Thursday, January 29, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "NFL Free Agency"

NFL Free Agency

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(photo used with permission)

Brian Heintz is no stranger to unforeseen challenges and obstacles in life. However, he is just as familiar with a determined, positive attitude. Maybe it’s the combination of these things that make Heintz such a well-suited and dedicated fan of the Minnesota Vikings.

Heintz grew up in Minnesota, a product of the East Side of St. Paul. He recalls his earliest memories involving the Vikings:

“My mom was always a big Vikings fan, and she got me into it,” he explained. “One of her many great parenting skills.”

In fact, the 29-year-old cannot remember a time when he wasn’t rooting for the team; at age five, he owned his first jersey—Tommy Kramer.

Years of memories surround the Vikings, but one stands out to Heintz as more special than the others: a year he attended the Vikings training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs in River Falls.

“As the players were loading onto team buses, Korey Stringer threw his glove out the window right at us. I got his glove and had Chris Walsh autograph it before they took off. RIP, Big K.”

Heintz experienced many great Vikings moments this season, as well. He attended eight games, and the Vikings won all but one of those contests. “Apparently, I should have gone to all of them,” he joked. Heintz went on to emphasize that the team’s final 7-8 record seemed pretty good, considering the challenges on offense.

“Leaving a few wins on the field is always tough,” he admitted, “but good for Teddy [Bridgewater] as far as situational football goes. Finally, a quarterback to invest in and get excited about that’s not [over the hill].”

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Since 2010, NFL cornerback Marcus Sherels has played on a season-by-season basis.  Each summer that Sherels makes it through the Vikings training camp and onto the roster, it is a small victory for the 26-year-old.

This season is a different story.

Sherels proves first-hand that hard work and determination will go a long way in this league.  As stated in an earlier VT posting, Sherels found himself signing a multi-year contract with the Vikes. Sherels was a restricted free agent at the timehe was also the first FA Minnesota signed.  The new deal will give him $2.2 million over the next two seasons, including a $300,000 signing bonus.

A native of Minnesota, Sherels attended John Marshall High School in Rochester. He then went on to play for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, earning a scholarship after initially joining the football program as a walk on.

Sherels did not find an easy path to the NFL.  In fact, he went undrafted in 2010. Minnesota signed him to the practice squad during the 2010 preseason but cut him before the end of the month to make room for tight end John Nalbone. On October 13, however, Sherels was re-signed to the practice squad and Nalbone released.

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