Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Eddie Lacy

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings are no stranger to signing former Green Bay Packers.

Most notably, the team booked Hall-of-Fame signal-caller Brett Favre during the summer of 2009, preceding the formation of likely the most dominant Vikings team since Randy Moss’s record-breaking 1998 squad.

Since Favre, however, the Vikings have largely failed to reap the benefits of signing former Packers players. First there was wide receiver Greg Jennings, who signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with the team back in 2013. Once Aaron Rodgers’ primary option, Jennings failed to extend his success across the state border, mustering just a hair over 1,500 yards across only two seasons in Minnesota.

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Adrian
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Well folks, ol’ number 28 is at it again. Yes indeed, the currently unemployed Adrian Peterson has made another social media post attempting to explain his position and, this time, his desires in free agency. This one took the form of a Twitter picture, of what appears like an Instagram caption, even though the statement doesn’t seem to be live on Instagram. I’m confused as well.

It’s hard to fault Peterson for trying to tell his side of the story; there has been a lot reported about him this offseason, and anonymous sources often turn out to be inaccurate. And it’s nice to have, as he put it, some information “Straight from the horse’s mouth.” According to Adrian, his main objective is finding a good fit with a team that can content for a Super Bowl. He also says he’s in no rush to commit, which is either a valid explanation for why he hasn’t signed a contract yet, or posturing, as other, lower-profile running backs get scooped up and Peterson remains without a team.

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And other Free Agency thoughts

Eddie Lacy to the Vikings Makes Sense
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Say what you will about Eddie Lacy’s eating habits or his love of Chinese food, but the former Packers running back is a perfect fit for the Minnesota Vikings. In his five-year career, he’s gained more than 3,400 yards and scored 23 times, averaging 4.4 yards per carry in Green Bay’s pass-happy offense.

Nevermind his weight; Minnesota knows all too well how effective Lacy can be on the ground. In seven games against the division rival Vikings, Lacy amassed 618 yards and scored five touchdowns to contribute to Green Bay’s four series victories. At 5’11” and 231 pounds, he’s a load to bring down and the potential “thunder” to complement the “lightning” that is Jerick McKinnon in Minnesota’s backfield.

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Welcome to the next installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: the running backs. Check out our other primers on tight ends, defensive ends, cornerbacks, safetiesquarterbacks, wideouts, and defensive tackles.

Ah yes, here we are. The inevitable departure of Adrian Peterson has happened, and we can take a clear look at the Vikings running back situation and what to do about it.

LAST SEASON

It wasn’t good. The Vikings were dead last in the league in rushing last year, and while much of that can (and should) be attributed to the floundering offensive line play, none of the backs did much to inspire hope, either.

Peterson only played in three games due to injury, rushing 37 times for 72 yards—a putrid 1.9-yard average. While we’ll fondly remember the AP glory days—he is, without a doubt, one of the greatest players in franchise history—his legendary burst has mellowed, his injuries have begun to pile up, and his cost is most likely too high for a return. The fanbase is ready to move on, and you get the feeling Adrian is, too. It would be surprising if the Vikings re-signed him.

The absence of Peterson thrust Jerick McKinnon into the lead role in 2016, finally giving us the long look at the shifty back many fans had anxiously awaited. It went…fine. McKinnon carried the ball 159 times for 539 yards (3.4 YPC) and two touchdowns, and also had 43 catches for 255 yards and another two TDs. Again, it’s difficult for any runner to perform well without holes to run through—the YPC average was by far the lowest of his career—but McKinnon never really displayed the electrifying ability we hoped he possessed. It may still be in there, but calls for McKinnon to receive more touches have temporarily been silenced.

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Minnesota Vikings Free Agency

Free Agency is rapidly approaching and fans of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are clamoring for who could be on the Purple’s shopping list. I know the Draft is the bee’s knees, but this episode is focused solely on free agency (until the end). We walk through the level of priority the Vikings should have on their in-house free agents, I reveal my Top-10 Free Agent Wish List, and wrap up with a clip from my new project BULL with Andy Carlson — Jordan Reid (@JReidDraftScout) of The Viking Age walks us through a 7-round (but really 6-round) Vikings mock draft.

All that and more “Free agency is like the Scholastic Book Fair” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

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