Saturday, June 25, 2016

Michael Griffin

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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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The last time we checked in on the best Vikings links from around the web, the team’s roster looked very different. Since then, Minnesota has signed 16 free agents including 11 who played for the team last season.

With a majority of their free agent signings done with, the focus will now shift to what the Vikings will be doing heading into this spring’s NFL Draft. Have their new acquisitions done anything to change Minnesota’s priorities for the Draft?

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vikings free agency alex boone michael griffin

The first wave of free agency has come and gone. The Minnesota Vikings didn’t land the White Whales the fanbase wanted (Kelechi Osemele or George Iloka), but I think we’re fine settling for the White Rhino in Alex Boone. We dive into him as well as the other depth free agent signings the Purple made. I also take a look at other potential future Vikings still on the market and what the plan should be with our own unrestricted free agents.

All that and other “Stop Typing So Loud, Tomasson” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The new NFL league year began at 4:00 PM eastern yesterday afternoon, allowing all teams to officially sign free-agents to their roster. At 4:01 PM, a mind boggling amount of contract signings had already been agreed upon throughout the entire league.

The Minnesota Vikings were certainly not shy about wanting to improve their roster yesterday. Spots were filled and depth was added as the Vikings are hoping their new players will help the team repeat as NFC North division champions in 2016.

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