Tuesday, May 31, 2016

adam thielen

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Kendricks and Rhodes to Host Youth Football Camp
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and his family launched the Mike Zimmer Foundation earlier this year, they sought to better the lives of children in need. The foundation is already making a difference for countless families, and now, Zimmer’s players are following his lead.

From June 21-24, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and linebacker Eric Kendricks will host an overnight football camp at the University of St. Thomas. They’ll teach both offensive and defensive fundamentals to about 100 players, working on everything from backpedals to proper tackling technique.

The Sports International Football Camp gives Vikings like Rhodes and Kendricks a chance to touch the local community and create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for aspiring players. “I am extremely excited about my football camp this summer and cannot wait to start training these young athletes,”  Rhodes said earlier this year.

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German wide receiver phenom Moritz Boehringer

The team at Vikings Territory has been busy working to get to know each of our newest Vikings draft selections, and this week we will give you a chance to learn everything we know about these players through our reintroduction of the “Welcome to the Big Show” series. Next up is German wide receiver phenom Moritz Boehringer.

ATTRIBUTES

HEIGHT: 6′ 4″

WEIGHT: 227 pounds

ARM LENGTH: 34.5 inches

HANDS: 10.25 inches

PRO DAY RESULTS

40-YARD DASH: 4.43 seconds

BENCH PRESS: 17 repetitions (of 225 pounds)

VERTICAL JUMP: 39 inches

BROAD JUMP: 10 feet, 11 inches

20-YARD SHORT SHUTTLE: 4.10 seconds

3-CONE: 6.65 seconds

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings entered the offseason with two exclusive rights free agents: Adam Thielen and Carter Bykowski.

Players designated with the “ERFA” status have no choice but to play another season for their former team if that team wants to retain them at a set price. Well, unless they want to retire from the NFL, that is.

The Vikings have retained the services of both of these guys as of Monday afternoon, according to a press release distributed by the team.

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?

VT Offseason Plan, Free Agency

Introduction

[In part two of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth free agency plan for the Minnesota Vikings. Part 1.]

Rick Spielman’s job with the Minnesota Vikings isn’t easy. In reality, any general manager’s job is a challenge. As the highest-ranking member of the team’s personnel department, Spielman is not only responsible for hiring coaches and staff members, but for building and tweaking a competitive roster each season.

His duties require year-round coordination and planning, all of which come to a head between February and April. It’s then that Spielman and his front office must finalize their college scouting, address the mad-dash that is free agency, and find new talent through the annual NFL Draft. And he does all this with a clear vision in mind, one he’s continued to develop in his five years as general manager.

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