Friday, March 27, 2015
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linval joseph

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Tom Johnson reportedly wanted to be paid like a starter, which presumably meant he wanted to be a starter, so some thought he would be leaving the Minnesota Vikings where Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph sit atop the rotation at defensive tackle.

I am happy to pass along, however, some news that should be viewed as a good thing for the depth and quality along the defensive line:

Tom Pelissero says that the Vikings have signed Johnson to a three year deal worth $7 million, with about $3 million in guarantees. Without all of the details, that seems like an easily managed contract that keeps the Vikings armed with continuity and dependability at the defensive tackle position.

Johnson had 22 tackles, six sacks, and a forced fumble in a limited role during the 2014 season.

Be sure to check out all the latest free agency news and rumors with Arif’s Live Blog right here.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

[Note: This segment is a part of a position-by-position look at what the Minnesota Vikings might be inclined to do during the 2015 free agency period. This is the 10th article, focusing on the defensive tackles and nose tackles. In case you missed it, feel free to check out the quarterbacksrunning backstight endsfullbackswide outsspecialistssafeties, cornerbacks, and defensive ends.]

Yesterday, we discussed the Vikings’ biggest needs at defensive end, which include adding depth behind Brian Robison and addressing Corey Wootton’s expiring contract. Many fans enjoy watching the edge rushers, as they tend to be one of the more disruptive defensive groups. Without a solid nose or defensive tackle, though, players like Everson Griffen wouldn’t be nearly as successful as they were in 2014.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I already essentially wrote this article last May, but since the NFL is getting closer to awarding 32 compensatory draft picks to the eligible franchises, I thought I’d take the opportunity to remind you not to get your hopes up.

The NFL has a highly complex and secretive formula it uses to award 32 extra draft picks to franchises just before the Draft takes place. The picks are awarded to teams that lost more players to free agency than they gained. They can be anywhere from third to seventh round picks which is decided on a number of factors like the age, salary, and performances of the free agents each team let leave in free agency and those that they signed.

In May, I predicted that the Vikings would be awarded one seventh round draft pick. Their potential haul was cancelled out due, in large part, to the signings of Linval Joseph, Captain Munnerlyn, and Corey Wootton.

Photo courtesy of Jason Barum
Photo courtesy of Jason Barum

Vegas to Minneapolis to Mankato all in the matter of a few hours (Okay, maybe like six or seven). Running on an hour of sleep right now but there is no place I’d rather be.  I have to be honest with you… Standing on that field just a few feet away from all these incredible athletes was pretty surreal. Hard to be objective and analytical when you’re stuck just trying to take it all in.

Nevertheless, I did jot a few notes down (below). I’ll be back out on the field for the afternoon practice in just a few hours and will report back then. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter where I’ll be providing updates. Also, Arif’s Twitter List of training camp coverage is a great resource to be current with what’s going on. Plus, all those guys are pros. I’m just a rube who’s starstruck during his first training camp experience.

A couple of notes from the morning walk through:

  • Josh Robinson did not participate in the morning’s activities. Robinson was taken out of practice a couple of days ago as a precaution when dealing with a hamstring related injury. Defensive Coordinator George Edwards was unwilling to provide an update on the status of Robinson’s injury and deferred to Zimmer on the issue.

It’s been a couple of days since we’ve had a training camp update here on VT. I’ve scoured the internet and curated it below. I will be in Mankato Friday and Saturday at Vikings Training Camp and will have more content to share with everyone at that time. I’ll also be tweeting furiously so make sure to follow me (@brettAnderson87) if you aren’t already.

Quarterback Trio - Vikings Training Camp 2014
Photo courtesy of Chris Price

Injuries

Let’s get the injury related news out of the way starting with Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson, dealing with a foot injury, was a full participant today for the first time this training camp. The injury is not believed to be serious and Patterson’s absence comes off as precautionary. Still, it’s a good sign he’s back with the team.

Captain Munnerlyn, who is dealing with a minor hamstring injury, was activated off the PUP list but was not a participant in team drills. Like Patterson, the injury is not believed to be serious.

Unfortunately, Robert Blanton got added to the injury list today. Blanton pulled his hamstring during blitz drills. Zimmer did not share with media how long Blanton would be out but it’s bad news for Blanton who had been taking most first-team reps alongside Harrison Smith.

Andrew Sendejo, who had offseason back surgery and hasn’t participated in practice to date, could return as soon as Monday, per Zimmer.

Other injury casualties include Josh Robinson who cut practice short with hamstring tightness and AC Leonard who had a headache. Zimmer did refer to Josh Robinson’s early departure as “preventative.”

Quarterbacks

Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Everyone wants to know about how the quarterbacks are faring so far. Everything I’ve heard or read is that Teddy Bridgewater has been super impressive and slowly closing (bridging?!) the gap separating himself and Matt Cassel. During last night’s team practice, Bridgewater dazzled many fans and members of the media going 12-for-13 with his only incompletion coming from a drop at the hands of UDFA AC Leonard. Bridgewater’s performance earned him first-team reps in today’s practice.

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