Monday, May 2, 2016

Rick Spielman

VT Offseason Plan, Free Agency

Introduction

[In part two of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth free agency plan for the Minnesota Vikings. Part 1.]

Rick Spielman’s job with the Minnesota Vikings isn’t easy. In reality, any general manager’s job is a challenge. As the highest-ranking member of the team’s personnel department, Spielman is not only responsible for hiring coaches and staff members, but for building and tweaking a competitive roster each season.

His duties require year-round coordination and planning, all of which come to a head between February and April. It’s then that Spielman and his front office must finalize their college scouting, address the mad-dash that is free agency, and find new talent through the annual NFL Draft. And he does all this with a clear vision in mind, one he’s continued to develop in his five years as general manager.

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vikings spielman

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings look to reload and take another step forward in the 2016 season. To do so, Rick Spielman will have to work his magic once again and supplement the already young and talented roster with players who will help push Mike Zimmer and his crew over the hump. Grab a coffee and come on in. Let’s talk some Vikings!

The 11 Talkers Include
• NFL Combine Under Way
• Ricky Spielman Spoke at the Combine
• Rick Spielman Sat Down with Beat Writers Last Week
• Spielman Says Height Not Determining Factor in Drafting Next Vikings WR
• Norv Might Be In Trouble
• Adrian Showing Signs of Wear?
• One Free Agent to Watch….
• James Laurinaitis Cut By Rams. Fit for Vikings?
• Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah LOVE the Vikes
• Will the Vikings Re-Sign Chad Greenway?
• Andy’s Free Agency and Draft Wishlist

All that and other “There is No Vikings Offseason” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

Check out my latest project The Andy Carlson Show! Available on iTunes and Stitcher.

 

Listen to the Episode Below (47:47)

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Purple FTW! – The Podcast dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings.

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Subscribe on FTWAndy Carlson (Podcast Producer) is life-long Vikings fan with a sense of humor to help dull the pain of that existence. Sports are fun. They’re meant to be be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. He lives that mantra over at the Purple FTW! Podcast: Dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings. Check out his shenanigans there and on Twitter @AndyCarlsonShow and @PurpleForTheWin.

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image courtesy of vikings.com

Things will begin to heat up over the next several days as over 300 NFL prospects arrive in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. Groups one, two and three (special teams, offensive lineman and running backs) arrive today starting the Pre-Examinations, X-Rays, Orientation, and Interview portions leading up to the televised workouts starting Friday. Click here for the full schedule of events.

The Combine evaluation process isn’t an exact science and it certainly can have it’s fair share of objectivity. For some prospects it may require enduring a little extra prodding and probing as teams wrestle with issues between talent and character.

Here are 10 polarizing prospects the Minnesota Vikings will be doing their due diligence on as they determine value and potential fit.

Vikings Wonderlic Test
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is a proving ground for hundreds of college football players at the NFL’s annual Scouting Combine. There, potential first round draft picks and sleepers alike try to sprint, jump, and interview their way onto an NFL roster. It’s the blazing 40-yard dash times and impressive bounds that grab the headlines, but often, it’s their work behind closed doors that boosts (or hurts) a player’s stock.

Team interviews can make or break a prospect’s reputation with organizations. Maxx Williams, the former Golden Gopher tight end, reportedly came across as selfish in combine interviews last year, and his attitude may have turned a few teams off in the process. Eric Kendricks, meanwhile, was described as someone who could walk into a defensive huddle as a rookie and immediately gain the respect of veterans.

Sometimes, the fastest, tallest, and strongest players find themselves falling in the draft. All the weight and speed in the world can’t replace one of football’s most important requirements — cognitive ability. It’s why the Wonderlic Test, as parodied as it may be, remains a crucial aspect of the NFL Draft process and a key into the minds of gridiron greats.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings rumor mill and speculation machine are both currently examining the situation in Minnesota regarding Matt Kalil and his $11.1 million salary for 2016. On March 9th, that salary becomes fully guaranteed and forces Rick Spielman to make a decision on the left tackle position very soon.

In a vacuum, Kalil is certainly a dubious investment when it comes to such a sizable chunk of the salary cap. However, that you’ll find someone to play the position better than him anytime soon is also a risky proposition.

The ideal situation, for both the team and the player, would probably be to come to a long-term extension agreement that lowers Kalil’s cap hit while also providing him some long-term guarantees. That also puts the Vikings in a position to again overpay, over a longer period of time, for a player that has been inconsistent (at best) so far in his career.

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