Thursday, October 19, 2017

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This morning, the Vikings agreed to a one-year deal with ex-Bears cornerback Zackary Bowman. Bowman, 27, has been in the NFL for four seasons but has not been a starter for all of them. In fact, the ‘veteran’ cornerback has only started in 16 games (playing in 46 total). His best stint was during the 2009 season when he managed to grab six interceptions.

While Bowman wasn’t a starter in Chicago, that doesn’t mean he won’t be with the Vikings. With the Vikings depleted secondary, it’s likely that Bowman could see a good amount of playing time. Overall, though, this move seems to be more about adding depth at a position of need and hoping to find value in a young player (it is a minimum deal with no guaranteed money).



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Day fourteen of our Community Mock Draft saw the Dallas Cowboys select Stanford guard David DeCastro by a fairly overwhelming majority.

Up next is the “Dream Team” from Philadelphia.

Make your selection:

I always think it takes a big man to admit his mistakes.

On Sunday, Rick Spielman earned a point or two in my book by admitting that it was his mistake to sign defensive tackle Remi Ayodele following the NFL Lockout last offseason.

“That’s something where we made a mistake,” Spielman said, “and I’ll put that on me making a mistake, as far as making sure that the players that we sign fit the scheme that we’re trying to run.”

Ayodele was cut by the Vikings on March 21st, only hours after the NFL announced its plan to punish the New Orleans Saints and management involved in the “BountyGate” scandal.  Ayodele, of course, was a member of the Saints during the time under scrutiny, placed a very questionable hit on Brett Favre during the 2009 NFC Championship Game, and may face a suspension as a result.

Spielman, however, says that “BountyGate” had nothing to do with the decision to release him and instead was a result of him not fitting the scheme.

“It had nothing to do with the other circumstances,” Spielman said of Ayodele’s release.  “This was purely based on a decision that didn’t live up to the billing and how he would fit into the scheme like we thought he would. Then, when we were able to sign Letroy back and Fred Evans back, we felt those guys were a better fit in what we were trying to do defensively than what Remi was for us last year.”

It was reported last season that it was Spielman’s decision to bring in Ayodele while Head Coach Leslie Frazier preferred to see long-time Viking Pat Williams return.  Ayodele was ultimately signed to a three year deal worth up to $9 million.

Just prior to Ayodele’s release, the Vikings re-signed Letroy Guion and Fred Evans and hope to see them take command of the nose tackle position moving forward.

It is inevitable that an NFL General Manager is going to make mistakes.  It is a rarity to hear one actually admit to it.  The best thing Spielman can do, however, is to learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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The power players within the NFL have converged on Florida this weekend for the NFL’s meetings and it should make for a news filled week.

Aside from talks of cheaters (Saints), more cheaters (Cowboys and Redskins), and rule changes we can expect to hear word in the next couple days regarding compensatory draft picks.

The picks are expected to be awarded Monday or Tuesday and most media outlets, and Rick Spielman himself, have long predicted that the Vikings will receive two fourth round picks for letting Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards go last offseason.

Since early December, I have instead been predicting the Vikings will actually receive three compensatory picks from the convoluted formula:  A fourth, a sixth, and a seventh rounder.

Soon, we should find out the real answer.

Next year, it isn’t looking likely that the Vikings will receive any compensatory draft picks.  Their unrestricted free agents are not in high demand and they have already signed tight end John Carlson to a substantial contract.  Steve Hutchinson and Cedric Griffin do not count in the Vikings favor, as they were released instead of seeing their contracts expire.

With long-time starter E.J. Henderson, the Vikings are leaving the door open to his return, but it seems more likely they move on.  In an offseason where free agent linebackers are, for some reason, getting treated like they have less value than punters, the Vikings have kept their distance from any of them.

One reason for that is that they have high hopes for third year player Jasper Brinkley.

Brinkley is 26 years old and missed all of 2011 when he had hip surgery in August.  He had played in all 32 games of the previous seasons, including taking Henderson’s place in 2009 following the leg injury that ended his season.

“When (Brinkley) did step in for E.J., he continued to get better and really started playing well — especially as we went through the playoffs and the more experience he got,” Spielman said from the NFL’s owner meetings.

“He started off very well last year (in training camp) and it’s a shame he got his hip hurt,” Spielman continued, “but we’ve got a lot of high expectations for Jasper coming back.”

Henderson, age 31, does not seem to fit into Spielman’s youth movement strategy employed this offseason and the most likely scenario is that Brinkley’s main source of competition will come from the 2012 NFL Draft.

For now, consider starting middle linebacker Brinkley’s job to lose.

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