Wednesday, August 24, 2016

xavier rhodes

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Kendricks and Rhodes to Host Youth Football Camp
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and his family launched the Mike Zimmer Foundation earlier this year, they sought to better the lives of children in need. The foundation is already making a difference for countless families, and now, Zimmer’s players are following his lead.

From June 21-24, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and linebacker Eric Kendricks will host an overnight football camp at the University of St. Thomas. They’ll teach both offensive and defensive fundamentals to about 100 players, working on everything from backpedals to proper tackling technique.

The Sports International Football Camp gives Vikings like Rhodes and Kendricks a chance to touch the local community and create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for aspiring players. “I am extremely excited about my football camp this summer and cannot wait to start training these young athletes,”  Rhodes said earlier this year.

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VT QOTW

Bold Vikings Predictions for the 2016 Season
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With the news cycle at an offseason low, it’s time to start thinking big. The Minnesota Vikings begin organized team activities (OTAs) next week, marking the high-point in what’s been a frustratingly quiet period since the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft.

We’re tired of waiting for the action to begin, though; pull out the crystal balls and put on your thinking caps. The Vikings Territory team — and a special guest — are sharing their bold predictions for the 2016 season. Will Rick Spielman make a surprising trade? Does Moritz Böhringer crack the starting lineup? Read after the jump and see what we think!

What’s your way-too-early bold prediction for the 2016 season?

Vikings Sign Seventh-Round Pick Jayron Kearse
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings rookie safety Jayron Kearse is the second draft pick to sign with the team after agreeing to a four-year, $2.4 million deal with the Vikings. According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, Kearse will sign his contract, which includes a $64,224 signing bonus, on Thursday.

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Cordarrelle Patterson's option NOT picked up

Vikings Keep Rhodes, Floyd through 2017
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings had until the end of today to exercise the fifth-year option on their three 2013 first round picks. Rather than wait until the deadline, though, the Vikings locked up two of the three, keeping a couple of Mike Zimmer’s key defenders in Minnesota through 2017.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Vikings picked up the fifth-year options on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who were taken with the 23rd and 25th picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. Floyd originally posted an ambiguous tweet indicating some good news, and Adam Caplan was the first to report the decision on Rhodes, per Rhodes’s agent.

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Mackensie Alexander
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer opened yesterday’s press conference with a simple question: “You all thought we were going defense, didn’t you?” The Vikings didn’t, selecting Laquon Treadwell in the first round, but Rick Spielman granted Zimmer’s wish on Friday night.

With the 54th-overall pick in the second round, the Vikings drafted Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander. The 5’10”, 190-pound redshirt sophomore finished his collegiate career with 52 tackles, four tackles for loss, and 12 pass breakups in 27 total games.

According to Pro Football Focus, Alexander allowed just 33 percent of passes into his coverage to be caught in 2015, which was best among all cornerbacks in the class. On a conference call with Minnesota media earlier tonight, the self-proclaimed “best cornerback in the draft” exuded confidence:

“I was asked to follow the best receivers every week and eliminate them from their game plan every week and win those matchups. I was asked to play inside and play zone. Whatever the Vikings want me to do, I’m ready for it and I’m just going to be open to anything they ask me to do.”

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