Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rick Spielman

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Improving the OL a top priority

T.J. Clemmings is the only Minnesota Vikings tackle under contract heading into free agency. Matt Kalil, Andre Smith, Jake Long, and Jeremiah Sirles—the rotation of subpar 2016 starters—are all set to hit the open market next week. Some will become restricted free agents, others exclusive rights, and a few unrestricted, but one thing remains true: the Vikings are lacking any sustainability at a position critical to long-term success.

That’s a problem.

Even if general manager Rick Spielman were to retain their talents, he’d still enter 2017 with arguably the league’s worst rotation of tackles. Fortunately, the Vikings are flush with cash, thanks in large part to the decision to forego Adrian Peterson’s future contract option.

The NFLPA also did the Vikings—and the rest of the NFL—a favor by raising the salary cap to $167 million. An increase of seven percent over the 2016 figure gives Spielman nearly $38 million to spend on premier tackles, running backs, and other positions of need — if he so chooses.

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Minnesota Vikings Free Agency

Free Agency is rapidly approaching and fans of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are clamoring for who could be on the Purple’s shopping list. I know the Draft is the bee’s knees, but this episode is focused solely on free agency (until the end). We walk through the level of priority the Vikings should have on their in-house free agents, I reveal my Top-10 Free Agent Wish List, and wrap up with a clip from my new project BULL with Andy Carlson — Jordan Reid (@JReidDraftScout) of The Viking Age walks us through a 7-round (but really 6-round) Vikings mock draft.

All that and more “Free agency is like the Scholastic Book Fair” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An AMG Production

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"I hate failure with a passion."

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings tumbled to an 8-8 season in 2016 after an impressive 5-0 start. When meeting with local beat reporters on Thursday, general manager Rick Spielman was fired up about not letting that kind of collapse happen again.

“To be honest with you,” Spielman said, “I wake up every morning ticked off that we’re 8-8 because I know that is not acceptable by the standards that we place on ourselves. We have to do everything we can heading into this offseason to address the needs and areas we [can improve].”

“I hate failure with a passion,” Spielman later added.

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VT QOTW

Mistakes Could Cost the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Until Rick Spielman’s press conference earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings news cycle was rather quiet. Sure, rumors and speculation dominated the Twitter landscape, but nothing concrete had yet to hit the Internet or the airwaves this offseason. And even with Spielman’s latest public comments, there isn’t much to glean from the general manager.

I tweeted earlier that most of Spielman’s comments were either “GM speak” or tidbits of info we’d been waiting to hear on record from the front office. Fifty-five minutes of media availability revealed little of Spielman’s current mindset, but here’s what we do know:

the cornerbacks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our second installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The cornerbacks

LAST SEASON

No viable NFL franchise can afford to remain complacent. Even if said team has, for example, the league’s best quarterback, contingency plans must always be a part of the front office’s long-term outlook. For the Minnesota Vikings, assessing and evaluating the cornerback position falls under this category of thinking.

Any measure would label the unit’s collective 2016 efforts a success. Most notably, Pro Football Focus ranked Minnesota’s secondary seventh-best last season. The highly-regarded site graded Terence Newman as a top-10 cornerback in the league, and his ageless performance was nearly matched by that of Xavier Rhodes.

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