Friday, May 6, 2016

Rick Spielman

Mike Wallace's future with the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The promise of production never materialized for Mike Wallace. Last spring, the Minnesota Vikings brought the speedster to Winter Park with the hope that he’d give Norv Turner’s offense a legitimate deep threat. But Wallace didn’t just struggle down the field; he hardly produced. Despite being targeted 72 times in 2015, Wallace caught just 39 passes for 473 yards and two touchdowns. His yards per catch totals fell to 12.1, the lowest mark of his career, and he averaged just 29.6 yards per game.

Wallace’s struggles go deeper than the receiver’s on-field abilities, though. Poor offensive line play, Teddy Bridgewater‘s nonexistent deep ball, and the emergence of Stefon Diggs limited his opportunities, especially as the deep threat he was meant to be. Now, general manager Rick Spielman faces a difficult decision on Wallace’s contract, one that’ll inform the team’s draft strategy in April.

Reports earlier this week indicate Spielman’s desire to work with Wallace on a pay cut. If Wallace stays in Minnesota at his current price, the Vikings will owe him $11.5 million at the start of the 2016 league year. And if a deal can’t be reached, Spielman can cut Wallace with no dead money; a favorable deal that makes drafting a wide receiver more realistic next month. Clearly, Spielman wants Wallace in purple and gold next season. But what about the VT team? What do they want?

If you’re in Rick Spielman’s shoes, do you bring Wallace back in 2016 or cut him in the offseason?

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re-sign Matt Asiata
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Adrian Peterson is the bell-cow for the Minnesota Vikings, but the team remains steadfast in it’s three-pronged running back approach. The electric, do-it-all Jerick McKinnon will likely see an expanded role in 2016, reducing Matt Asiata‘s already limited touches out of the backfield. Despite the development, general manager Rick Spielman appears open to bringing the four-year veteran back next season.

According to Drew Boylhart of the Huddle Report, the Vikings wants to re-sign Asiata, who is set to become a free agent on March 9th. Asiata re-signed on a one-year deal at the start of free agency last year, and he’ll likely return at a similar price. He played just 198 offensive snaps in 2015, rushing 29 times for 112 yards and catching 19 passes for 132 yards.

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This is the time of year to be skeptical of all that you hear or read.

This time of year is plenty full of people with motives behind their words, whether it be the G.M. of an NFL franchise or the agent for a prospect or two, but we’ve never shied away from passing along potential smoke-screens for our readers enjoyment. Oh, and sometimes they turn out to be true.

The most recent rumor regarding the Vikings comes from Luke Rodgers of 247 Sports whose 12,400 Twitter followers were privy to an interesting little Vikings-related nugget. For the sake of transparency, I didn’t know who the guy was prior to today. To be fair, however, that probably says more about me than it does him.

Rodgers claims that the Vikings gave a nose tackle assurances during the NFL Scouting Combine that they will select him with the 23rd pick this year if he is still available. He even spilled the specific beans by giving us the prospect’s name.

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Gathered together in Indianapolis, the 2016 rookie class of wide receivers have proven themselves to be historically slow when it comes to the forty yard dash. Our Minnesota Vikings, conversly, are reportedly using the NFL Scouting Combine as a chance to bring back one of the NFL’s fastest wide outs at a lesser price tag.

Bleacher Report‘s Jason Cole reports that the Vikings and Mike Wallace will discuss a pay cut in Indianapolis this week. Cole claims the source of this information comes from within the Minnesota Vikings organization.

Cole says that the meeting is scheduled to include Wallace’s agent, Bus Cook.

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