hasan failed to materialize out of thin air, I decided to reach out to him, to see if he’d be interested in joining us here at Vikings Territory on a permanent basis.

He was.  And he has.

So, please join me in welcoming an incredible addition to Vikings Territory in Arif Hasan.

I am excited about the in-depth analysis and unique perspective Arif will bring to us here on a regular basis, but am also excited about what this means for the future of our site.  With Tom Pelissero no longer on the Vikings beat, I personally think we now have the best Vikings writer out there playing on our team, and that should instantly make Vikings Territory a premiere source for all things purple.

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