Vikings Territory https://vikingsterritory.com Minnesota Vikings News, Analysis, Opinions and Rumors Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:13:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 130417002 Vikings acquire DT PJ Hall from Raiders for potential 7th-Round Pick https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/vikings-acquire-dt-pj-hall-from-raiders-for-potential-7th-round-pick https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/vikings-acquire-dt-pj-hall-from-raiders-for-potential-7th-round-pick#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:13:08 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47997 The Vikings were left with a gigantic hole in the middle of their defense when new nose tackle Michael Pierce, the biggest (and one of the only) free agency acquisition of this cap strapped off-season, opted-out of the 2020 season because of his concerns about his asthma and the potential that he will contract COVID …

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The Vikings were left with a gigantic hole in the middle of their defense when new nose tackle Michael Pierce, the biggest (and one of the only) free agency acquisition of this cap strapped off-season, opted-out of the 2020 season because of his concerns about his asthma and the potential that he will contract COVID by playing.

That left the Vikings scrambling with little cap space and even less time before the season starts next month.

They have reportedly made a move to at least add competition (with Vikings like Jaleel Johnson), depth and potentially a starter at the spot held down by the recently released Linval Joseph with aplomb and excellent results.

The Vikings traded a 7th-round pick, general manager Rick Spielman’s apparent favorite pick, for Raider’s defensive tackle PJ Hall. Or rather, the Vikings will end up giving the Raiders a 7th-rounder if Hall is listed on the 53-man roster for six or more regular season games.

That should happen, as Hall has played in 28 of the possible 32 games the last two seasons, which gives him more experience than the other options the Vikings have at the position.

During the 2019 season, Hall had 26 total tackles, five tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Hardly Linval Joseph numbers, but it is at least something where it felt as if the Vikings had next to nothing.

Hall joins other defensive players like Cameron Dantzler, Jeff Gladney, and DJ Wonnum and James Lynch as parts of the new Vikings defense I am dubbing “Spielmer/Zimman 2: This time it’s Probably gonna be ruined by COVID before the Offensive Line Can Do it.”

I kid because I love.

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Moves The Vikings Could Make With Their Newly Found Cap Space https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/analysis/moves-the-vikings-could-make-with-their-newly-found-cap-space https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/analysis/moves-the-vikings-could-make-with-their-newly-found-cap-space#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 12:00:11 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47993 The Minnesota Vikings new defensive tackle Michael Pierce has opted out of the 2020 season, citing health concerns with COVID-19 and his asthma. You absolutely can’t fault a guy for wanting to protect himself and his family, and it does give the Vikings $5 million to work with now that his contract will start next …

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The Minnesota Vikings new defensive tackle Michael Pierce has opted out of the 2020 season, citing health concerns with COVID-19 and his asthma. You absolutely can’t fault a guy for wanting to protect himself and his family, and it does give the Vikings $5 million to work with now that his contract will start next season.

With that additional money, the Vikings now have about $14 million in cap space to work with according to Overthecap.com. With that in mind, what moves can the Vikings make with that extra money?

Bring Back Everson Griffen

This is a no-brainer. Griffen obviously has history with Minnesota, having spent the last 10 seasons there. In addition, it seems like Griffen wanted to be back and Mike Zimmer wanted him back, but the money just wasn’t going to work when the Vikings were strapped for cash.

Now that the offseason is over and the Vikings have plenty of cap space, a reunion with the sack daddy could be in order. It’s not like Griffen has been bad in recent years. Following his mental health issues in 2018, he came back and recorded 8 sacks this season. 

Although Griffen is on the wrong side of 30, he can still bring a lot to a defense, especially one that is now hurting for accomplished players outside of Danielle Hunter. There is no question of Griffen’s leadership and love for Minnesota, but at what cost? 

Griffen made $7.4 million last season, and while it would be possible for the Vikings to at least match that, you would think that they would want a hometown discount. The big domino waiting to fall in Griffen’s talks is still Jadeveon Clowney.

Sign Jadeveon Clowney

Speaking of the man with the most viscous college football hit that I have seen live, Clowney is still on the open market. Teams and reporters alike have expressed concerns over Clowney’s motor and his dedication to the game. That, coupled with a down year in 2019, has left teams less eager to make a splash for the once highly touted pass rusher.

However, this could be a huge opportunity for both Minnesota and Clowney. The Vikings and Mike Zimmer have a history of bringing players with motor issues up to their full potential. Heck, Everson Griffen was considered a potential problem for years before he came under Zimmer’s tutelage.

So, if the Vikings could land Clowney and put him opposite of the freak athlete that is Danielle Hunter, they could have one of the best pass rushing tandems in the league. At this point, Clowney will probably be signing a one year deal to prove his worth and then cash in. If the Vikings were to take on the risk, they could get first crack at signing Clowney long-term, assuming of course that he works out.

