Thursday, March 23, 2017

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Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson

The inevitable has finally come to pass (but not pass block). The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings have declined to pick up the $18 million option for Adrian Peterson in 2017. General manager Rick Spielman was adamant that the Vikings still would like to re-sign the soon to be 32-year old running back in free agency and Adrian has said the door for a return is not closed, but the die is cast and money talks. I’ll elaborate where I think he plays in 2017, deconstruct the Spielman press conference at the NFL Combine from Wednesday, and zoom through some other Purple news and notes.

All that and more “Willie Beavers and TJ Clemmings are going to be in Training Camp” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An AMG Production

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Welcome to the next installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: the running backs. Check out our other primers on tight ends, defensive ends, cornerbacks, safetiesquarterbacks, wideouts, and defensive tackles.

Ah yes, here we are. The inevitable departure of Adrian Peterson has happened, and we can take a clear look at the Vikings running back situation and what to do about it.

LAST SEASON

It wasn’t good. The Vikings were dead last in the league in rushing last year, and while much of that can (and should) be attributed to the floundering offensive line play, none of the backs did much to inspire hope, either.

Peterson only played in three games due to injury, rushing 37 times for 72 yards—a putrid 1.9-yard average. While we’ll fondly remember the AP glory days—he is, without a doubt, one of the greatest players in franchise history—his legendary burst has mellowed, his injuries have begun to pile up, and his cost is most likely too high for a return. The fanbase is ready to move on, and you get the feeling Adrian is, too. It would be surprising if the Vikings re-signed him.

The absence of Peterson thrust Jerick McKinnon into the lead role in 2016, finally giving us the long look at the shifty back many fans had anxiously awaited. It went…fine. McKinnon carried the ball 159 times for 539 yards (3.4 YPC) and two touchdowns, and also had 43 catches for 255 yards and another two TDs. Again, it’s difficult for any runner to perform well without holes to run through—the YPC average was by far the lowest of his career—but McKinnon never really displayed the electrifying ability we hoped he possessed. It may still be in there, but calls for McKinnon to receive more touches have temporarily been silenced.

The Road to 50 — About the Labor Episode 47

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald discuss everything from Sharrif Floyd’s ominous future with the Minnesota Vikings to the savagery of putting peas on a pizza. In between the guys celebrate the release of Adrian Peterson, review a handful of NFL combine weigh-ins and answer a pair of open-ended questions. Episode 47 also shines a light on Drew not knowing what a pear is and a bit of a twist to the end of the show. The boys are back, and they’re cookin’ with gas now, folks.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • The guys trash Adrian Peterson one final time for old time’s sake
  • Drew doesn’t seem to know what a pear is?
  • Sharrif Floyd: Comin’ Back or Gettin’ Gone?
  • Reviewing a handful of prospects’ Combine weigh-ins
  • Two fantastic open-ended questions are answered thoroughly
  • BJ and Drew announce what about their podcast game they will be giving up for Lent
  • Drew channels his inner Veronica Corningstone

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Welcome to the next installment in the Vikings Free Agency Primer Series: Interior Defensive Line. Check out our other primers on QuarterbacksWide Receivers, Tight Ends, Defensive Ends, Cornerbacks and Safeties!

It is officially March, which means you have survived another month without Minnesota Vikings football; give yourself a pat on the back. More importantly, however, the turn of the month signifies that NFL free agency is right around the corner.

One week from today Adam Schefter will be blowing up your Twitter feed, ESPN will be pumping instant-reaction articles and countless football fans across the United States will be complaining about a decision their favorite team made. And that, my friends, is what makes professional football king of the world.

Rick Spielman and the Vikings are set to begin a critically important free agency period on March 9th (Bookmark this Link!). Minnesota has few holes across its depth chart, but the weaknesses Mike Zimmer’s club will aim to address are quite sizable, to put it kindly.Finding an offensive lineman or five is atop the Vikings’ to-do list, Adrian Peterson’s departure lends reason to running back representing a position of need

Finding an offensive lineman or five is atop the Vikings’ to-do list, Adrian Peterson’s departure lends reason to running back representing a position of need, the unresolved futures of Terence Newman and Captain Munnerlyn has created a bit of a stir and questions marks at linebacker have garnered headlines, but what about the interior defensive line positions?

The answer to this question largely keys on the health of one man: 2013 No. 23 overall pick Sharrif Floyd.

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Improving the OL a top priority

T.J. Clemmings is the only Minnesota Vikings tackle under contract heading into free agency. Matt Kalil, Andre Smith, Jake Long, and Jeremiah Sirles—the rotation of subpar 2016 starters—are all set to hit the open market next week. Some will become restricted free agents, others exclusive rights, and a few unrestricted, but one thing remains true: the Vikings are lacking any sustainability at a position critical to long-term success.

That’s a problem.

Even if general manager Rick Spielman were to retain their talents, he’d still enter 2017 with arguably the league’s worst rotation of tackles. Fortunately, the Vikings are flush with cash, thanks in large part to the decision to forego Adrian Peterson’s future contract option.

The NFLPA also did the Vikings—and the rest of the NFL—a favor by raising the salary cap to $167 million. An increase of seven percent over the 2016 figure gives Spielman nearly $38 million to spend on premier tackles, running backs, and other positions of need — if he so chooses.

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