All Things 2021 Minnesota Vikings Off-Season Thread


stocker08

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Well, it’s passed June 1 and aa-rog is still a Packer.

So how exactly were they "played"? It was a story.....one that continues to be talked about on ESPN and every sports outlet. Are you trying to say that this is an inside, running joke or something....and Rodgers has no intentions of leaving? I'm just confused on what the end game is here.....and why someone would have gotten "played" by reporting it.
 

Spaulding!No!

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So how exactly were they "played"? It was a story.....one that continues to be talked about on ESPN and every sports outlet. Are you trying to say that this is an inside, running joke or something....and Rodgers has no intentions of leaving? I'm just confused on what the end game is here.....and why someone would have gotten "played" by reporting it.
Pack played it to shake up teams draft boards. It worked.
 


stocker08

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Pack played it to shake up teams draft boards. It worked.

Huh? What exactly got shaken up? The Vikings got played because they traded down to 23....picking up a high third round pick and still getting the tackle they were projected by many to take at 16? Meanwhile...the Packers drafted a corner that many considered to be a second or third round talent?

Quite the game they played. Everyone scrambled and the Packers came away looking decent at best.
 


short ornery norwegian

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In case anyone missed it - and this is apparently true - not a gag - Bryant McKinnie and two other ex-Vikings are promoting a boat outing on Lake Minnetonka - billed as an opportunity to hang out with some former Vikings.

I'm assuming this boat trip will not feature strippers flown in from Atlanta, or wherever they came from for the original "love boat."
 

tmvander

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In case anyone missed it - and this is apparently true - not a gag - Bryant McKinnie and two other ex-Vikings are promoting a boat outing on Lake Minnetonka - billed as an opportunity to hang out with some former Vikings.

I'm assuming this boat trip will not feature strippers flown in from Atlanta, or wherever they came from for the original "love boat."
So no real reason to take part in it then. Love boat or no boat.
 


Ogee Ogilthorpe

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I didn't think they were quite done yet. Still don't think they're done signing FA's but this isn't a bad signing; some depth and insurance for the Gladney situation. At a minimum, the secondary got a little better with this move.
 



MplsGopher

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I liked Harrison Hand in spot duty last year. He’s still lurking back there too, trying to fight for time and especially if Gladney is cut.

I’m assuming they wouldn’t have signed Breeland if they thought Gladney has a strong chance of not being suspended or found guilty and thus having to cut him.
 

short ornery norwegian

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at this rate, half of the training camp roster will be cornerbacks.

Zim is not going to get caught short this year.

Which - for some observers - increases speculation that this year could be a "win or else" situation for Zimmer.
 

howeda7

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at this rate, half of the training camp roster will be cornerbacks.

Zim is not going to get caught short this year.

Which - for some observers - increases speculation that this year could be a "win or else" situation for Zimmer.
I don't think there's any doubt it is. It's just a question of to what extent. If they don't make the expanded play-offs, Zim and Spielman are fired. If they lose in the 1st round, it might be a toss-up.
 




Gopher_In_NYC

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In case anyone missed it - and this is apparently true - not a gag - Bryant McKinnie and two other ex-Vikings are promoting a boat outing on Lake Minnetonka - billed as an opportunity to hang out with some former Vikings.

I'm assuming this boat trip will not feature strippers flown in from Atlanta, or wherever they came from for the original "love boat."

 


Gopher_In_NYC

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Here's an in-depth look at him via an article from The Athletic when he visited on 5/20 -


Bashaud Breeland describes himself as a starter. Breeland expects to be a starter. And with training camp two months away, he is open to such opportunities to prove his value yet again.

The question, of course, is this one: Which team will he play for this upcoming season?

Breeland, the Chiefs’ starting cornerback the previous two seasons, is one of the top players at his position who is still available to teams — including his most recent employer — as a notable free agent.

