Thursday, February 11, 2016

NFL offseason

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Second only to the NFL Draft, the first week of the league’s free agency period is one of the most exciting parts of the NFL offseason each and every year. Sometimes it works out and other times it does not for a team and their expensive new player or players.

It is always fun for fans to hope that their team goes out and signs the top available free agents, but that is not always the best strategy for their favorite team. Some fans need to be more realistic when it comes to who they think their team could sign.

When the free agency period for this upcoming NFL year begins on March 9th, there will be a few players that could land with the Vikings. Who are some of the more realistic options in free agency that could fit with the team in Minnesota?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When it comes to trades, the NFL is usually not known for these types of transactions as much as other professional sports leagues have been such as the NBA, NHL, and MLB. However, the league did have a total of 38 trades in 2015 before the start of the regular season that featured at least one player (not just draft picks) and that total is the highest it has been in the last three years.

In the last three NFL offseasons, there have been a total of 89 trades made before the start of that year’s regular season. The Vikings have been involved in four of those 89 trades, including three in 2015.

Will Minnesota and general manager Rick Spielman participate in any trades in this upcoming offseason? If they do, who has the possibility of leaving town?

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With only a short time until training camp kicks off in Mankato (yay!), excitement is in the air and it feels like football season is really just around the corner. I’m always internally conflicted around this time of year, because on one hand I can’t wait until the regular season is underway, but on the other hand that also means another Minnesota winter … I’m sure you all understand what I mean! Anyway, before camp kicks off, I thought it would be fun to see what a handful of your favorite players have been up to over the offseason.

Brian Robison

Spent quality time with the family: Robison spends a lot of time with his wife, daughter and son, and he often posts photos of the family adventures on his Instagram account. This offseason, he posted about his son’s birthday party, attending the circus, family vacations, and more. It’s great to see these players making it a priority to spend time with family!

Watched the NBA Playoffs: A native of Houston, Texas, Robison is a huge Rockets fan and supported James Harden and Co. during the 2015 NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately, the Rockets lost to Golden State prior to the Finals.

Went fishing (of course): For as comfortable as Robison is on the field, he’s just as much a natural with a fishing rod in his hands. It’s no secret that the DE spends a large part of his offseason fishing, and Vikings photographer Andy Kenutis captured some fun photos of Robison’s off-field gig.  Robison even got a feature written on him in Bass Angler Magazine:

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The Minnesota Vikings are working to be a more fit, more agile, and more productive team.  According to an ESPN article, the Vikings have collectively shed 170 pounds of body fat and gained 70 pounds of muscle.

Earlier this spring, buzz surrounded rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd as he worked to build a healthier lifestyle. Floyd is preparing to compete for the starting nose tackle job previously held by Kevin Williams. You can view a video highlighting his efforts here.

Floyd isn’t the only member of the franchise making changes, however. One of the first things Coach Mike Zimmer did when joining Minnesota was take high-fat items out of the Vikings’ menu. “I’m eating fish every day for lunch,” said Zimmer. “That’s a new thing for me.”

In addition to diet changes, the team has also changed its offseason weight-lifting program. The new regiment is helping players trim the fat while building muscle.

Zimmer acknowledges that the extra adjustments have been a “collective effort” by the team, and it seems like everyone is on board. Thus far, Floyd is showing the most significant results. Since starting his personal lifestyle changes and also taking part with Zimmer’s program tweaks, the tackle has lost 25 pounds from where he was at the end of the 2013-14 season.

Floyd said the following:

“I changed a lot of things this offseason. I stopped eating meat. I started eating just seafood and really focusing on my diet, and everything leads into what I do on Sunday. [Giving up meat was] really hard. I lived off pork. I thought pork made the world go around. […] That was just me [making the decision]. Do I want to keep putting this stuff in my body or do I want to get right? So I decided to give up things that I love that are not really good for me right now. My body feels great. I’ve been telling people my body hasn’t felt this way since I first started playing football.”

With the roster working together to follow Floyd’s example, Vikings fan can be assured that these guys will be ready to go come September 7.

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