Friday, May 29, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "minnesota vikings"

minnesota vikings

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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Following a football season overrun with off-the-field issues, it seemed appropriate that GM Rick Spielman would open Friday afternoon’s press conference with a story to demonstrate Trae Waynes’ strong character.

According to Spielman, his brother-in-law lives in Chicago and has a friend whose daughter underwent cleft palate surgery earlier this week. Prior to the surgery, Waynes spent time with the child, taking a picture holding the infant. Spielman said the following:

I know what he can do on the football field, I know what kind of family he comes from, and right now I know what kind of person he is. 

When Waynes took the podium for the first time as a Minnesota Viking, he also paid credit to his family and his upbringing.

“My parents were hard on me and my brother,” he said. “My dad was actually my guidance counselor. They kept us out of trouble and raised us right. I owe all that to them.”

Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer both reemphasized their excitement for having Waynes here in Minnesota and the impact he will have on the team. Zimmer said that it seems most all players with outstanding athletic ability play offense nowadays, so it can be tough to find really good CBs in the Draft. The coach believes Waynes is an exception to that rule, however.

“Trae has excellent ball skills, he’s a great competitor, big heart,” he said.

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Trae Waynes Draft

5.5 hours… On the air…

The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books and thank you all who listed to the LIVE Stream right here on PurpleFTW.com and Vikings Territory. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings have a 2nd shutdown corner to pair with Xavier Rhodes, Adrian was NOT traded, and Trader Rick did not live up to his name. Even though the first round was a bit… Vanilla… We still had a great time talking Vikings Draft with out fantastic guests and your tweets throughout the show. We chopped up the stream into podcast form. Thanks for listening and making Purple FTW! possible!

All the podcasts after the jump.

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