Sunday, May 24, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "minnesota vikings"

minnesota vikings

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After going undrafted this past weekend, LSU offensive tackle La’el Collins is free (once officially cleared) to sign a three-year contract as an undrafted free agent with any NFL team.

On Monday, Collins met with Baton Rouge police as part of the investigation into the murder of Brittany Mills. Collins is not a suspect in the case. Mills, 29, was pregnant at the time of her death and had a past relationship with Collins. While Collins continues to work on clearing his name in the Louisiana investigation, he has now started visiting NFL teams still interested in him.

The Advocate first reported the news, that Collins had an impromptu dinner meeting with Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills on Monday night. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys and Dolphins are also among teams showing early interest.

The Minnesota Vikings could also be one of several teams in the mix for Collins. The Vikings, Panthers, Ravens, Eagles, Colts, Bucs, Cardinals, Rams, and Lions have all been rumored as potential landing spots for the talented offensive tackle.

Collins’ salary will be capped, so his descision will largely be based on scheme, role and fit.

Update: Collins’s agent Deryk Gilmore told the Associated Press that he’s not taking any meetings with teams “at this time.”

Collins has withdrawn from LSU. NFL rules prohibit teams from visiting a player (who has withdrawn) on his campus or at his residence until after final exams are complete.

 

According to Chris Tomasson, the Vikings will pick up the fifth-year options for both Harrison Smith and Matt Kalil. GM Rick Spielman implied earlier that the 2012 draft picks would be re-signed for 2016, but the team made it official Monday morning.

Smith, drafted No. 29 overall, will bring in a $5.2 million paycheck; Kalil will make $11.096 million as a No. 4 overall pick.

No questions existed about Smith remaining in Minnesota, as he is arguably the top safety on the team and a no-brainer to keep around. In his first three seasons in purple, Smith tallied 192 tackles, 62 assists and 10 interceptions. He also added three sacks in 2014.

Smith played in all 16 games last season; if he stay healthy moving forward, he will continue to play a huge role for the Vikings’ secondary. Tomasson reported that the Vikings plan to work out a longer-term contract with Smith prior to the regular season. Smith has been vocal about wanting to stay with Minnesota, which is great news for fans.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Here are just a few of my takeaways from the first two nights of the 2015 NFL Draft. 

  • Many people expected NFC North rival Chicago to pick up a cornerback or wide receiver, and the Bears followed through by selecting WR Kevin White out of West Virginia. As Draft analysts pointed out, the only question now is if Jay Cutler can capitalize on him.
  • The theme around the 2015 NFL Draft seemed to be trading up or down, but the first trade didn’t happen until San Diego traded up from No. 17 to get RB Melvin Gordon.
  • The first questionable/surprise pick came at No. 9 when the New York Giants selected OL Ereck Flowers. I expected them to grab CB Trae Waynes at that point, and I don’t know that Flowers will pan out to be a top-10 pick.

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“I texted him right before the pick came in, and he thought I was just joking.”

That’s what newest Vikings addition Eric Kendricks said about texting his former teammate Anthony Barr that they would be reunited in Minnesota.

Kendricks and Barr each made conference calls to the Winter Park media room following Minnesota selecting Kendricks at No. 45 overall. One thing is for sure…the teammates (and UCLA roommates) are equally enthusiastic to play alongside each other once again.

“When I got the call […] it took me at least a minute to realize what was happening, where I was going, and who I was playing with,” Kendricks said. “I really felt like it was kind of disrespectful because I wasn’t saying much, but once it finally clicked, I got so happy and the rest just took off from there.”

Barr, drafted by the Vikings last year, expressed his excitement through several tweets directly after the pick was made. Barr admitted he never thought it was realistic that Kendricks would play in Minnesota, saying he never talked to Mike Zimmer or Rick Spielman about the fellow linebacker. However, he has no doubts that Kendricks is NFL-ready and will bring a huge amount of upside to Zimmer’s already-strong defense.

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