Monday, December 5, 2016

john sullivan

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Examining Rick Spielman's failed record in drafting offensive linemen.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Rick Spielman is an above average general manager. This is clear to most levelheaded observers.

There are voices online that will tell you otherwise; for a segment of the Minnesota sports viewing public, criticizing Spielman seems to be something of a sport. Just a cursory search of the man’s name on Twitter usually reveals a sizable dose of anger directed at the Vikings GM, often laced with misspelled profanity and other vitriol. The particular grievance is ever-changing, but currently, it has become en vogue to begin proclaiming Spielman’s preseason trade for Sam Bradford is an abject failure. Perhaps it’s the nature of the job he holds, or perhaps it’s the fact that ten years with a franchise is certain to yield at least a handful of bad moves, but for all the observers who tell you Rick Spielman has done good work assembling the Vikings roster, there are just as many who will tell you he needs to be fired tomorrow.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the job he holds, or perhaps it’s the fact that ten years with a franchise is certain to yield at least a handful of bad moves, but for all the observers who tell you Rick Spielman has done good work assembling the Vikings roster, there are just as many who will tell you he needs to be fired tomorrow.

Do not listen to this latter group. They are an emotionally volatile bunch who choose to nitpick over specific happenings rather than step back and look at the big picture. And the big picture is this: with the Vikings, Rick Spielman has been a good GM. I’ve already laid out my thesis at length over the course of examining his best and worst moves with the club, so I won’t drone on here, but in a nutshell, I believe Spielman has built a deep and talented roster that has allowed the 2016 Vikings to remain competitive despite an avalanche of injuries at key positions, and I think his good moves far outweigh his bad ones. There are more early round slam dunks (Barr, Bridgewater, Rhodes, Rudolph, Smith, Kendricks, Peterson, et al) and mid- or late-round steals (Diggs, Hunter, Griffen, Sullivan, Robison) than there are outright draft busts. There are more shrewd, economical trades and free agent acquisitions than there are wasteful, fruitless ones. Overall, Spielman has navigated the cap well and put together an impressive roster of talent, and I think any objective analysis of his work over the long haul will show that.

But.

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Joe Berger’s battle to start at center for the Minnesota Vikings concluded weeks ago with the release of John Sullivan, but ended on a high note today with an unexpected contract extension. According to a press release from the team, Berger has been signed to a one-year contract extension with the Vikings.

The 12-year veteran has 54 starts in 115 career games and 34 starts in 77 games in Minnesota. He started all 16 games for the Vikings at center last year and beat out John Sullivan to remain there in 2016. Berger’s extension keeps him in purple and gold through 2017, as the veteran center was set to become a free agent following the season.

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Vikings Release John Sullivan
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Following an abrupt injury to Teddy Bridgewater, the Minnesota Vikings announced the final five moves to get the roster to 75 players. Yesterday’s list was filled with practice squad candidates and undrafted free agents, but today’s release includes a few notable names.

Veteran center John Sullivan, who was reportedly being shopped by the team, has been released. General manager Rick Spielman shared a statement on the 31-year-old center, who spent eight seasons in Minnesota following his sixth-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft.

“Our entire organization appreciates everything that John Sullivan has done for this franchise. Sullivan led our team, not only with how he played the game, but also with how he handled himself in our community. We wish John Sullivan and his family nothing but the best as they move forward.”

Before two back injuries derailed his 2015 season, Sullivan had started 93 games for the Vikings and was a cog in the middle of the offensive line. He battled with Joe Berger for starting duties this preseason, but fell short in his comeback efforts. Berger started Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, solidifying his place as the team’s starter for the foreseeable future.

Outside of his contributions on the field, Sullivan was named Vikings Community Man of the Year in 2013 and remained active in multiple charities.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the Vikings are currently attempting to trade John Sullivan, their veteran center that is now thought to be fully healthy.

Minnesota is in the process of cutting their roster down to 75 players, and we’ll have updates up on that shortly, but the Sullivan move is certainly interesting from a number of angles.

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Purple FTW! Podcast, Minnesota Vikings, Vikings, Andy Carlson, @AndyCarlsonShow, Podcast, Vikings Territory, Teddy Bridgwater, Mike Zimmer, US Bank Stadium, Kyle Rudolph, Joe Berger, John Sullivan, Stefon Diggs, Laquon Treadwell, Justin Trattou, Eric Kendricks, Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes,

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings officially opened US Bank Stadium with an impressive showing over the San Diego Super Chargers. Teddy Bridgewater put a lot of people’s minds at ease as he performed well in what looks to be his final preseason action before the 2016 regular season. We talk about him and some of the other headlines to come out of US Bank Stadium officially (kinda) being open for business.

SWAG! Order up your own Purple FTW! T-Shirt and The Greatest Hoodie of All-Time. Hoodie orders get two FREE Minnesota Renaissance Festival tickets (while supplies last).

Today’s Talkers Include:
• All the Teddy Haters Can Kick Rocks
• US Bank Stadium, I Love You
• Who Starts At Center?
• TJ Clemmings at Left Tackle
• Kyle. Rudolph.
• Stefon Diggs is Ready to Go
• The Treadwell 2-Point Conversion is What We Got Him For
• The Run Defense Legit Scares Me
• Jusitin Trattou Appreciation
• When Do We Start Worrying About Eric Kendricks?
• Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes
• Ballhawking Secondary One Time?
• Safety Picture Still Unclear
• My 14 Cuts to Get to 75

All that and other “$8.25 for half a slice of pizza?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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