Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The NFL playoffs are underway and the Minnesota Vikings aren’t a part of the fun (and misery) that other teams have earned this season.  As unfortunate as that is, we here at VT are stoked to begin the offseason and all of the excitement it brings.  We have a lot of plans for these coming months, including an overhaul of the site itself which will happen soon, but some segments are here to stay.

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Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

A seventh round rookie is normally fairly expendable in today’s NFL.  Cornerback Jabari Price was looking like an exception, however, as he impressed coaching staff during training camp, preseason, and even in some very limited regular season action.

For the first time in a long time, Minnesota’s squad of corners was able to stay relatively healthy in 2014 and Price was not pressed into extensive playing time (46 defensive snaps).  He recorded 10 tackles on the season and played decently on special teams.

Almost a week ago, however, Price made a decision that could greatly impact his future with his current employers.

Price was arrested in Minnesota last Monday after testing at 0.13% blood alcohol level.  The arrest was for suspicion of DWI and has his first court appearance scheduled for February 9th.

The Vikings currently have Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Robinson, Shaun Prater, and Marcus Sherels on the depth chart with Price.  Assuming they add some legitimate talent at some point this offseason, then Price has put himself behind the eight ball in any competition for a roster spot by getting himself into off-field trouble.

Price is unlikely to be released anytime soon over this incident, but it will cast a shadow over his potential in 2015.

Photo Credit: Joe Lemke (used with permission)

Since being drafted No. 17 in the 2006 NFL Draft, Chad Greenway has been a Minnesota Viking.

In a Nov. 2012 interview, Greenway expressed that he hoped to play the entirety of his career in purple and gold:

“I certainly want to retire a Viking […] I’d love to just play it out here and be able to have an entire tenure in Minnesota.”

Two years later, Greenway’s leadership, comradery and positive attitude in the locker room continue to be an asset to the team; his contribution on the field upheld its reputation, as well. Greenway missed four games due to injuries this season; in the 12 that he started, however, the linebacker tallied 93 tackles. According to league stats, he leads the NFL since 2007, with 984 tackles.

Greenway’s loyalty to Minnesota and athleticism have not changed; but there is no denying that other things have—namely, younger, talented players making an impact on the roster. As the Vikings packed up their gear and prepared to head into the offseason, Greenway demonstrated no sense of urgency to clear out his locker.

For No. 52, there is some uncertainty if he will return to this locker room next season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Mike Zimmer had a nice and tidy post-season presser that didn’t make too many waves.

He is proud of what they’ve accomplished.  He wants to see improvement.  He is humble in front of the cameras.  He has a plan to get Cordarrelle Patterson up to snuff.  He respects Chad Greenway.  He’s taking a little time off before getting started on his 2015 preparations.

One of the unavoidable topics brought up, however, is one that will largely shape this offseason for the Minnesota Vikings and greatly impact Zimmer’s plans for 2015.

When asked about the possibility of an Adrian Peterson return next season, Zimmer stated exactly what we would expect him to state.

“Adrian was always great with me. I think he’s a good person,” Zimmer said. “I think obviously he’s a great running back, and if it works out that way and things work out and he gets his life in order — that’s the most important thing, he gets his life in order, he gets the opportunity to come back — then I will be in his corner whatever the decision is made.”

Zimmer then said some words that caught the eye of those expecting an offseason trade.

“I think he would add value to any team, to be honest with you. I think the kid’s a heck of a football player.”

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Earlier this year (December 4, before his last four games and omitting the hot streak he finished the season on) we looked at how Teddy Bridgewater compared to some of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game, as well as many former Vikings quarterbacks. Since then, Teddy had been on fire to close the season and finished the final five games with the second-highest completion rate in that time (behind Tony Romo), the seventh-highest yards per attempt, the eighth-highest passer rating and the seventh-highest adjusted yards per attempt (out of 30 quarterbacks who threw the ball at least 100 times in that span). In those five games, he ended up as Pro Football Focus’ second-highest graded quarterback, behind only Aaron Rodgers.

It’s safe to say that the statistics in the second-half of his season have buttressed those in the first half, providing Bridgewater with more statistical support in these kinds of comparisons.

As a refresher, I’ll quote the original piece to describe the methodology, then show you the updated tables:

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