Thursday, September 3, 2015

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Mike Zimmer is a no-nonsense, football-first head coach. When Zimmer took over a sinking ship for the Vikings in 2014, he inherited a young team coming off a 5-10-1 record the previous year. Things changed quickly, as players bought into Zimmer’s mentality and rookies like Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr performed well in key moments.

Early Thursday morning, Zimmer addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, elaborating on his debut 7-9 season and looking ahead to 2015.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the eighth article, focusing on the cornerbacks.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backs, tight ends, fullbacks, wide outsspecialists and safeties.]

Xavier Rhodes used 2014 to vault himself into the shutdown cornerback conversation and Josh Robinson, one Bears game excluded, thrived in his role on the outside in Mike Zimmer’s defense. The way those two stepped up last year was a huge reason why the Vikings were able to jump up to the seventh ranked passing defense in the NFL.

One of last year’s big free agency acquisitions was Captain Munnerlyn, who signed on for a three year deal worth $11.25 million, but he was disappointing as a Vikings and his post-season remarks indicate he knew it.  Munnerlyn is due to have a cap hit of $3.8 million in 2015, but there would only be a $0.67 million dead cap penalty if they cut him, so it would not be a surprise if the Vikings approached Munnerlyn about taking a pay cut in exchange for job security. In fact, those talks are anticipated to take place in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine.

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“It seems entirely likely to me that the Vikings will ignore the tight end position in free agency…”

Well, it appears my free agency previews are off to a stellar start.

News broke on Wednesday afternoon that the Vikings claimed recently waived tight end Brandon Bostick, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. Bostick will be best remembered in Cheese Land as that guy that mishandled the onside kick that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to make their incredible comeback in the NFC Championship Game.

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(photo credit: vikings.com)

As Austin Belisle recently posted, Vikings GM Rick Spielman “expects” Adrian Peterson to be back with the Vikings for the 2015 season.

The front office has made additional positive statements regarding Peterson in the months since his suspension, but these comments were the strongest made thus far in regards to the running back staying in Minnesota.

And last week, Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said the following:

“Adrian has done a lot of good in this community. He’s done a lot for us on the football field as well, and of course, he’s a Minnesota Viking and we’d love to have him back […] a lot depends on the NFL and the steps he’s making on his own personal journey, but that’s where we’re at with it.’’

It’s probably safe to say that [most] Vikings fans are excited about this pretty blatant stance on Peterson’s side… but there are several other factors to consider.

Namely, if Peterson keeps the purple jersey, how much will it cost the Vikings?

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Earlier today, Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman fielded questions from the media at the NFL Scouting Combine. After publicly announcing his support for Adrian Peterson’s return this morning, Spielman addressed a range of topics, from Teddy Bridgewater’s fall in the 2014 draft to the development of Mike Zimmer’s defense.

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