Tuesday, September 1, 2015

chase ford

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Carl: Josh Thomas, CB
When the Vikings agreed to terms with Josh Thomas on July 24, I didn’t think he had much of a chance to make the 53-man roster. After a strong camp and a great showing against the Raiders (six tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception), Thomas is making a case that he belongs on this football team. With Josh Robinson on the PUP, Jabari Price looking at a two-game suspension and Stefon Diggs flashing as the real deal for punt returner (sorry Marcus Sherels), Thomas might be earning more than just a short-term look. With 10 starts under his belt with the Carolina Panthers, the 2011 fifth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys may not be a “major” surprise at this point, but he is peaking at the right time and earns my pick to make the cut.

Brent: Chase Ford, TE
Going out on an absolute limb here. I realize it seems crazy to carry four tight ends — but I wonder if the Vikings choose to carry an extra tight end in place of a fullback. As I’ve noted in my piece projecting the final 53-man roster, I would value Ford’s receiving abilities more than I would Line’s lead blocking. There are a variety of reasons for this, but I like the opportunity to run the offense in more 3 WR sets without a lead blocker, and Rudolph’s injury history leaves me wanting another receiving tight end.  Additionally, Ellison’s and Pruitt’s ability to fill in as a lead blocker if needed ensures the Vikings don’t need to be forced to carry a fullback.

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Cris Carter spits some honest truth, Blair Walsh continues to be the problem no one wants to talk about, and I teach Di Murphy the origin of “Bye Felicia” on this Wednesday edition of Purple FTW! Also, the episode turned into a Night Ranger tribute episode…

Other “Adrian’s Wilt Chamberlain, Not Lebron” Talkers Include
• Cris Carter’s “Have a fall guy” advice is… Good?
• Blair Walsh needs to get his stuff together
• Debut: The Gerald Hodges Factor
• Adrian is not LeBron
• Teddy to Charles Johnson is an important connection
• Chase Ford balled in MyCole’s absence (Rekindling my love for him)
• Cordarrelle is worthless at this point
• Booing Ponder is like talking smack about your ex when you’re dating Kate Upton
• Trading down in 2012 from 3 to 4 netted us: Jarius Wright and…. BLANTON
• Teddy wants to complete 70% of his passes
• Shorter preseason? Nah
• Randy Moss comeback?
• Why wide receivers never know when to hang em up.
• Di and I breakdown my Vikings 53-man Roster Projection
• If Captain doesn’t listen to Jerry Gray & Mike Zimmer… No
• It’s over, Mike Mauti
• I like Brian Robison again…
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All that and other “Forever All Over Again, Chase Ford” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings continue their dominance over every preseason foe put in front of them… The Purple prevailed over the Oakland Raiders 20-16 Saturday night at The Bank in a game that featured bad weather, a stoppage of play, and Blair Walsh taking 10 points off the dinner table.

Other “At Least Blair Walsh Got Paid” Talkers Include
• Mike Zimmer’s 7-0 preseason record means nada
• Adrian Thinks he’s LeBron James
• I’m happy people didn’t boo Ponder
• Streaking during a rain delay is weaksauce & shouldn’t count
• Blair Walsh needs to get it together
• TJ Clemmings did not have a good time…
• Matt Kalil got a confidence builder, keeping Khalil Mack in check
• Joe Berger is valuable
• Teddy Has Vision Like Steve Jobs
• Good to get Charles Johnson going
• Where is Mike Wallace?
• McKinnon hasn’t looked great & Asiata hasn’t been… Terrible?
• Chase Ford lives!
• What the heck’s going on at middle linebacker?
• Marcus Sherels is all-around valuable & Stefon Diggs is learning
• Brian Peters is quickly becoming my new favorite
• The Weekly Referendum on Trae Waynes
• JUSTIN TRATTOU NEEDS TO MAKE THE 53 OR I WILL GO ON A HUNGER STRIKE
• Cordarrelle didn’t know where to line up on the spike play…
• The Christian Ponder-Trent Richardson Read Option aka Musgrave’s Revenge
• Support the show by telling a friend & bookmarking us on Amazon!

All that and other “I wanna hang with Everson” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Kyle Rudolph is broken.

He’s missed 16 games in four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, and before that, 9 in three seasons at Notre Dame. In 2013, it was a broken left foot. In 2014, it was a combination of freak injuries, from torn abdominal muscles to an MCL strain.

In a March phone interview with Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press, Rudolph expressed his frustration with the nagging injuries:

“I’d like to think no one in the league works harder than I do to stay healthy and take care of my body, but the bottom line is I haven’t been, and the only way to get rid of those questions is to play 16 games.”

After signing a five-year contract extension worth up to $40 million in the 2014 offseason, Rudolph failed to live up to expensive expectations — his $19.4 million in guaranteed money made him the second-highest paid tight end in the league behind Jimmy Graham. Even after shedding 16 pounds and getting faster in preparation for Norv Turner’s Air Coryell offense, Rudolph spent more time on the sidelines than in the end zone, missing almost half of the Vikings’ games last season.

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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 fourth article, focusing on the tight ends.  In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterback preview hererunning backs are here, and the fullbacks are here.]

In theory, the Vikings have their tight end depth chart pretty much set.  They have the powerful veteran in Kyle Rudolph, the semi-proven backup in Chase Ford, and the journeyman blocker in Rhett Ellison.  They also have some camp fodder in Ryan Otten.

Rudolph just signed a huge deal that runs through 2018 and is highly unlikely to go anywhere.  Ford is entering a contract year, but is inexpensive and likely to be a restricted free agent in 2016, so there is no real reason to actively oust him from the Vikings roster.

Ellison is also fairly cheap, with a 2015 cap hit of $735,146, and appears like a guy the Vikings want to lock up for the long-term.  While unspectacular within the offense, Ellison is a great blocking tight end and solid special teams player.

The Vikings seem highly unlikely to spend heavily on the tight end position this offseason, with actual value more likely to be found in the Draft for a talent worth bringing aboard, but let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

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