Sunday, August 28, 2016

josh robinson

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re-sign Matt Asiata
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings have announced that running back Matt Asiata has re-signed with the team which makes him the ninth unrestricted free agent to sign a new contract with the team this offseason. Cornerback Josh Robinson was the only unrestricted free agent to depart, as well as Mike Wallace who was released by the team. That ratio of returning players versus those that are departing is pretty impressive, really.

Coming out of Utah, Asiata has played in 58 games and has 10 starts credited to his name. He is 28 years old and known as a short yardage back, particularly effective in goalline situations, but can produce the occasional surprise in open space or even catching the ball.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

2012 third round cornerback Josh Robinson entered the 2015 offseason as a favorite to start within Mike Zimmer’s defense, but a year later he is exiting Minnesota and the Vikings are said to have not put up much of a fight.

Robinson is the first Vikings unrestricted free agent to leave for another team this offseason, as reports have him signing a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday.

Robinson flashed as a rookie, had a terrible season in 2013 when Leslie Frazier forced him to play in the slot, and then rebounded nicely playing outside in Mike Zimmer’s 2014 season (Alshon Jeffery aside). His 2015 season was derailed by an offseason pectoral injury and the more than one local beat writer has suggested the Vikings never intended to bring him back once his contract expired.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

First off, I just want to say “thank you” to all of you readers that have made Vikings Territory one of your destinations on such a busy and fun opening day of free agency. Austin Belisle has been rocking the Live Blog for three straight days like an animal (while also battling the flu) and we plan to keep that going for at least one more day.

Our servers were tested on Wednesday, and sometimes failed the test, but it is great to be a part of such a passionate fan base and see our little corner of the internet getting a little more popular every year. Thank you, again, for being the best damn football fans this side of the north pole.

Anyways, the Vikings organization had a very busy opening day of free agency, and there is a fresh crop of new players to discuss at length between now and September. More immediately, however, it is interesting to note that not a single 2015 Vikings player has yet to officially become a “former Minnesota Viking.”

If you’ve been monitoring our list of Vikings free agents you’ll notice that the Vikings retained seven of their own, but the remaining 10 have yet to be signed by any of the NFL’s 32 franchises.

Rhett Ellison

There was some drama surrounding Ellison today when, apparently, Ellison’s father took to Facebook to tell people he wouldn’t be returning to Minnesota. The post was deleted pretty quickly and promptly replaced with a few Twitter reports suggesting he was talking to the Vikings about a return.

Regardless of what is really going on, the Vikings can’t count on Ellison being available to start the 2016 season thanks to his Week 17 injury last year. The Vikings could certainly be in the market for another tight end this offseason.

VT Offseason Plan, Free Agency

Introduction

[In part two of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth free agency plan for the Minnesota Vikings. Part 1.]

Rick Spielman’s job with the Minnesota Vikings isn’t easy. In reality, any general manager’s job is a challenge. As the highest-ranking member of the team’s personnel department, Spielman is not only responsible for hiring coaches and staff members, but for building and tweaking a competitive roster each season.

His duties require year-round coordination and planning, all of which come to a head between February and April. It’s then that Spielman and his front office must finalize their college scouting, address the mad-dash that is free agency, and find new talent through the annual NFL Draft. And he does all this with a clear vision in mind, one he’s continued to develop in his five years as general manager.

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Minnesota Vikings have hired Brent Salazar
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The rash of pectoral injuries may finally be over in Winter Park. As announced on the Minnesota Vikings’ official website, the team has named Brent Salazar its Strength and Conditioning coach. Salazar spent the previous nine years (2007-2015) with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was a strength and conditioning assistant.

The announcement comes a little less than a month after the Vikings’ decision to part ways with Evan Marcus, who held the same position from 2014 to 2015. Under Marcus, the Vikings moved to a free weight program in the 2014 offseason that eliminated the use of certain machines. His shift in philosophy coincided with setbacks to a number of players. Josh Robinson, Brian Robison, Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Fusco, and Phil Loadholt all fell victim to weight room-related injuries.

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