Friday, September 30, 2016

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Vikings offered Mike Harris a new contract
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Offensive line play is worse than ever in the NFL, making top players a premium commodity in free agency. That’s why the Minnesota Vikings are making an early effort to bring back free agent guard Mike Harris. According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, the Vikings have offered the 27 year-old veteran a two-year, $3.5 million contract to remain with the team through 2017.

Harris was arguably the best offensive lineman in Minnesota last year, finishing the season as Pro Football Focus’s 23rd-ranked guard. He began 2015 as a reserve right tackle, but quickly made the the transition to right guard at the start of training camp. At 6’5″ and 338 pounds, Harris isn’t a natural fit at the position, but his size and strength in the trenches was critical to the success of the run game.

This offseason, he spoke to Tomasson about his desire to return to the Vikings:

“I see myself in Minnesota for the rest of my career,” Harris said. “That’s where I want to be. So hopefully we get the contract ready this weekend. I’m excited. It’s going to be a great season for the Vikings, and I want to be a part of it.”

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The NFL Draft is less than two months away! And with the Underwear Olympics done and only Pro Days left, it’s starting to get down to crunch time in the draft process. Fortunately we have our #Elite tour guide Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) of eDraft and Cold Omaha back up in the house to discuss all things draft and combine.

Also hit up Luke’s first 7-Round Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft up NOW on coldomaha.com!

All that and other “Doctson All Up In That Business” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Terence Newman Wants to Re-Sign
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press is reporting a source close to Terence Newman said the 37-year-old cornerback wants to return for another season with the Vikings.

Newman signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract before last season, and will become an unrestricted free agent on March 9. Up to this point, he has declined to say if he will retire or return for another year. If he does play in 2016, he will be the oldest defensive player in the NFL.

It’s likely the Vikings would welcome Newman back with open arms. He’s a Mike Zimmer favorite, and while he isn’t the same player he once was physically, Newman played well as a starter in 2015 and provided critical veteran leadership at corner. Ideally, he would step into a smaller role next season—similar to what we’ve seen with Chad Greenway—while Trae Waynes or another player assumes the starting job and Newman is relied on for depth and versatility.

Mike Wallace's future with the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The promise of production never materialized for Mike Wallace. Last spring, the Minnesota Vikings brought the speedster to Winter Park with the hope that he’d give Norv Turner’s offense a legitimate deep threat. But Wallace didn’t just struggle down the field; he hardly produced. Despite being targeted 72 times in 2015, Wallace caught just 39 passes for 473 yards and two touchdowns. His yards per catch totals fell to 12.1, the lowest mark of his career, and he averaged just 29.6 yards per game.

Wallace’s struggles go deeper than the receiver’s on-field abilities, though. Poor offensive line play, Teddy Bridgewater‘s nonexistent deep ball, and the emergence of Stefon Diggs limited his opportunities, especially as the deep threat he was meant to be. Now, general manager Rick Spielman faces a difficult decision on Wallace’s contract, one that’ll inform the team’s draft strategy in April.

Reports earlier this week indicate Spielman’s desire to work with Wallace on a pay cut. If Wallace stays in Minnesota at his current price, the Vikings will owe him $11.5 million at the start of the 2016 league year. And if a deal can’t be reached, Spielman can cut Wallace with no dead money; a favorable deal that makes drafting a wide receiver more realistic next month. Clearly, Spielman wants Wallace in purple and gold next season. But what about the VT team? What do they want?

If you’re in Rick Spielman’s shoes, do you bring Wallace back in 2016 or cut him in the offseason?

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No more Minnesota nice.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Following the 2012 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings were excited for what lied ahead in the future for their left tackle Matt Kalil who had just completed his first season in the league. Kalil looked impressive in his rookie season, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl and helping the Vikings clinch a berth into the playoffs.

However, the bright light that was once Kalil’s future with the Vikings has been continuously dimming since his rookie season came to an end. It still remains puzzling as to why his play has significantly decreased since that very first season he played in Minnesota.

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