Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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asher allen

Rick Spielman and his scouts have had an interesting offseason when it comes to finding depth players.  They found the CFL’s hardest hitter.  They found a point guard.  They nabbed a running back that has overcome an inability to hear.

Now, they are at it again, for better or worse.

The Vikings filled the roster spot left by Asher Allen’s sudden retirement by picking up undrafted rookie Corey Gatewood out of Stanford.

The big question here is where Gatewood will fit in.  He started six games at cornerback in 2009 but, according to 1500 ESPN, requested to be put back at his original position of receiver.  In four seasons at Stanford (he sat 2008 out) Gatewood only had two career receptions, 10 career rushing attempts, and 10 kick returns.

At corner, the 5’ 11” Gatewood contributed on defense and special teams.  He has been credited with 40 career tackles, two interceptions, and one pick was returned for a touchdown.  He has no tackles for a loss, no sacks, no forced fumbles, and no fumbles recovered, according to this stats site.

Gatewood reportedly ran a 4.44 second forty yard dash at Stanford’s pro day, and may see his best chance of sticking to the roster by impressing on special teams.

The Vikings have listed Gatewood as a cornerback on their official roster.

Earlier this offseason I predicted that cornerback Asher Allen, a 2009 third round selection out of Georgia, would not be on the opening day roster in 2012.

What I didn’t predict:  That it would be his choice.

By now, (I know, I know, I’m late on this… Happy Memorial Day everybody!) most of you have heard that Asher Allen informed the Vikings last Thursday that he will be retiring from football after having played three seasons with the team.

At age 24, the decision is a curious one, but Leslie Frazier thinks that in time Allen will explain that decision in full.  As of right now, however, both the team and the player are leaving it up to us to speculate as to the reasons why he retired.

“He’ll talk about it more at some point, but he explained to me that this was something he wanted to do. He had given it a lot of thought and that’s what he wanted to do,” Frazier said when he announced Allen’s decision on Wednesday.

With an onslaught of concussion coverage plaguing our normal enjoyment of the NFL these days, it is reasonable to suspect that Allen had worries about his life after football.  Allen has suffered two known concussions in his three year career, including one in week 15 of last season.

“Surprised. I didn’t see that coming,” admitted Frazier, “but everybody has to make decisions that are best for them.”

While I was admittedly not sold on Allen as any sort of reliable option at the corner position, he had plenty of supporters that were hopeful he would break out in 2012, and now we will never know the extent to which he could have produced on the NFL stage.

[NOTE FROM ADAM:  This is another installation of my position-by-position breakdown of the Vikings offseason.  You can click the links to view previous installments:  The Passers, The Runners, The Wide Outs, The Tight Ends, The Offensive Line, The Defensive Tackles, The Defensive Ends, and The Linebackers.]

Injuries.  Legal troubles.  Age.  Confidence.  Salary Cap numbers.  Talent.

These are all issues facing the various members of this Vikings secondary, which is why fans would just assume the team clean the slate, fire them all, and start over.

While the changes might be drastic, they probably won’t be that drastic, but things could get very interesting, especially within this group of cornerbacks that each come with their own dramatic storylines.

Let’s take a closer look.

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