The Chiefs and Breeland have had conversations this spring to see if it’s possible for both parties to reunite for another one-year deal. The previous two years, the Chiefs and Breeland have consummated such a deal. The partnership has been fruitful, too. In 27 games (and 26 starts) with the Chiefs, Breeland has recorded 17 pass breakups, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and one touchdown. Breeland’s biggest highlight with the Chiefs occurred in the team’s Super Bowl LIV victory when he intercepted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Breeland, though, spent Thursday in Minneapolis, according to multiple league sources. He visited with the Minnesota Vikings at their training facility to get an idea of what his role could be for a defense led by coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings, who entered Thursday with 87 players on their roster, have $3.3 million in effective salary cap space, according to Over The Cap.

The Vikings’ projected starting cornerbacks are Cameron Dantzler, a second-year player, and Patrick Peterson, the eight-time Pro Bowler and 11-year veteran who joined the team in March after signing a one year, $8 million contract. Mackensie Alexander, a six-year veteran, is also on the Vikings’ roster.

Breeland, 29, earned close to $1.5 million last season with the Chiefs, according to Over The Cap. When the NFL’s free agency period began in March, Breeland was hopeful to acquire a sizable payday. But the cornerback market proved to be lower than usual, especially with the league’s salary cap set at $182.5 million, much lower than the projected $210 million. Breeland has since joined a group of veteran defenders — such as cornerback Richard Sherman, linebacker Kwon Alexander and defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Justin Houston — who have had to wait until after the NFL Draft to gauge which team provides the best mix of playing time and compensation.

When veterans are still free agents in late May, most teams want to sign the player by early June. The transaction then allows the player to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp to start to learn the playbook, terminology and overall scheme while building some rapport with new teammates and coaches ahead of training camp.

In 2018 as a free agent, Breeland initially agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract with the Carolina Panthers. But he failed his physical because of an infection as the result of a deep cut to the back of his foot sustained during a trip in the Dominican Republic. Once the Panthers’ deal was reneged, the Chiefs became interested in Breeland, who joined the Green Bay Packers in 2018 before arriving in Kansas City in 2019.

“I got to be around a winning culture, a good coaching staff, as well as players, and I learned a lot,” Breeland said of the Chiefs in February, just days before Super Bowl LV. “I learned through myself I can overcome anything if I just put my mind into it and stay fresh with the right people around me. Kansas City was the right place for me. These past two years, we’ve done some marvelous things. They’ve helped me grow as a person.”

The Chiefs, according to people with knowledge of the matter, know there’s still a possibility that Breeland re-signs with them. If that happens, Breeland would have the chance to resume his roles as the starting right cornerback and the team’s most experienced player at a position with plenty of younger, less seasoned players. Earlier this month, multiple sources said such a deal with the Chiefs and Breeland wasn’t imminent. The Chiefs entered Thursday with 90 players on their roster, the maximum for the offseason, and have $6.8 million in effective salary cap space, according to Over The Cap.

Known for his hip-hop music and presence on social media, Breeland has used his Twitter account to reveal some of his frustrations about still being a free agent despite helping the Chiefs make back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. “It’s crazy how they(’re) all gangin(g) up on me lol,” Breeland wrote April 14 on his account.

On Wednesday, “Good Morning Football,” the NFL Network’s popular show, used its Twitter account to engage fans by asking a question: “The most underappreciated CB in the NFL right now is ___.”

The Chiefs’ Twitter account responded a couple hours later by posting an image of L’Jarius Sneed, the second-year player who had an impressive rookie season last year, recording seven pass breakups, three interceptions and two sacks in just nine games. Sneed began last season starting in place of Breeland, who was suspended the first four games of the season after he violated the league’s substance-abuse policy. Without Breeland on their roster, the Chiefs could promote Sneed this season to be the starting right cornerback alongside four-year veteran Charvarius Ward.

Four hours after the Chiefs’ tweet to commend Sneed, Breeland responded to “Good Morning Football” by promoting, as expected, himself.

“This (is) a no(-)brainer,” Breeland wrote.

One reason the Vikings are interested in Breeland is because they, similar to the Chiefs, still need to have an experienced, competent and physical cornerback on their roster who can play well both in man and zone coverage.

