Friday, February 24, 2017

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Minnesota Vikings Free Agency

Free Agency is rapidly approaching and fans of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are clamoring for who could be on the Purple’s shopping list. I know the Draft is the bee’s knees, but this episode is focused solely on free agency (until the end). We walk through the level of priority the Vikings should have on their in-house free agents, I reveal my Top-10 Free Agent Wish List, and wrap up with a clip from my new project BULL with Andy Carlson — Jordan Reid (@JReidDraftScout) of The Viking Age walks us through a 7-round (but really 6-round) Vikings mock draft.

All that and more “Free agency is like the Scholastic Book Fair” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An AMG Production

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"I hate failure with a passion."

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings tumbled to an 8-8 season in 2016 after an impressive 5-0 start. When meeting with local beat reporters on Thursday, general manager Rick Spielman was fired up about not letting that kind of collapse happen again.

“To be honest with you,” Spielman said, “I wake up every morning ticked off that we’re 8-8 because I know that is not acceptable by the standards that we place on ourselves. We have to do everything we can heading into this offseason to address the needs and areas we [can improve].”

“I hate failure with a passion,” Spielman later added.

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VT QOTW

Mistakes Could Cost the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Until Rick Spielman’s press conference earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings news cycle was rather quiet. Sure, rumors and speculation dominated the Twitter landscape, but nothing concrete had yet to hit the Internet or the airwaves this offseason. And even with Spielman’s latest public comments, there isn’t much to glean from the general manager.

I tweeted earlier that most of Spielman’s comments were either “GM speak” or tidbits of info we’d been waiting to hear on record from the front office. Fifty-five minutes of media availability revealed little of Spielman’s current mindset, but here’s what we do know:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our next installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The Defensive Ends

At first glance, defensive end is the least of the Vikings’ concerns heading into 2017. Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, and Brian Robison are all under contract through next season, and the team’s only unrestricted free agent at the position—Justin Trattou—can likely be signed for the veteran’s minimum or replaced by another bargain player (Trattou appeared in all 16 games last season, but did not record a tackle).

The other Viking who could be a factor at defensive end is Stephen Weatherly. Weatherly appeared in just two games as a rookie, and it’s difficult to gauge if/how he’ll factor into the conversation in 2017.

From the outset, the Vikings look set at end; the rotation is comprised of three of the better players not just on the defense, but the entire team. But at closer examination, Robison’s contract and age, plus the emergence of Hunter, raise the question of whether the team will make a move to clear cap space and move the third-year phenom into the starting lineup.

the cornerbacks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Our second installment of our Vikings Free Agency Primer series: The cornerbacks

LAST SEASON

No viable NFL franchise can afford to remain complacent. Even if said team has, for example, the league’s best quarterback, contingency plans must always be a part of the front office’s long-term outlook. For the Minnesota Vikings, assessing and evaluating the cornerback position falls under this category of thinking.

Any measure would label the unit’s collective 2016 efforts a success. Most notably, Pro Football Focus ranked Minnesota’s secondary seventh-best last season. The highly-regarded site graded Terence Newman as a top-10 cornerback in the league, and his ageless performance was nearly matched by that of Xavier Rhodes.

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