Sign Brian Winters

The Minnesota Vikings are hurting at the guard position. After releasing their starter on the right side last season Josh Kline earlier this offseason, the team is left with very little starting experience. Of course, there is always Pat Elflien whose switch back to guard was supposed to breathe new life into his career, but it so far has just given Vikings faithful headaches.

So with the surprise news of the New York Jets releasing their starting right guard of the past five seasons, it gives the Vikings another veteran option to bring in. Winters was set to make $7.3 million from the Jets this season, but instead finds himself looking for a new home with training camp starting.

Minnesota would be a perfect place for the 29-year-old. There are two starting spots to compete for, and Winters worked with offensive line/run game coordinator Rick Dennison when he was doing the same job for the Jets in 2018.

It might not be the sexiest move, but it would do a lot to bolster the group that many fans will agree needs the most work. After Rick Spielman failed to bring in anybody to help fill those voids this offseason, and indeed lost his best guard in Josh Kline, Winters would make a lot of fans happier with their newly extended GM.

If not Winters, Larry Warford is still on the table.

Sign Damon Harrison/Mike Daniels

Harrison and Daniels are the best interior defensive lineman on the market at this time. It would make sense with the departure of Pierce to sign one of the two to be their big man up front for the season.

Of course, this assumes that either plays this season. Harrison reportedly asked to be released by the Lions last season and was also batting around the idea of retiring. Daniels apparently wants to play this season, in Detroit or otherwise, but health concerns have kept anybody from making a play for him.

If given the choice, I would want Harrison over Daniels. Last season notwithstanding, he’s been a dominant run defender for years. He would immediately give the Vikings a leg up in an area that got them eliminated from last year’s playoffs when the San Francisco 49ers ran all over them.

Sign Devonta Freeman

This is without a doubt the most out there take of this list. I did consider suggesting signing Josh Gordon, but that seems like less of a risk at this point. 

This move would be purely a spiteful move against Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Cook, who has reported to training camp despite a threat of a holdout, is reportedly looking for a contract extension somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-13 million/year. 

If the Vikings are serious about playing hardball with Cook, they could sign Freeman to a deal and basically say “we don’t need you.” Now, this is relying on Freeman being less 2018-2019, 724 rushing yards and two touchdowns over 16 games, Freeman and more 2015-2016, 1000+ rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns per season, Freeman.

It’s very hard for running backs to turn back the clock and be effective up to the age of thirty and past it. Vikings legend Adrian Peterson being the exception to the rule.

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Vikings finalizing multi-year extension for GM Spielman https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/vikings-finalizing-multi-year-extension-for-gm-spielman https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/vikings-finalizing-multi-year-extension-for-gm-spielman#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 02:10:31 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47989 In news that’ll shock absolutely no one (delight or anger some, sure), the Vikings are reportedly finalizing a mutli-year extension with their general manager Rick Spielman, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The #Vikings are finalizing a multi-year contract extension with general manager Rick Spielman, per sources. — Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 3, 2020 Spielman …

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In news that’ll shock absolutely no one (delight or anger some, sure), the Vikings are reportedly finalizing a mutli-year extension with their general manager Rick Spielman, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Spielman is entering the final year of his contract with the Vikings and was a shoe in for a renewal before and after the team also extended head coach Mike Zimmer in July.

Spielman is widely considered to be one of the best general managers in the NFL. He has been responsible for creating one of the most consistently successful teams in the league, both during his time as the triangle of authority and as general manager.

He has been also widely considered to be one of the best drafting general managers, as well, especially when it comes to the Vikings’ defensive picks. He and Zimmer also seem to work together well, with Zimmer being allowed to build the defense of his dreams year after year.

There are some who will bemoan this move, though, as they see the lack of equal offensive draft success, and the continued offensive line issue as signs that Spielman (like similar narratives about Zimmer) can build teams that can put together good regular seasons but that’ll never win an actual championship.

It is hard to argue that Spielman is a draft specialist, as he has out together drafts with multiple first round picks four times since 2012. Including seven first rounders between 2012 and 2014, and in the most recent draft which also was the draft with the most picks (15) in the history of the 7-round draft.

However, with Zimmer being extended this off-season, it was obvious that Spielman’s extension wasn’t far behind and with the fifteen picks that the Vikings just … Picked, it is also only logical that you keep both the coach and general manager who oversaw their draft in place to develop them as they are part of what I am dubbing the ‘Spielman/Zimmer II: This Time the COVID Salary Cap might Destroy Our Plans before the Offensive Line/Other NFC Playoff Team(s) with an mew Era Offensive Minded Head Coach Can’ team(s).

I guess it’s clear what side of the above I fall under. But, I also realize that because of Spielman and Zimmer I can be nitpicky and sound like I am whining about consistently being a contender but never actually contending.

