Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New England Patriots

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    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    The past six months have been a roller coaster ride for new Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd.

    In December of this past year, the Minnesota native watched as his career with the Arizona Cardinals unraveled in front of his eyes following a well-documented DUI arrest. Without a team for the first time since Arizona selected him with the No. 13 overall pick in 2012, Floyd found himself at a bit of a career crossroad and at the mercy of the NFL waiver wire.

    He was passed over by nearly every team, but the New England Patriots ultimately claimed the former Notre Dame standout not long after his release from the Cardinals, presenting him with an immediate opportunity to return to the gridiron and prove the player that was once regarded as the successor to Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona not only still exists but is prepared to grill this notion into the minds of those who question his character and ability to change his personal NFL narrative.

    Floyd was used sparingly during his two-month tenure in New England that concluded with confetti raining down on him and his teammates, but his lone receiving touchdown from quarterback Tom Brady epitomized the fire that burns ferociously deep inside the wide receiver and may one day be looked back upon as foreshadowing for an epic redemption story set in Minnesota.

    “I just thought it’d all work out at some point,” Floyd said. “I’ve just been down here [in Arizona] working out, training every day and hoping for an opportunity like this to happen.

    “It all worked out, and I’m excited to get back up to Minnesota.”

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    Finally the NFL Draft is here! Well, almost.

    At least now the league’s annual event is less than one month away from taking place. Soon enough, each team will do their best at selecting the right players to add to their roster and then the Cleveland Browns will end the careers of a new set of rookies.

    Unlike the New England Patriots, the Minnesota Vikings have not made an enemy of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and are going to be allowed to keep their first round selection in this year’s draft. With their very first draft pick in 2016, will the Vikings keep it boring or will they use the selection to become the talk of the league after the draft’s opening night?

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    A couple of weeks ago we debated which team was kicking butt in the offseason and most effectively building its team. Now it’s time to look at the flip side of the coin … 

    VT Question of the Week: Which NFL Team is “Losing” the Offseason?

    Adam: San Francisco 49ers
    San Francisco is the obvious choice here, and the right choice. That team’s offseason has been mind-boggling on a lot of levels, but perhaps no loss will prove greater than that of their head coach. A regime change and unexpected retirements of prominent players create a real problem for the NFL Spin Machine that can usually renew hope for all 32 teams on an annual basis. Given the current state of the team, and the stiff competition within their division, I don’t see much reason for optimism. Oh, and we know they’re going to start out the season with a loss, right?

    Arif: San Francisco 49ers
    Has to be the 49ers. Sure, they had an average draft, but they didn’t just force out a great (if crazy) coach, they had their best players retire or leave in free agency with some spotty plans for backing them up—Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith, Anthony Davis, Frank Gore and even Chris Culliver (who is being replaced by Shareece Wright). Trading their Pro Bowl punter wasn’t a great move either, given how much they’ve relied on field position in the past, and I’m not sure players like receiver Jerome Simpson or cornerback Chris Cook can make up for the rest of their offseason. Their best acquisition, Torrey Smith, was a good grab, but even their second- and third-best free agency players (Darnell Dockett and Reggie Bush) will represent a downgrade at their positions.

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