Wednesday, June 29, 2016

andrew sendejo

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Vikings SS Michael Griffin
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings were supposed to sign George Iloka in free agency. When general manager Rick Spielman had his shot at the Bengals’ star strong safety and passed, fans groaned. “But Harrison Smith needs a star player next to him,” they said. “We can’t survive another year with Andrew Sendejo back there,” they complained.

It was a surprising turn of events for the Vikings, who used the free agency period to shore up deficiencies along the offensive line and re-sign key veterans; one of those being Sendejo. The oft-criticized, muscle-bound safety has started 26 games for the Vikings since 2013 and returned on a four-year, $16 million contract this offseason.

He joined Antone Exum and Anthony Harris on the depth chart, leaving Smith without his long-sought-after partner in crime. Spielman simultaneously addressed the scarcity at the position and raised eyebrows by signing Michael Griffin, a nine-year veteran, off the street. Griffin,  who’d spent his entire career with the Tennessee Titans, was released after the 2015 season and didn’t have a ‘home’ prior to March.

But Spielman took a chance, and now, the 31-year-old veteran has a real shot at starting opposite Smith this season. While he’s not the answer at the position, Griffin is a proven commodity with the specific skill set and experience to do two things for the Vikings: create competition at strong safety and open the playbook for the limitless Smith.

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VT QOTW

Bold Vikings Predictions for the 2016 Season
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With the news cycle at an offseason low, it’s time to start thinking big. The Minnesota Vikings begin organized team activities (OTAs) next week, marking the high-point in what’s been a frustratingly quiet period since the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft.

We’re tired of waiting for the action to begin, though; pull out the crystal balls and put on your thinking caps. The Vikings Territory team — and a special guest — are sharing their bold predictions for the 2016 season. Will Rick Spielman make a surprising trade? Does Moritz Böhringer crack the starting lineup? Read after the jump and see what we think!

What’s your way-too-early bold prediction for the 2016 season?

VT QOTW

2016 NFL Draft is Finally Here
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The long hiatus from football is finally over, and in a little under five hours, Roger Goodell will take the stage in Chicago to kick off the 2016 NFL Draft. Fans have waited months for this night, when the 32 NFL franchises jostle, negotiate, and maneuver their way through the first round. Trades will be made, teams will reach for players, and picks will shock the football world — it’s just the cyclical nature of the draft.

Some general managers will surprise, but others, like the Minnesota Vikings’ Rick Spielman, will likely make the most of their limited draft picks. Spielman has an opportunity to make a splash — like drafting a top-tier wide receiver — with the 23rd-overall selection, but he also has seven other picks at his disposal.

At Vikings Territory, we’ve focused on the pick he’ll make tonight, not the players Spielman could draft on Friday and Saturday. So today, we’re each looking ahead and picking one player we believe the Vikings will select at some point this weekend.

Who is one player the Vikings will select in the 2016 draft?

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The Minnesota Vikings went into this offseason widely believed to be in need of some safety help across from Harrison Smith. Veteran safety Michael Griffin appears to be in the mix to fill that role.

Despite the impressive contract numbers they gave 2015 Andrew Sendejo a few days ago, everyone believed they would seek more outside help via free agency or the NFL Draft. Griffin (age 31) appears to be signing that aims to bring more serious competition to Mankato after the Vikings missed out on blue chip possibility George Iloka.

 

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