We as Vikings fans have been spoiled by am organization that is one of the best regular season teams since their inception in 1961, but with Spielman (and Zimmer) it feels like the actual window of being thought of as a contender has been open wider for longer than past teams (outside of the Purple People Eaters and perhaps the Dennis Green era).

Let’s just hope that the COVID cap doesn’t ruin what they planned to build. Also, shout out to cap guru Rob Brzezinski, who has been instrumental in the above as well! The good stuff, I mean.

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30 in 20: Looking back at the most memorable Vikings moments of the past 20 years https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/30-in-20-looking-back-at-the-most-memorable-vikings-moments-of-the-past-20-years https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/30-in-20-looking-back-at-the-most-memorable-vikings-moments-of-the-past-20-years#respond Sun, 02 Aug 2020 15:10:41 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47976 The electricity in the air really gets palpable a few blocks away. Drums are pounding, whistles are blowing, and everyone you cross paths with is on the same journey to the Promised Land. And on this day, snow was falling as we crossed Portland Ave., and the Metrodome slowly came into view. It was a …

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The electricity in the air really gets palpable a few blocks away.

Drums are pounding, whistles are blowing, and everyone you cross paths with is on the same journey to the Promised Land. And on this day, snow was falling as we crossed Portland Ave., and the Metrodome slowly came into view.

It was a couple days before Christmas and my dad was a yearly season ticket owner at that point.

It wasn’t anything special, some nosebleed seats that he would either use or sell if he wasn’t in town, but it was in the building. And at a young age, that’s all that mattered to me.

We didn’t expect much; the Vikings were firmly out of the playoff hunt at 5-8. But for some reason that meaningless game in which the Jacksonville Jaguars went on to win 33-3 sticks in my mind forever.

This was Cris Carter’s “retirement” game. Near the end of the game, he had a message that played on the big screen thanking the fans and the organization for an incredible career, and this would be his last game at the Metrodome.

While Carter did eventually suit up a few games for the Miami Dolphins the following year in 2002, including a brief appearance against the Vikings at the Metrodome, this was effectively his swan song.

And everyone in the building knew it.

With the game firmly out of reach late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings were driving to get Carter one last touchdown.

After crossing midfield with 50 seconds left, down by 30 points, the Vikings called their first timeout.

Starting as a slow rumble, the stadium soon erupted into a never-ending chorus of:

“Carter! Carter! Carter!”

A 17-yard gain to Carter to put the Vikings on the 27-yard line, and the Vikings called their second timeout.

“Carter! Carter! Carter!”

An opportune roughing the passer penalty put the Vikings on the 13-yard line.

“Carter! Carter! Carter!”

After two straight incompletions Spergon Wynn drops back, targets Cris Carter in the endzone, and is intercepted by Jacksonville.

The air completely left the building as the Jaguars quickly lined up to kneel the ball, and the game was over.

Walking out of the Metrodome on the back of a 30-point loss to put the Vikings at 5-9 should be something that I buried deep, deep in the recesses of my mind never to be thought of again.

But that’s the weird thing: it’s one of my most cherished Vikings’ memories.

And that’s what makes football so loveable.

Your personal favorite memory could be something that a diehard fan has never even thought of before. Someone could have no clue about that game against the Jaguars, but vividly remember Randy Moss’ Thanksgiving game at Dallas just three years prior.

After thinking back to my favorite Vikings moments (and after reading Joe Posnanski’s incredible “60 Moments” MLB series on ‘The Athletic’), I wanted to try to collect a series of those memories.

This will be a series of 30 of the most memorable Vikings moments of the last 20 years.

It will not be ranked, because at the end of the day, ranking would be objective. How can you, for example, compare an elite Adrian Peterson performance in 2012 to an elite Brett Favre performance in 2009? They are both moments of greatness in their own right.

Instead, it will be a compilation of moments that I believe have electrified, inspired, or deeply impacted recent Vikings fandom.

Spoiler alert: there will be moments included or excluded here that people will disagree with.

And that’s ok.

It’s hard to pick out a universally agreed-with list of the past 20 years, and I’m sure I will miss some of your personal favorite moments just like someone would have missed my Cris Carter moment.

I just hope I don’t throw an interception in the endzone.