The two teams executed a small trade Friday in which the Chiefs acquired Mike Hughes, a four-year cornerback, from the Vikings in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round draft pick. The trade also included the Chiefs receiving the Vikings’ 2022 seventh-round pick. After being selected in the first-round in the 2018 draft, Hughes’ time with the Vikings was undermined in part because of injuries — a torn ACL to end his rookie season, a crack in his vertebrae in 2019 and a neck injury last season. In 24 games with the Vikings, Hughes recorded 13 pass breakups, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one touchdown.

With the Chiefs and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Hughes is expected to compete in training camp for a role in the secondary’s rotation while playing on special teams before reaching free agency next spring.

Last season, the Chiefs’ secondary collected 17 takeaways and was the strength of the defense. The Chiefs’ top three cornerbacks had their best game of the season in the blowout win against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game, as Breeland, Sneed and Ward were effective in covering star receiver Stefon Diggs. Breeland’s pass breakup in the game led to an interception for cornerback Rashad Fenton.

After the draft, the Chiefs’ depth at cornerback is projected to feature Sneed and Ward as starters with Fenton, a third-year player, as the nickel defender. Hughes, DeAndre Baker, BoPete Keyes and Chris Lammons could all be possible contributors.

If the Chiefs and Breeland cannot agree to another deal, it could be a sign the team doesn’t believe it needs Breeland as much as it did a year ago.
 

TruthSeeker

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So is Peterson going to play safety? If not, what's the order of the depth chart?

1. Breeland
2. Peterson
3. Dantzler
4. Alexander

Also are we just waiting to cut Gladney?
 

howeda7

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So is Peterson going to play safety? If not, what's the order of the depth chart?

1. Breeland
2. Peterson
3. Dantzler
4. Alexander

Also are we just waiting to cut Gladney?
I believe they are. If/When he gets suspended, I believe the cap hit will be less/none versus cutting him now. On the off chance he doesn't get suspended, I suppose he stays.
 

MplsGopher

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Just signed another CB. But was a guy they invited to rookie minicamp for a tryout. Just a late signee because of a personal issue he had to deal with. Not sure if it has any relation to Gladney situation.
 

coolhandgopher

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So, I stumbled upon this site Football Outsiders last week and found a pretty fascinating topic they are going over the month of June, in weekly installments: The Anti-Dynasties: the NFL's worst teams of all-time. For Vikings fan, we are one of only four franchises that has not had an anti-dynasty run, in fact, here's what they have to say about the Vikes:
  • But it's the 1961-1963 Minnesota Vikings who take the crown as the most impressive of the five; the franchise that has existed the longest without ever being truly terrible. It took just four seasons for Minnesota to rack up its first winning season, and its record of 10-29-2 early on only nets them 22 anti-dynasty points. More so than any other franchise, the Vikings have just never been very bad for very long. They have only had five seasons with more than 10 losses in their history. They're not terrible—they're heartbreaking, or disappointing, or underachieving, however you want to think about it. If this were a list of the most agonizing teams in history (note to self, possible list for next year), the Vikings would be at or near the very top. But if you don't care much for postseason success, and just want your team to win more often than they lose, year-in and year-out, the Vikings are the team for you. May God have mercy on your soul.
The snippets on each team are really entertaining reads; I always find team-building interesting, but as Fitzgerald says about happy families, they're all the same and the same seems to hold true with successful NFL teams: draft well, trade wisely, spend judiciously, value good management. But ant--dynasties? Every story is a little bit different and consistently colorful.
 


Ogee Ogilthorpe

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Definitely not a bad addition. He's not a starter anymore, but playing 20-30% of the defensive snaps, he's a guy that knows how to play the game and can make an impact. Zim must like him and what he brings for them to be pursuing him.

Sounds like the Hunter re-worked deal was a great deal for the Vikings and puts that drama to an end for the time being. If he's 100% healthy and he plays, they'll end up paying him; no problem at all. If he's not, they have an easy out for 2022 and that's a great deal too. Very team-friendly deal in my opinion. Nice work, Vikings front office!
 

