Monday, January 22, 2018

Ifeadi Odenigbo

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings ended a disappointing 2016 season by finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs. Just one year later, the team is eyeing their first Super Bowl appearance since 1976.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was named the 2017 NFL Executive of the Year by Pro Football Weekly. An 18-person panel selected the 55 year-old as the recipient of the honor.

“Slick Rick,” or “Trader Rick” as he’s commonly referred to, has built a reputation of accumulating draft picks, selecting impact players throughout all seven rounds and engineering multiple draft day trades. More recently, however, it’s Spielman’s ability to transform a roster that has him receiving recognition.

The 2017 offseason may have been some of Spielman’s best work as the Vikings general manager. Let’s take a closer look at how he used due diligence and refined offseason strategies to revamp the Vikings roster and put Minnesota back on the map.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings signed tight end Nick Truesdell to the practice squad Tuesday.

Truesdell was with the Vikings during the 2017 offseason and preseason. He caught four passes for 29 yards in four preseason games. The 27 year-old is 6-foot-7 and 252 pounds. The TE has played professionally with multiple indoor and arena football teams.

For now, he Truesdell join Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan as the three tight ends on the Vikings roster.

The Vikings cannot re-sign tight end Kyle Carter, who was waived by the team when quarterback Sam Bradford was activated, until he clears waivers. In the playoffs the waiver period is ten days.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings made a couple of roster moves in preparation of Sunday’s playoff matchup against the Saints.

The Minnesota Vikings signed offensive tackle Dieugot Joseph and defensive tackle Caushaud Lyons to the practice squad Tuesday.

Joseph, 23, is 6-foot-6, 300 pounds. He played left tackle in college at Florida International. He spent his rookie season on and off the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens practice squads. Joseph spent weeks 3-5 on Baltimore’s active roster before he was released.

Lyons spent 2015 and 2016 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This season he jumped around practice squads. Lyons played college football at Tusculum in Tennessee. The large defensive lineman is 25 years-old and measures in at 6-foot-5, 295 pounds.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings made a few roster moves in preparation of Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Starting tight end Kyle Rudolph will likely miss the Vikings game Sunday due to an ankle injury. As a result, Kyle Carter was called up from the practice squad and will join the team’s active roster Friday.

Carter is 24 years-old. The 6-foot 3, 245-pound tight end is in his second NFL season. He played college football at Penn State. Carter originally signed with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent in 2016 before spending the rest of the season on the Vikings practice squad. He looked good in training camp this summer and was among the team’s final cuts before he was assigned to the practice squad.

To make room on the roster for Carter, the Vikings placed tight end Blake Bell (shoulder) on injured reserve. Bell played in 13 games this season before being shelved. He caught 3 passes for 19 yards and hauled in a 2-point conversion last week against the Panthers.

Fellow tight end David Morgan (concussion) practiced in full Thursday after missing the Vikings game against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

The team is expected to deploy Morgan and Carter as the tight ends Sunday against Cincinnati.

Jack Tocho was not gone very long. Three days after being waived by the team when offensive tackle Storm Norton was signed, the Vikings signed the safety back to the practice squad Friday.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings season up to this point has just been the calm before the Storm.

The Vikings signed offensive tackle Storm Norton to the practice squad Tuesday. The team waived safety Jack Tocho.

Norton is 6-foot 8 and 306 pounds. He played college football at Toledo in Ohio. The 23 year-old was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He spent training camp with Detroit and has spent time on the Lions and Arizona Cardinals practice squads throughout the season.