Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rick Spielman

by -
15
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.

Vikings free agency targets
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The NFL League Year officially begins on March 9th, but there really are no timeouts when it comes to professional football. Once the final whistle blows at the end of the Super Bowl, front offices ramp up their efforts to improve rosters by making cuts, trades, and adding new talent.

That starts during Free Agency, which coincides with the beginning of the “new” year. Top-tier players, journeymen, and sleepers become available to the highest-bidding, and at times, most desperate teams. The Minnesota Vikings and general manager Rick Spielman generally take a cautious approach to the free-for-all extravaganza, finding value in lesser-known names who don’t dominate the headlines.

It’s an approach that recently brought players like Linval Joseph and Captain Munnerlyn to Minnesota; free agency additions that make an impact at a reasonable price. This year’s crop of players is filled with a few high-profile names, many of whom fans would like to see in purple and gold. But who would the VT Team like to see in Minnesota next year? I asked, and they answered!

Who is one player you’d like to see the Vikings sign in Free Agency?

by -
19
Mock draft selection Jaylon Smith
Image courtesy of Vikings.com
See my entire first 2016 NFL Mock Draft by CLICKING HERE.

I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary at Vikings Territory, and one of my first posts happened to be a mock draft. It wasn’t just my first mock draft for the website, but the first mock draft I’d ever done. Admittedly, I was going in blind, researching prospects, and spending hours at a time reading the analysis of much smarter draft minds than myself.

Fortunately, my “in the dark” guess turned into a jackpot, as the Minnesota Vikings selected Trae Waynes with the 11th-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Waynes ran the fastest time among all cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine, and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller wrote at the time that the Vikings had a first-round grade on the Michigan State corner.

In today’s age of #DraftTwitter, Draft Breakdown, and Draft Season, a fan like me can make educated guesses on what a team will do come the first round. This year, I’ve discovered another tool to help me in the decision-making process — FanSpeak’s Mock Draft Simulator. It’s a fun way to play the role of general manager and pull the trigger on your favorite prospect. In four of the five simulations I ran (using the CBS Big Board), the prospect I wanted was available. And that prospect was…

by -
1
Thanksgiving for Minnesota Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The NFL’s slate of games won’t be released for another two months, but schedule-makers are already planning an exciting Thanksgiving for Minnesota Vikings fans. According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, the Vikings are “likely” to play the Detroit Lions on Turkey Day.

Minnesota hasn’t played on Thanksgiving since 2000, when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 27-15. The Vikings are 5-1 all-time in Thanksgiving Day games, with both of their most recent victories coming against the Cowboys. In 1998, Randy Moss famously caught three passes, all of which resulted in touchdowns. That dominating team would go on to win the game 46-36 and finish the season 15-1.

Below, a look at the results from each of Minnesota’s Turkey Day games, per the team’s official website:

  • 11/27/1969 vs. Detroit, 27-0 W
  • 11/26/1987 vs. Dallas, 44-38 W OT
  • 11/24/1988 vs. Detroit, 23-0 W
  • 11/23/1995 vs. Detroit, 38-44 L
  • 11/26/1998 vs. Dallas, 46-36 W
  • 11/23/2000 vs. Dallas, 27-15 W

Historically, the Vikings have fared well against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Although their lone loss came at the hands of Detroit in 1995, they’ve outscored the Lions 88 to 44 in three total games.

Bad first round picks for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first round of the NFL Draft is a marquee of top prospects and college football’s best players. Over the past five years, the Minnesota Vikings have taken advantage of the talent pool, selecting nine players in the first round since 2011. And while most of those picks have been successful for general manager Rick Spielman, some failed to pan out. Names like Christian Ponder and Cordarrelle Patterson come to mind, if only because the price Spielman paid doesn’t match the return on investment.

Ponder was the 12th-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, while Patterson went 29th-overall in 2013 behind a trade that sent four Vikings draft picks to the New England Patriots. Minnesota can’t afford to make a similar mistake this year, especially when tantalizing names like Jaylon Smith and Josh Doctson may be available when the Vikings select 23rd-overall. But other, more trendy players may fall; players the Vikings shouldn’t draft in the first round. Who are they? Well, I asked the VT Team, and the answers may surprise you!

Who is one player you DO NOT want the Vikings to draft in the first round?

Get Social

2,860FansLike
380Subscribers+1
7,440FollowersFollow