Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "Captain Munnerlyn"

Captain Munnerlyn

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I already essentially wrote this article last May, but since the NFL is getting closer to awarding 32 compensatory draft picks to the eligible franchises, I thought I’d take the opportunity to remind you not to get your hopes up.

The NFL has a highly complex and secretive formula it uses to award 32 extra draft picks to franchises just before the Draft takes place. The picks are awarded to teams that lost more players to free agency than they gained. They can be anywhere from third to seventh round picks which is decided on a number of factors like the age, salary, and performances of the free agents each team let leave in free agency and those that they signed.

In May, I predicted that the Vikings would be awarded one seventh round draft pick. Their potential haul was cancelled out due, in large part, to the signings of Linval Joseph, Captain Munnerlyn, and Corey Wootton.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note:  This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period.  This is the eighth article, focusing on the cornerbacks.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backs, tight ends, fullbacks, wide outsspecialists and safeties.]

Xavier Rhodes used 2014 to vault himself into the shutdown cornerback conversation and Josh Robinson, one Bears game excluded, thrived in his role on the outside in Mike Zimmer’s defense. The way those two stepped up last year was a huge reason why the Vikings were able to jump up to the seventh ranked passing defense in the NFL.

One of last year’s big free agency acquisitions was Captain Munnerlyn, who signed on for a three year deal worth $11.25 million, but he was disappointing as a Vikings and his post-season remarks indicate he knew it.  Munnerlyn is due to have a cap hit of $3.8 million in 2015, but there would only be a $0.67 million dead cap penalty if they cut him, so it would not be a surprise if the Vikings approached Munnerlyn about taking a pay cut in exchange for job security. In fact, those talks are anticipated to take place in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine.

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Week 7 Bills 2014 by Matt Engstrom
Week 7 Bills 2014 by Matt Engstrom

Many think the Vikings could use the 2015 NFL Draft to bolster the depth chart at wide receiver, perhaps as early as in the first round, but there is always the possibility they get a jump start.

They flirted with CFL star wide out Duron Carter already this offseason, and the next free agency rumor also involves a wide out.

Mike Williams (6′ 2″ and 212 pounds) has had an up and down career in his first five NFL seasons.  He has twice came within 50 yards of the 1,000 yard mark and posted 11 touchdowns as a rookie. He was expected to bring continued success to Buffalo last season, but 2015 couldn’t have gone much worse for him.

Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

A seventh round rookie is normally fairly expendable in today’s NFL.  Cornerback Jabari Price was looking like an exception, however, as he impressed coaching staff during training camp, preseason, and even in some very limited regular season action.

For the first time in a long time, Minnesota’s squad of corners was able to stay relatively healthy in 2014 and Price was not pressed into extensive playing time (46 defensive snaps).  He recorded 10 tackles on the season and played decently on special teams.

Almost a week ago, however, Price made a decision that could greatly impact his future with his current employers.

Price was arrested in Minnesota last Monday after testing at 0.13% blood alcohol level.  The arrest was for suspicion of DWI and has his first court appearance scheduled for February 9th.

The Vikings currently have Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Robinson, Shaun Prater, and Marcus Sherels on the depth chart with Price.  Assuming they add some legitimate talent at some point this offseason, then Price has put himself behind the eight ball in any competition for a roster spot by getting himself into off-field trouble.

Price is unlikely to be released anytime soon over this incident, but it will cast a shadow over his potential in 2015.

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While not as difficult as last week, it still seems somewhat silly to try and select a highlight player from a game that featured so much bad.

Alas, we will try. For the second straight week, the Vikings suffered a difficult loss. Despite holding a Saints offense that is historically prolific at home to 20 points, the Vikings offense could not muster anything other than three field goals for 9 points. The biggest news from the game is that the Teddy Bridgewater era has officially begun. After Matt Cassel suffered multiple fractured bones in his foot during a scramble in the second quarter, Bridgewater was forced to take control of a struggling Vikings offense and attempt a comeback on the road in the Superdome. All things considered, he performed well and showed a lot of poise against a defense that smelled blood in the water and pressured the rookie hard in his first start.

I know who I’d pick for the Player of the Game, but we’ll leave the decision up to you. Vote below for who you feel deserves the “game ball.”

Harrison Smith: #22 showed once again that he is a special talent and could very well be the best player on the Vikings current starting roster. He had multiple pass break ups, some great tackles and generally just seemed to be all over the field. Unfortunately, there was one PBU that he most definitely should have taken the other way but couldn’t bring it in. Still, another great game from the Vikings young safety.

Teddy Bridgewater: The future is now. As far as I’m concerned the rest of this season is about watching one #5 take snaps under center. The situation was less than ideal, our offensive line looked like a sieve, our receivers couldn’t get any separation, our running game was atrocious, and yet, Bridgewater stood in the pocket (or ran from it) and looked like he belonged there. Not much more you could ask from a rookie QB in his first regular season action in the NFL. Teddy ended the game 12/20 for 150 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions and ran for 27 yards on 6 attempts.

Anthony Barr: The rookie linebacker registered 2 tackles, 3 assists and 1 sack (his NFL career first) in this game. Not a stat line that’s going to knock anyone over but, in general, Anthony Barr looked good during today’s game. He’s been better than expected in his coverage and has shown flashes of greatness where his athleticism allows him to shine. Barr most definitely has some growing to do but has shown why he was worthy of a first round selection so far. (Of course, he could always pull a Kalil…)

Captain Munnerlyn: For sacking the quarterback of the cheatin’ Saints (even if it did result in a horrible call that very well could have cost the Vikings the game).

Cordarrelle Patterson: This is a reach. But, there’s still that feeling you get that he could go all the way anytime he touches the ball. So, Norv Turner, let Patterson touch the ball more! Patterson had 5 touches in this game: 4 receptions and 1 disastrous end around for a total of 54 yards. As far as I’m concerned, that’s about 10 touches too few. (Can we bring back the Randy Ratio? But, you know, for Patterson?)

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