RememberMurray

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Definitely not a bad addition. He's not a starter anymore, but playing 20-30% of the defensive snaps, he's a guy that knows how to play the game and can make an impact. Zim must like him and what he brings for them to be pursuing him.

Sounds like the Hunter re-worked deal was a great deal for the Vikings and puts that drama to an end for the time being. If he's 100% healthy and he plays, they'll end up paying him; no problem at all. If he's not, they have an easy out for 2022 and that's a great deal too. Very team-friendly deal in my opinion. Nice work, Vikings front office!

Exactly. A very difficult situation, handled adroitly by Spielman and his staff.

They found a workable solution. That's what matters. It could very well turn out to be a win-win for Hunter and the team.
 

short ornery norwegian

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In general, if you hand a guy $7-million in cash, he's generally going to be happy with that.

In the long-term, they will still need to re-work Hunter's contract. Better hope the salary cap goes way up after this year.
 


Gopher_In_NYC

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In general, if you hand a guy $7-million in cash, he's generally going to be happy with that.

In the long-term, they will still need to re-work Hunter's contract. Better hope the salary cap goes way up after this year.
I'm guessing they have a good idea already that it will as they will have all the in-person fan revenue they missed out from on Covid last year and the number this year was an aberration and provided some financial relief to the teams from the League; good partnership IMO.

Nice to see the Vikes taking advantage of the debacle to the East and seizing the moment. With Brees gone too, this could be a year of high achievement/deep playoff run to make up for the Rockoettes shameful shite.
 
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MplsGopher

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In general, if you hand a guy $7-million in cash, he's generally going to be happy with that.

In the long-term, they will still need to re-work Hunter's contract. Better hope the salary cap goes way up after this year.
Or they just win the Super Bowl in 2021.

Do that, and I promise that fans mostly won't really care what happens after for the next several years.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Great article in The Athletic regarding the Richardson signing and how much versality it provides the DL.


The Minnesota Vikings’ signing of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson likely completes their defensive overhaul from last year and gives them a true rotation at defensive tackle that they can feel more confident in to start the season.

Richardson was present for the team’s first mandatory minicamp session Tuesday, wearing No. 9, though he and Danielle Hunter — who recently agreed to a deal with the Vikings providing more guaranteed money — did little more than walk-through work.

Given the fact that the team sees Dalvin Tomlinson as a player who can play both nose tackle and three-technique, the Vikings have an opportunity to evenly split snaps between Richardson, Tomlinson and fellow veteran Michael Pierce, all of whom are seen as high-end talents. Whatever the combination, those three can give Minnesota the flexibility to attack offenses in different ways and approach dynamic offenses with a full set of answers.

On Richardson’s part, he doesn’t necessarily see himself as a clear starter. When asked what his role would be with Tomlinson and Pierce both already on the team, his plan he said, is to “Get in where I fit in. It’s as simple as that. It’s the first year where I’m not the starter, so I’ll get in where I’ll fit in.”

Richardson, who played for the Vikings in 2018, is a more classic pass-rushing three-technique and has played as a strong-side defensive end in 3-4 fronts as well. In that 2018 season, he produced 47 pressures and 4.5 sacks. That had him ranked 14th in total pressures among interior defensive linemen and 16th in PFF’s Pass Rush Productivity statistic, a rate statistic that heavily weights sacks.

That history was a big part of the reason he chose to re-sign with the Vikings, who offered him a contract a few weeks ago. “With me knowing everything pretty much with what Coach Zim (Mike Zimmer) and Coach Dre (defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson) bring to the table for me, knowing they put me in position to make plays and further my career … perfect fit.”

He credits Patterson with helping his career enough to get his free-agent deal with the Browns afterward, calling the reunion “a match made in heaven.” His knowledge of the playbook and the techniques he’ll be asked to execute should allow him to hit the ground running despite missing most of the offseason.