 

No.30: Allen’s goal line stand & Frerotte to Berrian

No.29: Coming Soon

No.28: Coming Soon

No.27: Coming Soon

No.26: Coming Soon

No.25: Coming Soon

No.24: Coming Soon

No.23: Coming Soon

No.22: Coming Soon

No.21: Coming Soon

No.20: Coming Soon

No.19: Coming Soon

No.18: Coming Soon

No.17: Coming Soon

No.16: Coming Soon

No.15: Coming Soon

No.14: Coming Soon

No.13: Coming Soon

No.12: Coming Soon

No.11: Coming Soon

No.10: Coming Soon

No.9: Coming Soon

No.8: Coming Soon

No.7: Coming Soon

No.6: Coming Soon

No.5: Coming Soon

No.4: Coming Soon

No.3: Coming Soon

No.2: Coming Soon

No.1: Coming Soon

 

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Diggs STILL bad-mouthing Vikings on Twitter https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/diggs-still-bad-mouthing-vikings-on-twitter https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/diggs-still-bad-mouthing-vikings-on-twitter#respond Sat, 01 Aug 2020 19:27:41 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47968 Breaking news: Stefon Diggs is a petulant man-child who will have no one but himself when he finds himself without a team or sponsor in… Eh, I give it under five seasons. Now, there is a way to handle oneself in the NFL in a situation where that player feels that the team he is …

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Breaking news: Stefon Diggs is a petulant man-child who will have no one but himself when he finds himself without a team or sponsor in… Eh, I give it under five seasons.

Now, there is a way to handle oneself in the NFL in a situation where that player feels that the team he is on is not utilizing them to their full potential. I could say what that way is, but instead I’ll just make it easy and say it is essentially the opposite of what Diggs did and continues to do.

You can argue, perhaps, that Diggs should’ve had better numbers during his time in Minnesota. Up until the arrival and extension of Kirk Cousins, the Vikings went through quarterbacks as often as they did offensive coordinators and field goal kickers… and punters.

However, isn’t it a bit strange that Diggs really only started becoming a distraction when that problem was rectified?

Cousins gave Diggs over 100 grabs and his first 1,000 yard season. 100 grabs when you’re playing opposite Adam Thielen and grabbing the majority of deep ball coverage/double teams?

Yeah. How awful.

Sure, he had far less grabs in 2019, but his average per catch yardage exploded, as well, from an even 10 in 2018 to 17.9 in 2019. That made Diggs the best deep ball receiver (for catches over 40 yards) in the NFL. He also played without his supposed friend Adam Thielen for most of 2019, so, he can either blame himself or the system for not getting more grabs.

I wonder which he blames.

That brings me to the topic of today’s Diggs rant. Something I am literally going to take an angry nap after publishing as at this point I really only wanted to write about Diggs in 2022 when the Bills trade him for a new Jugs machine after he posts some sort of TikTok saying buffalo wings taste like ass.

So, some fan in Buffalo Tweeted… actually… I’ll just show you:

Now, some may say, stop being butt hurt, he said “lol”, which means he was being light-hearted and junk! When has THIS guy ever been light-hearted?

It is like every camera owes him money.

They say that if Diggs cracks a smile we’ll get six more weeks of COVID!

So. Yeah. We ARE “butt hurt”. Let me explain this to you, assholes of the internet. Sometimes people can be legitimately angry. Also, anger is not mutually exclusive with logic or truth.

For example: If someone said that your recently deceased family member was burning in hell, would they also be able to say it must be true because of the emotion that invoked while you explain hell is only a construct used to control society outside of, of course, the closest thing to hell… Playing wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills.

So. We can be angry that Diggs forced his way out of a team and market that believed in him and even though it took over 100 grabs and damn near a full 16 games to get ONE THOUSAND yards (for the first time), and the fact that up until that point he had missed a minimum of two games a season EVERY SEASON he was given a deal that averages $14.5 million a year for the duration of his contract.

That he saw what Antonio Brown did and how that made him an unemployed pariah despite being one of the best receivers in the game, ever, and thought… I should emulate THAT.

That he is STILL doing stuff like this even though he got what he wanted.

I lay out in this piece that the only actual motivation that Diggs had was the most selfish one(s) possible.

What exactly did you have to be mad about Diggs?

He couldn’t know where he’d be traded, so it is not as if he really wants to be on a contender. That’d be a nice bonus, but what Diggs cares about is being THE guy and despite all the bromance jokes with Thielen he was jealous that fans loved Thielen more, and that Thielen broke all those records at the start of Cousins’ time in Minny because of HIS work.

Those double teams allowed Thielen to get open more and despite that by far being Diggs’ best season to date, it is clear that his social media content transitioned from actual harmless cockiness to “Diggs being Diggs” and the cycle of Tweet/deleted Tweet/explanation that it was an accident or his brother Tweeting him in a Redskins jersey or giving him that Cardinals shirt.

Imagine Diggs playing Clue as a child.

“IT WAS TREVON IN THE TREVON WITH YHR TREVON!”

As for Diggs co-signing that we didn’t use him to his potential?

Yeah. I’m sure Josh Allen will do what Cousins didn’t.

