Saturday, August 19, 2017

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Minnesota Vikings re-sign Rhett Ellison
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Rhett Ellison flirted with the free agent market, but in the end, found his way home to the Minnesota Vikings. As announced on the team’s official website, the fifth-year tight end re-signed with the Vikings on Tuesday morning. The Vikings also made the Marcus Sherels re-signing official, as the punt returner and special teams ace reportedly returned to the team late last week after visiting the New York Jets.

Sherels signed a two-year, $4 million ($1.5 million guaranteed) deal to remain in Minnesota, and he’ll have zero guaranteed money after the 2016 season. Ellison, who is recovering from a torn patellar tendon suffered in Week 17 last year, reportedly signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract.

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Andre Smith leaves Minnesota
Image courtesy of Wikimedia

The Minnesota Vikings are in the hunt for a possible starting right tackle, pulling out all the stops to lure free agents to Winter Park. A popular tactic is to take potential Vikings to Manny’s Steakhouse, a move the front office used last night when they wined and dined free agent right tackle Andre Smith at the upscale restaurant.

Despite the Prime beef and today’s scheduled tour of US Bank Stadium, Smith left Minnesota without a deal in place. According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, his looming decision “is between the Vikings and the Cardinals,” and right now, it’s an “even” race between the up-and-coming NFC teams.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

2012 third round cornerback Josh Robinson entered the 2015 offseason as a favorite to start within Mike Zimmer’s defense, but a year later he is exiting Minnesota and the Vikings are said to have not put up much of a fight.

Robinson is the first Vikings unrestricted free agent to leave for another team this offseason, as reports have him signing a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.

Robinson flashed as a rookie, had a terrible season in 2013 when Leslie Frazier forced him to play in the slot, and then rebounded nicely playing outside in Mike Zimmer’s 2014 season (Alshon Jeffery aside). His 2015 season was derailed by an offseason pectoral injury and the more than one local beat writer has suggested the Vikings never intended to bring him back once his contract expired.

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Following the rumblings yesterday that the Vikings have shown interest in both Reuben Randle and Mike Wallace, today brought this nugget from ESPN’s Ben Goessling:

Of course, the tweet mentions the Raiders are trying hard to keep Holmes, and this note from veteran NFL reporter Bill Williamson seems to indicate they have the inside track:

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Vikings Officially Have Eight Draft Picks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first week of free agency is over, meaning the 2016 NFL Draft order is officially set. Rick Spielman knows exactly how many “bullets” he’ll have come April, creating a clear, seven-round roadmap for the Minnesota Vikings.

On Friday afternoon, the league awarded compensatory picks to multiple franchises. The Vikings weren’t one of those teams, as they’ve put a focus on retaining players currently on the roster. Thus, Minnesota officially has eight picks to use in next month’s NFL Draft. They are, as follows:

First round: 23rd overall
Second round: 54th overall
Third round: 86th overall
Fourth round: 121st overall
Fifth round: 160th overall
Sixth round: 198th overall
Seventh round: 240th overall
Seventh round: 244th overall

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