Tuesday, December 1, 2015

solomon elimimian

Between now and the season opener, the Minnesota media will follow a very specific formula to make sure their sports pages are still interesting despite the relatively boring period of time that is the middle of the offseason.

I am, of course, referring to the strategy creating a scattershot of “fluff” pieces that will profile a player, perhaps give us a snapshot of their personal history, and leave us all with a hopeful message:  This guy could be the answer at his respective position.

I’m not saying these articles don’t serve a worthwhile purpose, and aren’t interesting to those of us that love our Vikings football, but I just want to help you temper your expectations by reminding you that these articles come and go every year.  Sometimes the player turns out to be a nobody (i.e. Logan Payne) and sometimes the player actually does become a contributor (i.e. Marcus Sherels) despite the stacked odds.

I’m not trying to be the poster child of pessimism.  Rather, I am just trying to keep your expectations in check, as it is always a dangerous time when the hopes of Vikings fans begin to rise.

Okay, so with all of that said, I want to highlight some stories about the pre-camp Vikings and how they are doing.  After the jump.

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Wouldn’t it be fun to have a linebacker named Rocky on the roster?

Yeah, I agree.

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that the Vikings brought in veteran linebacker Rocky McIntosh for a workout.  McIntosh could end up joining seventh round pick Audie Cole, CFL standout Solomon Elimimian, and undrafted rookie Tyler Nielson in Rick Spielman’s effort to solidify the linebacker depth.

McIntosh is 29 years old and played all six of his NFL seasons with the Redskins.  He has racked up 471 tackles, eight sacks, eight forced fumbles, and three interceptions.  Last year, in Washington’s 3-4 defense, McIntosh saw his production slip off and he lost his starting spot.

McIntosh could provide solid depth at every linebacker spot and also be a solid special teams contributor.  Don’t be surprised if McIntosh is offered a one-year (you guessed it) “prove it” deal by Rick Spielman.

It is increasingly obvious that Rick Spielman didn’t think too highly of most of the Vikings players seeing their contracts expire this month.  Sage Rosenfels and Letroy Guion are the only ones to receive contracts so far, while the front office continues to monitor the status of Erin Henderson, E.J. Henderson, and presumably safety Husain Abdullah.

That doesn’t mean that now-former Vikings players aren’t getting interest in phase two of free agency.  Here are some quick updates:


Goes to the Titans on a three year deal worth $16 million.

The length of the contract surprised me more than the dollar amount or even the destination.  Hutch had reportedly told Vikings teammates that he was really only interested in playing one more year of football.

The Titans get a heck of a player, and a heck of a good guy, and a heck of a veteran presence here.  They had made clear, following Chris Johnson’s struggles in 2011, that the offensive line was a major priority for them.  Hutchinson may not be a long term solution, but he should be an upgrade over what they had.

After finding modest success in signing CFL players like linebacker Kenny Onatolu and wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, I had good reason for paying such close attention to which CFL players Rick Spielman was checking out this offseason.

Not shockingly, those efforts have proven to be of worth.

On Wednesday, the Vikings reportedly signed BC Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian to a two year contract.

At age 25, six feet tall, and 227 pounds Elimimian has made a name for himself by delivering big hits north of the border.  He was named the CFL’s hardest hitter in a polling of fellow players and won the rookie of the year award in 2010 with BC, after going undrafted out of Hawaii and being cut by the Buffalo Bills.

Last season he had 98 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions.  He was named as an All-Star and his team won the Grey Cup.

Elimimian could provide some much needed depth at the linebacker position if he can stick to the Vikings roster.  He has some decent upside, but don’t expect much more than a special teams player in 2012.

The Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams were thought to have also made an offer to the young linebacker.

As I have previously noted, the Vikings are currently scouring the CFL for potential talent that may be able to contribute to this team’s eventual turnaround.

Offensive tackle Jovan Olafioye and linebacker Solomon Elimimian have yet to sign with any NFL teams, and defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell signed a futures contract with the Miami Dolphins.

A new CFL name has emerged on the Vikings radar, however.

Edmonton Eskimos tailback Jerome Messam is expected to work out for the Vikings in the near future.  The Bengals and the Dolphins are also expected to work him out.

At 6’ 3” and 245 pounds, the bruising back rushed for 1,149 yards in 2011 prior to tearing his meniscus in a semifinal game.

[UPDATE:  Mitchell, who seems like he might have a screw a little bit loose according to this article, actually ended up re-signing with the B.C. Lions.]

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