I’ll let his 2020 stats finish the argument for me, and just say this to Buffalo fans… The countdown to you joining the Butthurt Club starts now. Ironically, Diggs himself is perhaps Captain Butthurt if you really think about it, and if he thinks being unstable on Twitter and badmouthing a classy organization who did EVERYTHING the right way with him makes him more marketable to other teams or sponsors…

He might find out soon that perhaps instead of him being him, he should’ve just been a decent person?

I don’t know.

I could be wrong.

After all, one can’t show any emotion less they instantly nullify any truth to what they’re saying or have said. Or at least that is what some future school shooter(s) told me on the internet.

Sidenote: This article says that Irv Smith Jr. responded by… posting A Nike ad and tagging Diggs in another post (which was a picture of him and Thielen in the foreground and Diggs in the background in the same focus as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster) by using Diggs’ burner account and not his blue check verified one.

Maybe… or definitely I’m old… but if that is what counts as Smith jr. being a dick on Twitter, it’s safe to say we won’t hear “That’s just Smith jr. being Smith jr.” anytime soon.

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Takeception: Peter King has a point on Cook’s extension https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/takeception-peter-king-has-a-point-on-cooks-extension https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/takeception-peter-king-has-a-point-on-cooks-extension#respond Fri, 31 Jul 2020 01:09:41 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47962 With all of the uncertainty and … nothingness this off-season, a lot of NFL writers have leaned heavily on different series to ensure they have content for people every day. Case in point, I’ve been slowly going through each YouTube replay of the games from the Vikings’ 1998 season, and I’ve also been doing my …

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With all of the uncertainty and … nothingness this off-season, a lot of NFL writers have leaned heavily on different series to ensure they have content for people every day. Case in point, I’ve been slowly going through each YouTube replay of the games from the Vikings’ 1998 season, and I’ve also been doing my ongoing “doesn’t this guy know commas aren’t the same thing as periods?” Series since 2015.

I bring up series because I don’t want this to appear to be the second (or if I’m being genuine, third or fourth) entry in the “I disagree with Adam Patrick of TVA” series. But, I did just come to the defense of … shudder… Mike Florio earlier this week, as I believe in addressing takes not people.

Then why bring up Patrick? Well, because I also don’t want to write something about his (personal IMO) take on Florio and then follow that up by essentially poaching a story topic he came up with.

I have always prided myself on being a give credit where credit is due guy, while also thinking that if someone does something enough times that they’re labeled a hack (see: the comments in my Florio story), it should be relatively easy to shut down their points without doing so.

Let me be clear; that wasn’t me passive aggressively calling anyone a hack. I just mean that I’ve spent A LOT of time debating Minnesota sports on the internet and have dealt with a lot of “you’re so stupid!” Without the simple explanation as to why I am as such. Call it a pet peeve. My therapist calls it a complex. Tomato, tomatoe. Potato, personality disorder.

But, we can disagree on stuff and still get along online or when we avoid eye contact on the sidelines when media friendly camp returns in 2025. So, I wanted to say all of that because I like Patrick, I was even on his podcast once!

But I also don’t agree with his take on the legendary Peter King’s take on Dalvin Cook and his extension (Takeception!). But, I’ll just focus on what I agree with King about, as I would like to eventually experience this whole “friend” thing people keep talking about.

First, let’s see what King said:

If I were Dalvin Cook, I wouldn’t want to get paid right now because of the financial uncertainty of the NFL. I think you’ll be lucky to basically get the money that Derrick Henry got in Tennessee.

If you’re Dalvin Cook and you think, ‘Hey, I got a 40, 45 percent chance to win a rushing title this year,’ I would play it out and take my chances on a contract next year when at least next March you’re going to have a decent idea what the financials are around the NFL.

Could. Not. Agree. More. With a caveat.

Now, Patrick didn’t agree and instead of refuting what he said, as I mainly wanted to give him credit for yet again finding great topics in this super dry off-season, while also saying that I am not on some personal vendetta or something (as I’m sure some people would’ve noticed the connection).

The newly amended COVID- CBA is all about… you guessed it. Adam Patrick! I’m kidding, it’s all about COVID. In typical NFL fashion things in that regard were so last minute that JJ Watt released a statement basically saying, what the F is going on NFL?

The new CBA addresses the salary cap first, and essentially puts a basement on the minimum salary cap for 2021 (and subsequent seasons), as depending on how bad the loss of revenue is from this season the league might stretch those losses over a few seasons.

I’ve argued that the league, or namely the team owners in the league, should just eat the losses this season as while I’m not Rob Brzezinski… How can the league do anything when they’re used to the cap increasing around $10m each season? Contracts have been offered and signed based on that assumption, or rather presumption.

Are teams going to void deals? Cut veterans left and right? What about players like Cook who are in the middle of a contract extension negotiation? If the salary cap losses extend over multiple years, is it fair his contract just happened to lapse during a pandemic?

Of course not.

