Sunday, August 30, 2015

adrian peterson

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Minnesota Vikings Training Camp kicked off Saturday at Minnesota State University in Mankato, and lots of interviews took place with coaches and players alike. Head coach Mike Zimmer, entering his second season at the helm of the Viking ship, addressed the media in the afternoon.

Zimmer echoed plenty of fans’ sentiments by expressing his excitement to have the players back together and getting ready for the 2015 season.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Zimmer said, with his always-business-like demeanor. “We have a tough schedule. Hopefully we can come together as a team and accomplish some things that we want to get done.”

The sophomore coach acknowledged the benefit of having one year under his belt and an increased level of comfort not only with being a head coach but also with communication and understanding between himself and general manager Rick Spielman.

Naturally, one of the first questions directed toward Zimmer surrounded running back Adrian Peterson and his feelings on being back with the team. Zimmer met the questions with a faint air of impatience, which isn’t surprising considering the drawn-out situation.

You’d have to ask [Adrian] those questions yourself,” Zimmer said, “but as far as myself, I think it’s great for both sides. I think we’ve both expressed our opinions on everything, and like I’ve said a million times, Adrian’s always been great with me, and that’s all I care about—trying to do the best for him, and I think he feels the same way about me.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota Vikings

I’m going to take a page out of Teddy Bridgewater’s book and cool the hype on Minnesota’s favorite quarterback. While I believe Bridgewater will improve his game in 2015— both on the stat sheet and on film — he’s not going to light up fantasy football leagues week-in and week-out. If anything, Bridgewater is a solid choice as your backup quarterback, and a safety net if QB1 is injured or cannot play.

Earlier today, Brett joked he’d take Bridgewater first overall in his league, no matter what I wrote tonight. Though it’s not necessarily true, Brett’s joke is a sign of the optimism surrounding Bridgewater as training camp nears. After a Week 13-17 stretch that saw the rookie quarterback complete 72.1 percent of his passes and throw six touchdowns, that positive feeling is warranted.

Though Bridgewater’s the center of attention in Minnesota, he’s not letting the spotlight skew his opinion of the team, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

“Right now, we’re not as good as what we think,” he said. “We know that the ceiling is very high and the expectation level is very high — not only for the players, but from a coaching staff also. We know what’s being asked of us, but we have a long way to go.”

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Image Courtesy of Vikings.com - Modified

It’s time! It is time for the only camping that Andy actually likes to do. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings report to Mankato on Saturday to begin the hopefully fruitful 2015 campaign. Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) – Vikings writer at 1500 ESPN as well as BAWS on their Purple Podcast – joins the show to drop some knowledge on us before the Vikings Nation descends on the Jewel of South Central Minnesota that is Mankato.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

After yesterday’s surprise contract restructure, Adrian Peterson likely woke up today the happiest member of the Minnesota Vikings. He’ll earn $13 million guaranteed in 2015 and another $7 million guaranteed in 2016, bringing his guaranteed total to $20 million through 2017. It’s an exceptional deal for a player nearing the twilight of his career, and a deal that will keep one of the Vikings’ most important players in Minnesota for at least two more years.

Like Peterson, Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner has to be excited for the start of the season. When he joined Mike Zimmer’s staff, Turner envisioned “getting the field spread” for Peterson and creating more opportunities in the passing game and running game for the veteran. In 2009, Peterson hauled in a career-high 43 receptions, and Turner’s system will likely help the nine-year veteran eclipse that mark in 2015.

Without Peterson for the majority of the 2014 season, Turner relied on Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to carry the load. The two combined for 1,108 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on the year, with each providing a different element to the running attack. Asiata is a straight-line runner and goal line specialist, while McKinnon is the prototypical change-of-pace back, able to make plays on quick hitting run plays and passes out of the backfield.

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Committed to the future

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As announced this morning on the team’s official website, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson have mutually agreed to restructure the final three years of Peterson’s contract. Before today’s development, Peterson was set to earn $12.75 million in 2015, $14.75 million in 2016, and $16.75 million in 2017 with no guaranteed money.

During his absence from the team, Peterson took to Twitter to campaign for guaranteed contracts, and many speculated he wanted more guaranteed money from the Vikings in 2015 and beyond. With today’s news, Peterson’s wish was granted — his base salaries will likely decrease in 2015 and 2016 with more guaranteed money and a chance to earn more through incentives, per Mike Florio.

Although team policy prevents the Vikings from releasing contract details, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports disclosed some of the information:

Shortly after, Pro Football Talk released the full details on Peterson’s newly-guaranteed money, citing a “source with knowledge of the situation”. According to the report, “Peterson’s deal carries $20 million guaranteed at signing”, with part of that guaranteed for injury while the rest is fully guaranteed.

In his report, Florio suggests that the Vikings “fully guaranteed the $13 million Peterson was due to make in 2015” and made the remaining $7 million an injury-only guarantee to be paid at the commencement of the 2016 league year.

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