Tuesday, July 7, 2015

everson griffen

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Here at Vikings Territory, we know better than most that it’s possible to find writing opportunities in all sorts of ways. Meet Tom Speicher. He got his start in 2003 when he entered a contest to be a Star Tribune web columnist for a year … and won.

Speicher was awarded the column for a season, after which he looked for new venues to write for and came across Vikings Update, which had been transformed into a monthly magazine.

“Eventually they hired me to write the ‘Where Are They Now?’ features on former [Vikings players],” Speicher explained. “It’s been a lot of fun! I have also had the opportunity to do assignments for the magazine at NFL Films and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

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Which Defensive Player will Have the Most Standout Season for the Vikings in 2015?

Andy: Sharrif Floyd 
He won’t standout the most on the stat sheet, but I think he’s in line for a very productive junior season for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance his first two campaigns, but I think 2015 is where he’ll consistently become that disruptive force of nature that Mike Zimmer can hang his hat on in the middle.

Brent: Harrison Smith
Smith is coming off an excellent 2014 in which he was the 2nd-ranked safety by PFF standards. His versatility is important to Zimmer’s defense, and I think they’ll get even more creative with how they use Smith in 2015. Not only does Smith move around a lot, he’s also the last line of defense over the top of the secondary. Trusting Smith to be right deep down field allows the Vikings to be aggressive with their front seven. There are plenty of arguments for Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen—hell, throw Xavier Rhodes’ name into the ring as well. At the end of the day, I think Smith’s involvement in stopping both the run and pass gives him the most opportunity to make plays and have an impact.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Just days after missing out on free agent Michael Johnson, the Minnesota Vikings may be in the market for another veteran defensive end — former Dallas Cowboy George Selvie.

Per ESPN’s Ben Goessling, Selvie is set to visit the Vikings later this week:

Selvie started 13 games for the Cowboys in 2014, finishing the season with 3 sacks and 23 tackles. The Cowboys need edge rushers, but Selvie likely won’t return in 2015 — Mike Fisher of 105.3 THE FAN reported early Monday morning that the Cowboys are negotiating a contract with defensive end Greg Hardy’s agent.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press is bringing Minnesota Vikings beat writers back to their roots. By that, I mean he was at the airport this morning hoping to catch a glimpse and get a quote out of potential free agent acquisition Michael Johnson.

The level of detail in the story is actually pretty cool.

Johnson revealed to Tomasson at the airport that the Vikings have extended him a lucrative offer to join a defensive line that currently features pass rushers Everson Griffen and Brian Robison.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When news broke that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived Michael Johnson on Wednesday, many wondered if the Vikings would make a push for the 29-year-old defensive end — Johnson played under Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati from 2009-2013, when Zimmer was the Bengals’ defensive coordinator.

It looks like the Vikings are serious contenders — per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Michael Johnson will make Minnesota his first free agency visit:

Under Zimmer in 2012, Johnson recorded 11.5 sacks for the Bengals and vaulted himself into the top tier of the free agency market. His success in Cincinnati led the Buccaneers to sign Johnson to a five-year, $43.75 million contract in 2014 — the same year the Vikings rewarded Everson Griffen with a five-year, $42.5 million deal.

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