And if there’s anything teams, especially the Vikings (who are attempting to rebuild a contender and have been very good in terms of cap space), HATE it is uncertainty.

So, you could look at the lack of movement in the contract talks with Cook as a sign that the team really doesn’t know what to do as basically every team will be over the cap after this season.

For a Vikings team that just shed a ton of contracts from core players and also signed Kirk Cousins to a two-year extension that will make his $45 million dollar 2022 salary fully guaranteed the second the 2021 season starts.

It is not hard to see why the Vikings might want to wait and see what happens as things develop. Like we previously established, the NFL also waits until the last minute, and while you could say that the above referenced CBA is them not waiting until the last minute…

I am sure that teams are confused as to whether or not they’re really going to have to get their caps down to $175m (although that is a worst case scenario, however, with ticket sales comprising about 15% of annual revenue, it is hard to think they won’t be in the $175 range) and what that means for the above.

So it makes sense for Cook to wait as he isn’t going to get the max deal he wants, or anywhere near it, under that specter of doom. Especially as the team already extended Cousins, giving Cook even the “Derrick Henry” deal of $12.5 m a year would put his and Cousins’ contracts at $67.5m in 2022 (which is almost 40% of the $175 cap… For two people in a league that, breaking news, needs more than two people to form a team).

So what is the caveat?

King doesn’t mention the risk that Cook is taking by playing through 2020 without a deal. If he ends up with an injury that ends his season prematurely, especially one anywhere near the ACL in 2017, and hammy in 2018, his perceived value would plummet.

Cook and his agent know that, so he would be better off sitting out 2019 than playin without a deal. However, as we’ve discussed this off-season, the fines that Cook would amass would negate any 2019 salary after 28 days and he wouldn’t get that money back if or when he signed an extension with the Vikings (like the good old days… of protracted hold outs?).

Either way it looks like Cook is going to play in 2020, which means he either knows something we don’t or is doing what he can knowing that the Vikings both have most the leverage and also massive uncertainty.

This could be abated if the league, the $15 billion a year behemoth, says that they’ll negate the 2019 losses as a sign of good faith and thanks to the players who are risking life and limb during even the safest of times to bring them a ton of money.

It’d also just be good business, as the cap change would just cause a totally avoidable crisis that would force a lot of household names into an earlier than otherwise retirement and also essentially punish players like Cook who just happen to have the bad luck of having their contract lapse after this season.

Or, they could listen to me and just host the season in Europe, where they could increase their ticket sale revenue from 2019 and avoid most of the above?

Or, they could do whatever the opposite of what Adam Patrick thinks about 2021. That seems to work for me! I kid because I love.

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Anthony Barr added to COVID-IR https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/anthony-barr-added-to-covid-ir https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/anthony-barr-added-to-covid-ir#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 21:40:49 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47958 If a baker’s dozen is 13, then a COVID dozen is eight for the Vikings as they officially hit the 10% mark in terms of how many of their reduced camp roster of 80 either tested positive for COVID-19 or were in close contact with someone with the virus. Barr was set to take his …

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If a baker’s dozen is 13, then a COVID dozen is eight for the Vikings as they officially hit the 10% mark in terms of how many of their reduced camp roster of 80 either tested positive for COVID-19 or were in close contact with someone with the virus. Barr was set to take his second COVID test today (as the bar for entry is two negative tests, apparently).

Defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, receiver Justin Jefferson, linebacker Cameron Smith, tackle Oli Udoh, safety Brian Cole, tackle Blake Brandel and guard Tyler Higby were already on the list, with newly signed nose tackle Michael Pierce opting out of his 2020 contract due to his asthma.

I’ve written ad nauseam about this situation and my thoughts on how to best mitigate basically every problem with it. I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with NFL Europe.

Click here to read that perfect answer to a complicated question:

Pierce/Jefferson news proves NFL should move 2020 season to Europe

Beyond that, depending on whether Barr tested positive (and has symptoms) or was just in contact with someone who presented symptoms determines how soon he will return to the team.

According to the Star Tribune:

“Players on the list must remain in quarantine until clearing testing protocols. Symptomatic cases require at least 10 days, including 72 hours since the latest symptoms. Positive tests without symptoms can return in as early as five days, as long as the player twice tests negative.”

And they haven’t even begun to interact with one another, thankfully. But during the season how are they going to monitor this situation?

The spikes in new COVID cases nation-wide have put a massive strain on the labs that run these tests and even with a special sports league deal where they get results in a day or two (when us regular folk are waiting a lot longer), what happens if a player catches COVID during the season and is around his teammates for those one or two days?

For a great read on the cost and other questions surrounding this, peep Michael Rand’s article from last week on that.

https://m.startribune.com/how-often-nfl-tests-for-coronavirus-could-be-100-million-question/571800012/

Hopefully NFL players will practice restraint during the season and semi-quarantine themselves… and have their wives or girlfriends quit their jobs and move in with them and cut off their friends and family… and also decide to home school their kids.

