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Aj Mansour on Jarius Wright, Midseason Drama, and the 2017 NFL Draft

Aj Mansour is practically a household name among Minnesota Vikings fans. Long a contributor at kfan.com, he’s making like Lebron James and taking his talents to another Internet “city.” Only this time, it’s not Miami or Cleveland.

Mansour’s joining the growing team at Purple PTSD, where our friend Joe Johnson serves up daily reminders of the struggle of being a Vikings fan. Like good neighbors, we asked Aj to participate in the final installment of “Three Questions,” and he happily obliged.

Before we get to his answers, though, here’s a rundown of every interview…

Daniel House On The Playoffs, Adam Thielen, & Vikings Free Agency
Mark Craig On 2016 Vikings Oddities, Adrian Peterson’s Future, & Sam Bradford’s Accuracy
Lindsey Young On Her Favorite Articles, 2010 Versus 2016, & U.S. Bank Stadium
Christopher Gates On London, Those Calling For Zimmer’s Job, & Minnesota’s Most Exciting Player
Matt Falk On The 2017 NFL Draft, Adam Thielen, & Fixing The O-Line
Joe Johnson On Nick Swardson, The Defense, & Roster Upgrades
Nik Edlund On Kalil’s Injury Impact, A Possible Vikings Draft Target, & The Play Of The Year
Matthew Coller On Norv Turner, Cordarrelle Patterson, And Vikings Craziness
Tom Moore on U.S. Bank Stadium, Vikings Alumni, and the Minnesota Offense

And now, words of wisdom from Mansour himself…

1. Can you give us any insight regarding the Jarius Wright situation this season and what it means for his future as a Viking?

I’ve been saying for a little while now that Jarius Wright just doesn’t appear to “fit the system” anymore. At one point in time he did, landing himself a four-year, nearly $15 million deal. The cupboards were pretty bare back then and he was a decent sized part of the plan. Fast forward to 2017 and it looks like he’s getting passed up and written out of the plans.

The emergence of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, coupled with the wake up call that Cordarrelle Patterson experienced and the continued optimism around Laquon Treadwell, has left little room for a $4-million fourth/fifth wide receiver on the roster. I think that it probably means that there is not much future here in Minnesota for Wright, though he’ll likely land a roster spot elsewhere and find some run.

2. Between Adrian’s preseason game status, the stuffed animal massacre, defensive backs going rogue, and any of the other 2016 oddities, do you think any were reported on as poorly as Mike Zimmer seemed to indicate?

I think it’s likely that somewhere along the line, one of those situations was sensationalized a little bit. But we’ve all heard the saying that where’s there’s smoke, there is a fire.

These situations of insubordination/miscommunication are the first signs of smoke that we’ve seen under the Zimmer regime and should be alarming because of that. From here, it’s all about how you handle it. In 2017, we’ll see if the coaching staff nipped it in the bud to put out said fire, or, if they ignored it to let it fester and grow over the offseason.

3. Is there any particular player, in this Draft class or potential free agent, that you really want to see Minnesota add to their 2017 roster?

Yes, and he’s presently wearing purple…for the time being at least. His name is Matt Kalil and he might be the single most important piece to putting back together the Vikings offseason puzzle coming up here. This is no surprise to anybody here, but this offseason needs to be almost entirely about the offensive line.

Looking at the recent history of free agents, you will almost never be able to land a left tackle worth his weight on the open market. If you do, you’ve likely SEVERELY overpaid, which will further handicap the Vikings. Going after and landing Kalil will be the first domino that needs to fall for the Vikings. He’s able to be had and though you might have to pay a bit more for him, it shouldn’t be egregious due to his inconsistent play and injury history. Still, the Vikings know the most about him.

They know how he’ll fit, they know how his health really is, and they know what kind of mental state he’s in. Get him settled then move on to filling other spots and finding depth along the line with the extra money you just freed up from cutting ties with Peterson… 😉

For more great insight from Aj Mansour, be sure to check out his work at PurplePTSD and follow him on Twitter.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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11 Comments

  1. I know tomorrow is Groundhog Day, but is it a wise move to invest MORE money in someone who seems to be acquiring injuries at an ‘Adrian Peterson’ rate? Devil’s Advocate – pour more money into Kalil and he gets injured right off the bat again next season, we’re right back at 2016. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    How about we look for a draftee without a laundry list of injuries?

