Wednesday, June 29, 2016

linval joseph

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Laquon Treadwell

School’s finally out for summer. Well…. At least 6 weeks.

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings wrapped up mini-camp Thursday at Winter Park by cancelling practice and letting the Purple get a jump on their summer vacations a few hours early. We’re still on our grind here though bringing you a ten-pack of Vikings talkers to take you into Father’s Day weekend and the official start to summer.

Today’s Topics Include
• Vikings Mini-Camp Wrapped Up a Day Early
• Joint Practices Announced with the Bengals
• Only 10 Days in Mankato
• Adrian Says to Trade Anyone Not Thinking Super Bowl
• Laquon Treadwell Got Hazed with…. Fruit Snacks?
• Will This be the Year for Cordarrelle?
• Why Linval & Sharrif Benefit from Fletcher Cox’s Mega-Deal
• What if Xavier Rhodes Becomes Good at Off Coverage?
• Decoding What Everyone’s Saying About Mortiz Boehringer
• Vikings Cut DT Bruce Gaston & LB Travis Lewis

All that and other “Madison Treadwell’s School Lunches are the REAL Winner” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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A new face joins the defensive line

Vikings Waive B.J. Dubose, Sign DT Bruce Gaston
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The injury bug bites the Minnesota Vikings again, as the team lost defensive tackle B.J. Dubose to a torn ACL last week. The second-year defensive end suffered the injury during organized team activities (OTAs) and limped off the field under his own power.

According to the Vikings’ official website, Dubose has been waived and will now hit the waiver wire. Other teams have 24 hours to claim Dubose before he reverts back to the Vikings’ injured reserve list, per Andrew Krammer. Dubose was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and did not appear in any games for the Vikings.

To fill the roster and replace Dubose, the Vikings signed journeyman nose tackle Bruce Gaston. An undrafted free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft, Gaston has played for five other franchises, including the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. His most recent stint came with the Bears, where he totaled 11 tackles (8 solo), four quarterback hurries, one tackle for loss, and one sack.

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Projecting the Vikings' Final 53-Man Roster
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2016 season inched forward a bit when the Vikings opened their OTA offseason workouts. With that came plenty of early optimism about the Vikings’ talented roster. Teddy is ready to throw for 10,000 yards. Adrian Peterson is in the best shape of his life. 2015 top pick Trae Waynes is thriving and Aaron Boone looks great in purple.

If you listen closely, you can hear the faintest of claims that the Vikings are a true Super Bowl contender.

It is too early to say most of these things, but when you start to stack Minnesota’s roster, you can see why the hype exists. I struggled with my first attempt to pencil in a final 53-man roster, mostly because there will be talented players who will inevitably be cut. The front office won’t have an easy task on their hands, but I’d take a loaded roster over a barren one any day of the week.

Do you play it safe or take a risk?

Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The NFL Draft is so exciting because it’s so unpredictable. Players pegged as top-10 draft picks can fall to the second or third round, and teams can make earth-shattering trades that change the landscape of the night’s festivities. For the most part, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman sticks to a familiar script — accumulate draft picks, trade back when sensible, and use the end of the first round as a fluid space for movement.

This year, however, the Vikings are this close to contending for more than just the NFC North title and a Wild Card playoff berth. A roster flush with talent at almost every position gives the team a chance to be more aggressive come April 28th. Rather than staying put at the 23rd-overall pick, drafting the best available player, or trading back, Spielman can flex his negotiating muscles.

So, the Vikings Territory team tried their hand at such an exercise, concocting scenarios that very well could play out in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. See our answers after the jump!

What’s one surprising and/or unexpected move you could see the Vikings making in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft?

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Rick Spielman building a homegrown contender
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Denver Broncos tore through the 2014 free agency class like a man who’d just won the Mega Millions jackpot. Anxious for a championship and fearful of Peyton Manning‘s sudden demise, general manager John Elway lured as many big names to Denver as possible, evoking a “win now” mentality in the Broncos locker room.

Certainly not the first team or the last to “hire” mercenaries, the Broncos spent exorbitant amounts of money in 2014 to make their roster the deepest, most talented in the league. That offseason, Emmanuel Sanders, Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, and T.J. Ward arrived in Denver, bringing the skills and pedigree the Broncos lacked to take that final step to the Super Bowl.

Elway’s spending frenzy finally paid off, as Peyton Manning and the über-talented Broncos won Super Bowl 50 together this year, earning the greatest “return on investment” that the NFL has to offer. But 2015 is over, and the 2016 season looms in the near future. That championship team is missing key pieces, as the rest of the league has done to the Broncos what they did to them in 2014. Gone are names like Peyton Manning and Owen Daniels. In their place? Career-disappointment Mark Sanchez and yet-to-be-named NFL draft picks.

“Winning” free agency is a double-edged sword, one that worked well for the Broncos, but suddenly spells uncertainty in Denver. Every team attacks the open market differently, which brings us to the Minnesota Vikings, who continue to take a prudent, if sometimes cautious approach in the process.

No, there are no Super Bowl banners in Minnesota, and other outside signings — Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace — failed to make an impact in recent years, but Rick Spielman is quietly building the Vikings into a homegrown contender. Free agents are staying in town, under-the-radar names are finally choosing Minnesota as a new home, and other recent acquisitions — Linval Joseph, Captain Munnerlyn — are contributing in tangible ways every Sunday.

These Vikings may not have names that “jump” off the screen or stand out in the newspaper,  but they’re winning games as a cohesive, well-coached, and tight-knit roster. Consistent coaching, a thoughtful spending strategy, and youth means Minnesota may soon end up on the same national stage as the Broncos — the Super Bowl.

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