See? Like most things, like my pending mid-life crisis, Europe is the answer! That reminds me of our new sponsor! Wives from the Baltic Sea dot USSR!

Stay tuned for more inevitable COVID fallout and for the love of god wear a mask, tough guy. You can worry about your health all you want but its not for your health its for everyone elses (as masks are to prevent sick people from spreading COVID, not healthy people from contracting it (at least not evenly)).

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Vikings have nearly 10% of their roster on COVID-IR https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/vikings-have-nearly-10-of-their-roster-on-covid-ir https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/vikings-have-nearly-10-of-their-roster-on-covid-ir#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 13:42:06 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47954 Yesterday I wrote that to salvage the season and more importantly protect the lives of its players, the NFL should use its former NFL Europe infrastructure to host the season abroad. Not only would it check the box of expanding the NFL’s global reach (hence the yearly and confusing games in London), but it could …

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Yesterday I wrote that to salvage the season and more importantly protect the lives of its players, the NFL should use its former NFL Europe infrastructure to host the season abroad. Not only would it check the box of expanding the NFL’s global reach (hence the yearly and confusing games in London), but it could help the league stem the 15% loss of ticket revenue and subsequently help the teams that comprise the league by not creating a salary cap nightmare in 2021, ‘22… ‘23

While many in the “real world” are being forced to make the decision to work during an ongoing and inevitably worsening pandemic in the US (just wait for the heat and humidity to dissipate), football isn’t a vital industry that is needed to keep people alive (or, most people anyway, I can always take up solitaire).

Sure, players can opt out, but the newly amended CBA makes a distinction between those that are higher risk medically and those that otherwise opt out. While they do mention familial circumstances (separately), many in the NFL aren’t in the position to do so with a guarantee that their spot will be there when they return.

That’s where Eagles receiver Marquise Goodwin’s statement comes into play. He chose to opt out in 2020 for familial reasons, after missing (or shortly after) the miscarriage deaths of three of his children to prove to his coaches he was a “winner”.

Gross.

Fans have been reaching out to Goodwin to tell him how stupid he is for opting out as “COVID isn’t that serious”. Sure. The flu has a 20% hospitalization rate.

So why am I writing about this, again?

Well, it was reported today that Vikings players defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, rookie linebacker Cameron Smith and offensive tackle Oli Udoh were also placed on the COVID IR, bringing the total for the Vikings to seven players.

That is seven of the COVID reduced number of 80. That is nearly 10% of the team. Sure, they could be healthy but “just” in contact with someone who they know had COVID, but that presumes that each player knows the COVID status of each person they interact with (and that those people know their status, and the status of those around them… and so forth).

Sure, the new CBA has rules about going to bars or clubs (or rather, clubs and bars with more than 15 people present). If a team like the Marlins can spread COVID as thoroughly as they have, imagine a football team with more players and much more physical interaction.

Ignoring the human element(s), like risking ones life or the health and life of ones family, the 2020 season has some really great narratives that we as football fans deserve. Tom Brady and Drew Brees may be or definitely are in their final seasons, one with a new team. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have his new tequila chugging self-medicating issue and inevitable falling out, too.

Perhaps I’m overreacting, but it feels like if 10% of the Vikings already are on the COVID IR, barring some sort of soft quarantine for players and their families (and coaches, and those that work at their practice facilities and stadiums as COVID lingers like the sting of an NFC Championship loss), I feel like we’re all going through the motions before one of two things.

Either the season will be cancelled or shortened (all the division leading teams will make the playoffs after week 5!), or that we’ll end up seeing NFL players end up very sick or worse. After all, the starts or restarts if each of the pro sports leagues in the US were originally predicated on the pandemic being over (or under some semblance of control).

The NBA paused their season when one of their players (which turned out to be a few more than one) tested positive. One. How can they then restart when COVID is raging more out of control than it was then? They planned to start because it was thought that this is America and we should have things under control by then!

Sadly. Things are the opposite of under control in the US. Everywhere else? They adhered to the common sense protocols needed to get their pandemics under control, yet we still have people arguing against those protocols even though they clearly worked and didn’t lead to communism or super-COVID cause the mask multiplies the virus, etc.

Considering that we’re also finding out that those that have recovered from COVID have all sorts of repercussions (lung scarring, heart inflammation, blood clots, amputations, etc.), so, wouldn’t a move to Europe be the best move?

Being in a foreign country would limit the social interaction of everyone (as they’d be away from friends and extended family). But, they also would have a much lower chance of contracting the virus basically anywhere else in the world.

It would also limit revenue loss, increase the NFL’s global brand (something they’ve always wanted to do and are far behind the NBA in doing), and help stem the salary cap apocalypse teams will be dealing with for the next few years.

