Tags Posts tagged with "Rick Spielman"

Rick Spielman

The news isn’t exactly hard to keep up with these days, because there isn’t much of it, but that didn’t stop us from digging up some good stuff to pass along this weekend:

  • The Vikings seem to have a thing for tall defensive backs these days.
  • A look at what undrafted quarterback James Vandenberg might bring to the #3 quarterback competition.
  • The Vikings finalized their agreement to play at TCF Bank Stadium and there are some interesting details regarding the situation.
  • Nick Reed may not have lasted long with the Vikings, but that hasn’t stopped him from having a bad ass career path.
  • A year after “experts” failed to give the Vikings a chance at the playoffs it appears they are now gaining some respect.
  • An old cohort of mine is now running Vikings Gab.  Congrats to Chris Boynton 0n his new gig.
  • A look at how the post-Draft depth chart is shaping up at the linebacker position.
  • Cris Carter has finally been voted into the Hall of Fame so we are now left to wonder who the next Viking to receive that honor will be.
  • Count Governor Mark Dayton as one of the clueless who think the Vikings weren’t justified, in terms of football reasons, to draft Chris Kluwe’s replacement.
  • Rick Spielman recently said Christian Ponder deserves as much credit as Adrian Peterson in the franchise making the playoffs last year.  Seriously.  He said that.  With word.  From his mouth.  And he wasn’t drunk.
  • The Vikings have 39 players on their roster right now that they drafted which ranks 7th in the NFL.
  • Linebacker Michael Mauti has a lengthy history of dealing with injury, but so does Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman.
  • The Vikings have started yet another community oriented campaign called “WE DAY.”
  • Rick Spielman is making it clear that he expects Ponder to make a big jump this season.
  • Vegas is not being kind to the Vikings when it comes to predicting their 2013 chances.
  • If the Vikings had their own “Mount Rushmore” who would you put on it?
  • And now, here it is, your moment of Zen:

With three first round picks already in the fold, and another two days of the Draft left to play out, I am dusting of the ol’ “Welcome To The Big Show” feature which will detail each of our selections.

SHARRIF FLOYD, DT, FLORIDA

Attributes

Floyd possesses a great mix of size and athleticism which will help him continue to be a versatile player as his career moves to the next level.  He possesses a nice arsenal of pass rush moves and a very quick first step that could help the Vikings move the pocket against opposing offenses.

Height:  6’3″

Weight:  297 pounds

Arm Length:  31 3/4″

Hand Size:  10 1/8″

Combine Results

Forty:  4.92 seconds

Vertical Jump:  30″

Broad Jump:  106″

3-Cone:  7.40 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle:  4.75 seconds

Pro Day Results

Floyd reportedly “tweaked” his ankle at the NFL’s Scouting Combine and he did not participate in Florida’s March 12th Pro Day.  Ten days later he drew representatives from 14 NFL teams to a rescheduled workout where he put on an impressive display.  Floyd chose to stand on his Combine numbers in regards to the timed drills, but he impressed onlookers by going through drill after drill with a certain tenaciousness.

“I wasn’t going to stop until he told me to stop,” Floyd said of the position drills. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘I’m done.'”

Floyd’s pro day was one of many positive steps in his pre-Draft regimen that had analysts believing he was a top-five prospect.

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When it comes to the NFL Draft I am pretty sure even Pinocchio would attempt to float a lie or nine if he were in charge of a war room.

Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman has been giving his obligatory pre-Draft interviews and anyone that knows anything about how this whole thing plays out knows you shouldn’t read too much into the what he says.  Heck, last year he not only convinced a good number of fans that he might pick someone other than Matt Kalil, he convinced the Browns to move up one spot in exchange for a few picks.

This year Spielman is saying that he is unlikely to move up in the first round of the draft and has received numerous calls about the possibility of moving backwards from either the #23 or #25 spots.  Some cynics (anybody know one?) might take his words to mean that he wants to move up in the first round and has received absolutely no interest from other teams about the possibility of trading back.

The thing about that, however, is this year Spielman’s comments actually make enough sense that you can’t help but believe him.  The Vikings have enough needs on the roster that sacrificing quantity in an effort to move forwards in the first round doesn’t pass the smell test, and the way the quarterback class is shaping up this year could indeed mean he has already received genuine interest in his current picks from teams drafting at the top of the second round.