He didn’t necessarily drop off last year, either. He earned a similar PFF grade and produced a similar number of pressures as he did with the Vikings and still has a good amount left in the tank.

Harrison Smith, who played with Richardson in 2018, was certainly excited about the signing. After minicamp Tuesday, he opined on the Vikings’ offseason and mentioned his excitement about the new-look defensive line.

“Any fan that’s ever asked me about playing defense, I’m like ‘the secondary’s always as good as the pass rush.’ You can have great players back there that can make plays from time to time, but throughout the length of the year, you gotta have both work together. You’re not always going to cover perfectly, you’re not always going to rush the passer perfectly. So, if you complement one another well, it normally works out in your favor.”

That relationship wasn’t there last season, as the Vikings had one of the worst pass-rushing units they have fielded in the Mike Zimmer era. Bringing back Hunter and Pierce, as well as signing both Tomlinson and Richardson, should help that defensive line quite a bit.

There is also the outside possibility that the Vikings could put together defensive fronts featuring all three linemen, with Pierce at the nose and Richardson and Tomlinson as closed ends in a 3-4 system reminiscent of the ones Richardson and Tomlinson both played in for their respective New York teams. As Richardson pointed out, he even played a little bit of outside linebacker in New York at 330 pounds. Now, at 286 pounds, he’ll be able to leverage his versatility even more.

Coming out of the draft, both Hunter and Anthony Barr were projected as 3-4 outside linebackers, and it certainly seems possible, especially if the Vikings are confident in Nick Vigil, Cameron Smith or Troy Dye to take over an inside linebacker spot for a few downs.

That might not be the most likely option, but the fact remains that the Vikings have given themselves a bit more flexibility this offseason with players capable of playing every spot in every technique along the defensive line. This could also allow them to try out other defensive fronts that have been popular around the league, like the Bear front or Tite front that have been popular in a number of excellent defenses this past decade.

With the Bear front’s emphasis on crowding the middle and the Tite front’s emphasis on overlapping gap control, both provide remarkable opportunities for the run to be handled up front with lighter boxes that allow the rest of the defense more freedom in coverage support. Variations on these fronts have been used to shut down RPOs, wide-zone teams, inside-zone teams and so on, meaning that the team might be able to craft specific defensive fronts to combat large-scale offensive strategies that teams have begun to identify with.

It also allows them to remain dynamic against offenses with versatile threats. When a two-tight end team lines up, it typically used to run the ball. But when the Patriots in the early 2010s audibled to pass plays against run-stuffing fronts and run plays against coverage looks with their two-tight end set, offenses have been chasing that versatility while defenses have been trying to catch up.

When going up against offenses with that kind of range in their personnel, whether it’s the 49ers and the combination of fullback Kyle Juszczyk and tight end George Kittle or the Ravens with their running-threat quarterback and option game, it behooves defenses to be prepared with multiple approaches.

Not only that, but depth has become more important than ever with an extra game added to the season. While defenses have always tried to maintain a steady rotation among their defensive linemen to prevent fatigue, another game on the schedule means more wear and tear — and makes it less likely that players will have the same juice at the end of the year.

“We’ve got a lot of guys out there now, which you just kind of need in this league,” said Smith. “It’s an even longer season now and those reps add up, so having more and more guys come in and get after the passer and cover on the outside — it’s definitely a good recipe.”

The biggest challenge with Richardson is the concern that he was fairly spotty with the Vikings, putting in tremendous performances some weeks and getting washed out in other weeks without much impact on the stat sheet. If he can bring more consistency, like he has for other teams at times, he’ll help out the defense tremendously.
 

howeda7

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In general, if you hand a guy $7-million in cash, he's generally going to be happy with that.

In the long-term, they will still need to re-work Hunter's contract. Better hope the salary cap goes way up after this year.
I believe the new TV $ kicks in in 2023 and it will go way up then. They will have to work some magic next year, especially since Cousins contract is a monster. They will be re-structuring/deferring a ton into 2023 I'm sure.
 

forever a gopher

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