Thursday, August 25, 2016

Michael Griffin

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Crystal Balling the Fringe Vikings Guys [PODCAST]

90-man rosters are like an episode of Game of Thrones: Not everyone is going to make it.

But what lies ahead for some of these fringe Minnesota Vikings players that are likely to be cut in the next two weeks? I do my best Miss Cleo (RIP) impression and look into my magic ball to see the future of these players. Some of their futures include football. Some include being a manager at HuHot.

All that and other “CALL ME NOW.” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater Injury

Teddy Bridgewater has a mysterious and sudden shoulder injury. Matt Kalil bowed out of practice Sunday. Brandon Fusco has a neck. Who the heck knows about Mike Harris. Sharrif Floyd and Eric Kendricks are perpetually banged up. Jarius Wright has a calf. Tre Roberson has a broken hand. Xavier Rhodes has a hamsting. WHAT IS HAPPENING?! WHY CAN WE NOT HAVE NICE THINGS?

Austin Belisle (@austincbelisle) of Vikings Territory joins me again to talk Teddy, preseason, and Vikings as we mercifully rumble towards the regular season.

All that and other “Ice Up Son” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

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Andrew Sendejo
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

This 10-part series focuses on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. Be sure to answer the first three questions HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. At this point, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Austin and I plan to use your voting results to formulate a Vikings 53-man roster prediction, so sharpen up your prognosticating skills!

For the second year in a row, the Vikings are among the NFL teams with the least amount of turnover on the defensive side of the football. For the most part, that is a positive thing and this defense is quickly becoming one of the league’s most feared, but there is one pesky position for which Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer have yet to find a concrete solution.

The Vikings made Harrison Smith the highest paid safety in the NFL in June, which was certainly one of their primary objectives for the offseason, and there are few arguments against the move that locks him into a purple uniform for years to come.

What fans are not feeling too giddy about, however, are the prospects of the starting spot across from Smith at strong safety. They dipped into the free agency pool for a safety, and they drafted one, but none of the available options have masses of Vikings fans jumping for joy at the moment.

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Vikings SS Michael Griffin
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings were supposed to sign George Iloka in free agency. When general manager Rick Spielman had his shot at the Bengals’ star strong safety and passed, fans groaned. “But Harrison Smith needs a star player next to him,” they said. “We can’t survive another year with Andrew Sendejo back there,” they complained.

It was a surprising turn of events for the Vikings, who used the free agency period to shore up deficiencies along the offensive line and re-sign key veterans; one of those being Sendejo. The oft-criticized, muscle-bound safety has started 26 games for the Vikings since 2013 and returned on a four-year, $16 million contract this offseason.

He joined Antone Exum and Anthony Harris on the depth chart, leaving Smith without his long-sought-after partner in crime. Spielman simultaneously addressed the scarcity at the position and raised eyebrows by signing Michael Griffin, a nine-year veteran, off the street. Griffin,  who’d spent his entire career with the Tennessee Titans, was released after the 2015 season and didn’t have a ‘home’ prior to March.

But Spielman took a chance, and now, the 31-year-old veteran has a real shot at starting opposite Smith this season. While he’s not the answer at the position, Griffin is a proven commodity with the specific skill set and experience to do two things for the Vikings: create competition at strong safety and open the playbook for the limitless Smith.

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A Keanu Neal scouting report with a Minnesota Vikings focus.

[This Keanu Neal Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]

Keanu Neal | S, Florida

Measurements

Height – 6’0″
Weight – 211 lbs.

At First Glance

Projected Round:

2nd – 3rd Round

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