Sunday, March 29, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "Captain Munnerlyn"

Captain Munnerlyn

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings head into 2015 with one of the league’s best young cornerbacks, but still lack adequate depth at the position —depth which may be addressed late in the NFL Draft.

Xavier Rhodes blossomed in his sophomore season last year, finishing with 18 pass breakups and his first career interception. In Mike Zimmer’s defense, he showed the ability to shadow receivers like Calvin Johnson and Alshon Jeffery while cutting down on “grabby” man coverage techniques.

On the other side of the field, Captain Munnerlyn suffered through his worst season in the NFL. As a free agent signing from the Carolina Panthers in 2014, the 5’9″, 195-pound Munnerlyn was expected to step in and fill a pressing need opposite Xavier Rhodes. Although he finished the season with 2 interceptions, Munnerlyn struggled on the outside, and Zimmer may look to make him a pure slot corner in 2015.

“He has the chance to fall into the draft’s middle rounds and surprise many NFL teams.”

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Today marks the opening of the three-day opening for “legal” tampering. Deals are starting to be made at a consistent pace and Vikings action is sure to be picking up soon.

Over the last couple of months we here at VT have put together some previews of each position that includes current roster situations, players potentially departing from the team this offseason, and look at who might be on the market to bring aboard and help get this team into the playoffs.

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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.

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