One thing I certainly don’t buy is Spielman’s insistence that he would feel comfortable heading into training camp with Erin Henderson as his top choice at the middle linebacker spot.

“No, that’s flexible,” said Spielman.  “That depends on what happens in the draft. If we go outside, Erin can slide inside or if we go inside Erin can play outside. That’s what is great about this linebacker thing. We have the flexibility to go either way.”

I know Henderson provides them with some flexibility, and has some experience at the position, but the Vikings just simply cannot have him starting anywhere other than on the weakside if they want to call this offseason a success.

Today, it was revealed that defensive tackle Kevin Williams was part of a move that seemed obvious to us all months ago, as he restructured his contract with the Vikings which will gain the Vikings about $2.5 million in cap space.

His previous deal had already paid out all guarantees and we’ve known for a long time that Williams was essentially a year-to-year at-will employee, and the Vikings could have cut him at any point this offseason with no cap penalties had they decided to do so.  The Vikings could have done just that to avoid his $7 million salary that he was scheduled to make in both 2013 and 2014.

Instead, Williams was apparently willing to take a paycut in return for some guaranteed money.

His new deal runs through this upcoming season only, and the $4.9 million salary is not only considerable, but is also fully guaranteed.  This pretty much makes it a certainty that he will be a Vikings for one more season, at the least.

Some will consider this move a sign that Williams is in his last year with the Vikings, but I’m not sure it means that.  Williams will be 34 years old next offseason, and the Vikings may simply be able to let the market establish itself for an aging tackle on the decline, and still opt to sign him if he is willing to play for a reasonable salary.  He will potentially join defensive linemen Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffen as free agents next offseason which could mean a significant change to the defensive line is on the horizon.

For now, however, it appears the D-Line is staying mostly intact.

What I don’t understand, and never will, is why it took so long for the Vikings to work out an obviously needed deal with a lifelong Viking.  The move has seemed so obvious for so long.  Even Williams himself brought up the issue about 10 months ago.  This issue of over-cautiousness (or procrastination) on Rick Spielman’s part has really annoyed me this offseason, not only because we saw other teams land more quality players in free agency, but because the same type of mentality led to what I will always consider a black mark in Vikings history.

We have already established with pretty good detail that Rick Spielman’s decision to release veteran cornerback, and locker room leader, Antoine Winfield was not a popular one when it came to the fan base.

As it turns out, according to NFL Network‘s Ian Rappaport, the move did not sit well with some “Vikings people” within Winter Park either.

One person told Rappaport that “It’s a move backwards” and he says some “aren’t thrilled” with Spielman’s decision.

I feel like I’ve already beat this topic to death, but I would still like to note that as of Thursday afternoon right tackles Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith remain unsigned, which is significant because the decision to break their budget for Phil Loadholt was cited as a reason for Winfield’s abrupt departure.  In fact, other decent offensive tackles are currently available such as Jake Long and Eric Winston, not to mention the many options available in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Rick Spielman has a reputation in Minnesota for letting the market establish itself before making hasty, big-money decisions so it was surprising to see him cave to Loadholt’s demands even if the player was threatening to join the division rival Chicago Bears.

However, recent events are making me wonder if Spielman isn’t overvaluing the players he has had a hand in bringing to Minnesota.  The most recent evidence of this is that the Vikings quickly snatched receiver Jerome Simpson to a one year deal worth $2.1 million.  Not only is that a raise from his 2012 salary of $2 million, but Spielman gave Simpson a $500,000 signing bonus, and a $250,000 workout bonus, according to 1500 ESPN.  The Vikings are betting on Simpson staying healthy (he did pass his physical) and producing far more significantly than he did last season.

Simpson’s pay day comes despite the fact that he never produced more than 50 receiving yards in any game last season and has caught the same amount of touchdown passes from Christian Ponder as I have:  zero.

It is not a huge surprise that fans aren’t a fan of Rick Spielman’s approach to free agency, as he is usually going to shy away from the splashy instant gratification moves that fans love to see, but his decision to cut Winfield is putting everything else he does under a microscope and doing the math to see just why exactly his plan had to involve that questionable decision.

And, according to Rappaport’s report, some within Winter Park are looking pretty closely themselves.

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