Monday, February 8, 2016

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[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 12th article, focusing on the outside linebackers. In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, wide outs, specialists, safeties, cornerbacks, defensive ends, and defensive tackle/nose tackle.]

In 2014 Mike Zimmer stamped his mark on the Minnesota Vikings defense by getting quick development and quality production from his young outside linebackers Anthony Barr and Gerald Hodges.

Barr’s rookie season started with the Vikings first round pick being in the discussion for NFL defensive rookie of the year honors, unfortunately a knee injury in the week 11 contest with the Chicago Bears stymied his fast start in the NFL.

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Earlier today, embattled Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson met with head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman at his home in Houston, Texas. Shortly after the meeting concluded, Adrian Peterson released this statement, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson:

“I appreciate Rick [Spielman] and Coach [Mike] Zimmer coming down to see me today. We had a great dialogue and they were able to understand where I was coming from and concerns my family and I still have. We respect each other and hopefully the situation can pan out so that everyone involved is content.”

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The NFL is a business, plain and simple. Every Sunday from early September to February, fans have the opportunity to watch their favorite players and teams compete on football’s grandest stage. But the machinations that take place behind closed doors, in executive offices, and away from the cameras are the engines that drive the ever-popular $6-billion machine.

Loyalty has become an abstract concept in the age of $100 million quarterbacks — are players loyal to their franchises or committed to the prospects of a new contract? It’s difficult to blame players for following the money; on one hand, this is their livelihood, an increasingly-lucrative opportunity that injuries can snatch away in the blink of an eye. On the other, fans expect their favorite players, their superstars, to be “lifers” and stick with a team for the duration of their careers.

2015 Scouting Report Amari Cooper
[Editor’s note: This is another installment in a series we will be running at Vikings Territory providing scouting reports for players the Vikings could potentially target in the 2015 Draft. All scouting reports are provided in partnership with Luke Inman and You can find all of our previous scouting reports here. Continue reading below to learn more about Amari Cooper who was the heavy favorite to be the first wide receiver drafted until the recent rise of Kevin White.]

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UPDATE2: Alex Marvez at Fox Sports has the terms of the deal:

Moving up from the 6th round into the 5th, plus gaining a 7th for Matt Cassel equates to about 28 points on the trade value chart (the Buffalo Bills have the first pick in the 5th round), or the equivalent of a late fifth-round pick. If one includes the discount to the future 7th, the value drops by about three or four points, and the total package is closer to a high sixth-round pick.

Original story below:


The Vikings have announced that they have agreed to trade quarterback Matt Cassel to the Buffalo Bills for an undisclosed draft pick. The trade will execute on March 10, the beginning of the new league year, at 4PM EST. Matt Cassel started 9 games for the Minnesota Vikings, and recorded a passer rating of 78.1 with the Minnesota Vikings and an adjusted net yards per attempt of 5.2. The Buffalo Bills, who do not have a first-round pick, have been looking for a quarterback to replace Kyle Orton after Orton’s retirement, either as a backup or (more likely) as a starter. I cannot begin to guess what the trade value of a veteran borderline backup/starter quarterback is, but the Vikings likely got a good value for someone that was being paid slightly more than a backup. Cassel would have been useful to keep on the roster, but this solidifies head coach Mike Zimmer’s comments made at the combine that they will be looking for a developmental backup quarterback late in the draft. Matt Cassel will be able to play the team that drafted him, the New England Patriots, twice a year and will reunite with Marqueis Gray, who played tight end for the Vikings for a short period of time. UPDATE: The Minnesota Vikings have seemingly packaged a pick with Matt Cassel and may receive two draft picks in return, according to Albert Breer and Andrew Krammer

The Buffalo Bills website has the following press release active as of 11:44 AM CST:

The Buffalo Bills are making it clear they’re not going to rely on free agency to fill their positional needs on offense. Buffalo made a move to address the quarterback position Wednesday. The Bills agreed to terms on a trade with the Minnesota Vikings that will send two undisclosed draft choices to Minnesota in exchange for QB Matt Cassel and an undisclosed draft pick.

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Following the trade the Bills still have six draft choices for the upcoming 2015 NFL draft.

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