Friday, September 30, 2016

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Football is back in Minnesota! Well, sort of.

Players made their way into the Vikings training camp facilities today at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Plenty of buzz was in the air as Minnesota prepares to repeat as NFC North division title holders in 2016.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

On Monday morning, it was announced that longtime Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Phil Loadholt had decided to retire. With his retirement, Loadholt’s spot on the Vikings roster is presumably vacant.

Minnesota now has three openings on their roster before their total number reaches the NFL’s 90-man limit. The Vikings can decide to leave those spots empty before they start training camp later this week, but that would not be any fun would it?

Surprisingly enough, there are still plenty of talented free-agents available that could produce for Minnesota during the 2016 season.

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Madden 17 Rankings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If you’re like me, you shell out $50 or $60 each year for EA Sports’ latest and greatest Madden video game. It’s always a blast to play as the Minnesota Vikings, challenge other players online, and come out victorious. No other game allows you to control your favorite team, and with today’s systems and technology, the experience is more lifelike than ever.

According to many players, though, the ratings are a different story. Around this time each year, the developers at EA Sports begin releasing player ratings and rankings. Earlier this week, it was the rookies, the quarterbacks, and the running backs. They’ll continue this countdown until the game releases in August, and players will continue arguing their place in the virtual hierarchy.

Rookies always rank themselves higher than they fall on the list despite the fact that they’ve yet to play a down in the NFL. Veterans, on the other hand, usually end up where they should; some higher, some lower than the previous year. With the first three lists available to the sports and gaming world, it’s time to see where a couple of Vikings landed in Madden’s ratings system.

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VT QOTW

Vikings' most popular player
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With U.S. Bank Stadium just days from opening its doors and the Minnesota Vikings less than a week from training camp, it’s clear this team is set for some major changes. The same can be said for the roster, which will surely shift in the coming months.

As the team transitions into a new era of Vikings football, so do its players, many of whom have been a part of the franchise for years. There’s Adrian Peterson, longtime face of the Vikings. There’s also Chad Greenway, Minnesota’s longest-tenured defender and hometown hero.

But in their wake lie up-and-comers, like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater or the über talented Anthony Barr. Their surge to the forefront of the franchise marks another shift for the Vikings; a changing of the (popularity) guard. After the jump, we try to determine who’s the most popular Viking — player or coach — heading into the 2016 season.

Heading into 2016, who is the Vikings’ most popular player?

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