Then again, maybe this crazy, disjointed era is exactly what the Vikings need to finally win a Super Bowl?

It would be very Vikings though, if they were the last healthy team and ended up losing in the Super Bowl to a team helmed by quarterback Dr. Fauci. I mean, look at that arm:

Still better than Christian Ponder.

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Load the Box: Training Camp Edition https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/load-the-box-training-camp-edition https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/load-the-box-training-camp-edition#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 12:00:45 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47952 The boys are back in town! Jack and Jordan are talking Covid-19 and training camp, as well as thoughts on contracts on the team!

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The boys are back in town! Jack and Jordan are talking Covid-19 and training camp, as well as thoughts on contracts on the team!

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Aaron Rodgers drank tequila when he learned of Jordan Love pick https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/aaron-rodgers-drank-tequila-when-he-learned-of-jordan-love-pick https://vikingsterritory.com/2020/general-news/aaron-rodgers-drank-tequila-when-he-learned-of-jordan-love-pick#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2020 11:57:29 +0000 https://vikingsterritory.com/?p=47948 At 36 years old, and statistically no longer the quarterback he was during his peak seasons from 2009 to 2015, the writing would be on the wall for most any quarterback. But this is Aaron “Most Talented QB the League has Ever Seen pre-Mahomes” Rodgers, and despite the fact that he doesn’t feel 36 (because …

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At 36 years old, and statistically no longer the quarterback he was during his peak seasons from 2009 to 2015, the writing would be on the wall for most any quarterback. But this is Aaron “Most Talented QB the League has Ever Seen pre-Mahomes” Rodgers, and despite the fact that he doesn’t feel 36 (because he spent his first few seasons behind Brett “Most ‘Just Having Fun Out There like a Child’ QB that John Madden had ever seen” Favre), and because we are also used to dominant quarterbacks playing at a very high level into their 40’s these days.

But clearly the writing is on the wall in Green Bay for Rodgers, who saw his heir apparent drafted this year in former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.

One of the big questions since Packers management drafted Love was how Rodgers felt about the move, as there have been reports and speculation that Love was taken as a sign that the new executives and coaches in town were tired of Rodgers’ rude dude attitude.

Well, we at least now have heard how Rodgers reacted to the news as well as how he found out about the pick straight from the horses mouth.

Sure, he had said the following on a conference call with reporters this off-season after stating that he was “surprised” by the pick:

Not gonna say that I was thrilled by the pick, necessarily. But I understand the organization is not thinking just about the present but the future, and I respect that.”

Rodgers was on Kyle Brandt’s podcast this week and discussed the moment he found out about the pick. Which is worth noting because you’d think a player of Rodgers’ standing would be in on his teams’ draft plans as opposed to watching it on TV and hoping his team would draft some help at wide receiver.

That alone is a big sign that things in Green Bay aren’t all sunshine, lollipops and whatever the opposite of tequila is (self esteem?).

Rodgers said of his reaction to the Love news:

I was like, ‘Oh, wow, OK,’ I love scotch, but I’ve been drinking some sipping tequila lately as well. And once I got that text [that Love was the pick], I went to the pantry, I poured myself about four fingers [of tequila] and I knew it was going to be one of those nights where people start calling.”

After stating he wasn’t elated with the pick, Rodgers was asked about his future with the Packers and whether he thought he’d end up on another team or finish his career with the Packers.

I think probably the former, that’s probably what happens, based on the circumstances around everything. Just look at the facts: They traded up. They drafted him. I would say they like him. They want to play him.”

People have speculated as to how Rodgers would feel about and treat Love now that he is in the same position his former reluctant mentor Brett Favre was in when the Packers drafted Rodgers in the early-ish ‘00’s.

Rodgers discussed his (initial) interactions with Love, saying:

I know what he is going through, The last thing you want is any negativity about realizing a childhood dream. I just told him, ‘Congrats, man. I understand what you’re going through. It’s super exciting. I’m excited to work with you,’ which I am.”

Rodgers continued by saying:

Was I bummed out? Of course. Who wouldn’t be?” I want to play my entire career in Green Bay. I love the city, I grew up there. Really, I got there when I was 21, and I’m 36 now. A lot changes during that time. But I get it. I see it completely clearly, and I’m not bitter about it. It kind of is what it is.”

He was then asked if he thought he could end up playing for the Packers’ other rival in the Chicago Bears and stated that that was a tough question. The better question would’ve been whether or not he thought he could see himself playing for the Vikings a la Brett Favre.

Or, rather, whether or not Vikings fans would prefer him at 38/39 over Kirk Cousins. Considering Rodgers’ downward spiral, and where he may be by 2023… That could really only be worth the amazing jersey/Green Bay fan angst opportunity.

Which may just be worth it.

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