Thursday, August 25, 2016

matt asiata

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Minnesota Vikings Jerick McKinnon Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt is cool and all, but he’s no Jerick McKinnon. I open the show with an opining love letter to #21 and how I hope the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings will actually use him this year. Then we turbo through a couple roster battles that I’m keeping an eye on. There’s a lot of suss out over the next few weeks for the Vikes.

Battle Talking Points Include
• Joel Stave vs Taylor Heinicke
• Matt Asiata vs CJ Ham
• Adam Thielen vs Jarius Wright
• David Morgan II vs Rhett Ellison
• Willie Beavers vs Everyone
• Scott Crichton vs Everyone
• Emmanuel Lamur vs Edmond Robinson
• Marcus Sherels vs Everyone
• Antone Exum vs Jayron Kearse

All that and other “Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

On Monday morning, it was announced that longtime Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Phil Loadholt had decided to retire. With his retirement, Loadholt’s spot on the Vikings roster is presumably vacant.

Minnesota now has three openings on their roster before their total number reaches the NFL’s 90-man limit. The Vikings can decide to leave those spots empty before they start training camp later this week, but that would not be any fun would it?

Surprisingly enough, there are still plenty of talented free-agents available that could produce for Minnesota during the 2016 season.

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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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re-sign Matt Asiata
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Adrian Peterson is the bell-cow for the Minnesota Vikings, but the team remains steadfast in it’s three-pronged running back approach. The electric, do-it-all Jerick McKinnon will likely see an expanded role in 2016, reducing Matt Asiata‘s already limited touches out of the backfield. Despite the development, general manager Rick Spielman appears open to bringing the four-year veteran back next season.

According to Drew Boylhart of the Huddle Report, the Vikings wants to re-sign Asiata, who is set to become a free agent on March 9th. Asiata re-signed on a one-year deal at the start of free agency last year, and he’ll likely return at a similar price. He played just 198 offensive snaps in 2015, rushing 29 times for 112 yards and catching 19 passes for 132 yards.

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Vikings NFL Draft Sleepers
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Every Sunday during Draft Season, Carl and the team at Vikings Territory release scouting reports on sleeper prospects. They’re players many may not recognize, but should get to know as the 2016 NFL Draft approaches. This time of the year, the biggest names dominate the headlines, but other players taken in the later rounds can often have more of an impact than the top-32 picks.

Players like Danielle Hunter (3rd-round) and Stefon Diggs (5th-round) were more important to the Minnesota Vikings in 2015 than Trae Waynes, the team’s 11th-overall selection. Each made significant contributions on defense and offense, while Waynes was relegated to a role as the punt team’s gunner. He played well in spot duty, especially against the Seattle Seahawks, but to say he outperformed his teammates would be lying.

Sometimes, it’s the players we least expect who have the most immediate success in the NFL. That’s why I’ve asked the team here to name their favorite under-the-radar prospects; the players they love that no one’s talking about.

Who is one draft prospect you love that no one is talking about?

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