    1. No, it’s not wise. Take a look at how much Atlanta has invested at the running back position this year.

      Time to move on from AP unless he’s willing to take a very significant pay cut to remain in Minnesota.

      I’m fine moving forward with McKinnon and Asiata. Bring in a FA and draft a guy in the latter puts of the draft if someone is there we like.

      1. From what AP showed us in the rather brief time he wasn’t too injured to play (and his ineffectiveness against good teams last year), there is no significant pay cut that would still warrant him playing.

        Paying someone 5 million to gain 1.9 ypc, drop passes, whiff on blitz protection, and fumble in critical moments isn’t any better than paying someone 18 million to gain 1.9 ypc, drop passes, whiff on blitz protection, and fumble in critical moments. Either way you slice it he’s no longer capable of helping us to get to the post-season. Father time has caught up.

      2. I’d really like to see Ronnie Hillman back in purple. He only led the team in ypc during his short stint with the Vikings, and he’d be very economical. Hindsight is 20/20, but it’s a shame they jettisoned him and pinned their hopes on AP coming back.

  2. The most important ability is a availability. The warranty seems to have run out on AP and The Human Turnstile, Matt Kalil. Get younger, durable talent. Just make sure that The Human Floodgate, TJ Clemmings, never sees the starting lineup ahain.

  3. All those fumbles in the NFC Championship were crushing but I got over it, but the late fumble against Seattle was unforgivable. Throw in the child beating, the fact that he doesnt block, really can’t catch, doesn’t excel in the shotgun, and is due 18 big ones.
    I’m over it

    1. Do you mean those two fumbles that were NOT recovered by the other team, unlike the five ACTUAL turnovers by other Vikings in that game? The first fumble that didn’t stop Peterson from scoring at the end of the drive, and the second fumble that he recovered himself and still gained yards on the play? If those two meaningless fumbles crushed you, I can only imagine how your delicate soul was devastated by the five ACTUAL turnovers by the Vikings in that game. I hope your therapist was on speed dial.

      I will concede that Peterson doesn’t block consistently – I’ve seen both very good blocks and whiffs – and that he doesn’t excel in the shotgun, but he’s not a bad receiver. And one incident of disciplining his child that went too far but was plea bargained down to 80 hours of community service doesn’t really constitute child beating in my mind, but for the unforgiving, “zero tolerance” for any corporal punishment crowd, that probably marks me as a reactionary to be ignored.

  4. No, no, a thousand times no, Mr. Mansour, to re-signing Matt Kalil. CUT. THE. DAMN. CORD!!!! We should have done it during the last pre-season, after Kalil’s failed 2015 comeback, when he was supposed to finally be healthy. And why do you just consider free agent LT options? We could probably get either Joe Thomas or Joe Staley for a combination of draft picks this year and next (and we could throw in Wright or even Treadwell if we’re foolish enough to re-sign Patterson). Hell, I’d rather overpay for Andrew Whitworth for a couple of years than go into another year praying that Kalil will finally be healthy and live up to – not even surpass! – his rookie year.

  5. What would y’all think of a draft that looked like this?

    48: R2P16
    S OBI MELIFONWU
    CONNECTICUT
    79: R3P15
    C PAT ELFLEIN
    OHIO STATE
    86: R3P22
    WR COOPER KUPP
    EASTERN WASHINGTON
    119: R4P14
    OT JULIE’N DAVENPORT
    BUCKNELL
    127: R4P22
    RB JOE MIXON
    OKLAHOMA
    161: R5P16
    DL DEANGELO BROWN
    LOUISVILLE
    200: R6P15
    TE JONNU SMITH
    FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
    235: R7P14
    EDGE TREY HENDRICKSON
    FLORIDA ATLANTIC

  6. Davenport made list of players whose stock dropped at the Senior Bowl. I feel like Alex Boone is the only lineman with a job and he was mildly disappointing. Two of first four on OL may not be enough.

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