Category: Minnesota Vikings news

3 Vikings players must be re-signed next season

The Minnesota Vikings are in a difficult preseason situation. Their inevitable wage-cap woes will escalate as a result of the lack of sales associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vikings have so many 2021 NFL Draft picks that it’s easy to see where they’re going to look for replacements.

Here are 3 players that Vikings will have to re-sign in the next few years beginning with the role-players.

Hercules Mata’afa, DL

Hercules Mata’afa may be a way off the norm of the star Vikings pass-rusher, Danielle Hunter. But there is nothing to say that a young defensive liner cannot become a valuable contingency choice to go forward.

The former Washington State star worked tirelessly to make its way up from an undiscovered prospect to secure a spot in Minnesota’s plans, and shows the kind of effort and energy that is hard to root against.

Holding him around is not going to smash the bank, which is another major plus considering the Vikings’ expected financial troubles in 2021. So having Mata’afa re-signed to further improve his skill set would be a smart decision.

Eric Wilson, LB

Eric Wilson did a good job for the Vikings this season. Minnesota’s defense dropped some important names this year and Danielle Hunter and linebacker Anthony Barr were both without a stud defensive end for almost the entire 2020 campaign to further confuse matters.

Wilson may only be considered a Minnesota roleplayer despite the names of the stars elsewhere on the team. But it could not be the case for much longer if he maintains his eye-catching upward trajectory.

Cincinnati’s unrecognized commodity has 90 shots (five for loss), three sacks, five throws defended, and seven quarterback hits on its label this season. Wilson has thrived with additional pressure on his shoulders, and the Vikings can now be assured in the player’s potential to get much better in the years to come.

Minnesota finds itself in a precarious situation from the point of view of the off-season salary cap. Big choices and compromises will have to be taken in order to maintain the long-term ambitions of the franchise, and while more established names are left to the public good, it is important that the front office retains progressive young people like Wilson.

Jaleel Johnson, DT

Jaleel Johnson might not be doing as well as the Vikings had hoped to do in the 2020 season, but it may be a little too soon to give up on the guy.

It’s quick to forget that Minnesota missed defense against Linval Joseph in the Free Agency when he left for Los Angeles Chargers.

If the Vikings don’t have to break the bank to pen Johnson on a short-term contract this off-season, it will encourage them to transfer him back on the defensive and allow him to focus on some of the issues that seem to impede his growth.

Minnesota Vikings hosts Atlanta Falcons: time, channel, streaming, and more

The Minnesota Vikings will come back to U.S. Bank Stadium to meet the Atlanta Falcons. Although these teams come into this one with a combined record of 1-9, it is hopeful that this one will end up being a solid contest.

Television Info

This game will be held at the best time for NFL football, which means noon Central on Sunday afternoon. It will be shown on FOX affiliates across the country and will be handled by Daryl Johnston and Brandon Gaudin.

You will have to point your receiver towards Channel 712 if you use the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package for this one.

Radio Info

The Vikings Radio Network and all of its affiliates will offer live broadcasts of every Vikings game this year. If you just prefer the radio to the television or you’re traveling to another place where there is an affiliate, head to their site and find the affiliate in your local.

For those with satellite radio, the Vikings feed for this contest can be found on either XM Channel 226 or Sirius Channel 134. For those using the SiriusXM app, the Vikings’ permanent home can be found on Channel 820.

Weather Info

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there won’t be any fans in the building for this one. It may be a little cold to have the big doors open at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Streaming Info

This is a FOX game, so there aren’t any legal streaming options on their site. But perhaps a lot of the cord-cutting services will offer some sort of streaming option, and even if you don’t have any of those, there is always NFL GamePass. You can even get Sunday Ticket on your XBox or PlayStation, if nothing else.

There will be no illegal streams on the Daily Norseman. This is grounds for an immediate and permanent ban.

That should be all of the relevant information you need to know about U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon on the match between the Atlanta Falcons and your Minnesota Vikings.

Five Minnesota Vikings players need to step up in 2020 (part 2)

3. Holton Hill, corner back

The corner back position is going to look quite different from the offensive line. Gone are Mackensie Alexander, Xavier Rhodes, and Trae Waynes, and now some new defensive backs will need to step up to take their place.

The Vikings’ 2020 first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney may see the field more than a rookie should. Luckily, Holton Hill can help to ease the growing pains that may come with the transition.

His biggest problem with the Vikings is his off-field behavior and he has received suspensions from violating as well as using performance-enhancing substances. The team will need him to join after seeing their previous starter leave.

However, fortunately, when on the field, Hill shouldn’t have to step up too much to be able to become a game-changer and a play maker.

4. Mike Hughes, corner back

As another former first-round pick of the team, Mike Hughes has suffered injuries that have kept him off the field. Although he has looked like a capable defender when on the field, he still has plenty of chance to grow and several things he will need to prove. If he can play all 16 matches of the 2020 regular season at a high level, it will help the team develop from the loss of their starting corners from the recent years.

The Vikings just need him to progress over time and mesh with the current defense, particularly if the defensive line can get a good pass rush in order to make things easier on the secondary.

5. Anthony Barr, linebacker

Signing Anthony Barr, the Vikings made a huge investment with a contract worth $67.5 million in five years. It shows that the team wants to keep Barr with Eric Kendricks. However, that’s a lot of dough.

Last year, Barr wasn’t as effective as he could have been before so the team need to use Barr in other ways. He could be a major contributor and a locker room leader when on the field in 2020.

Five Minnesota Vikings players need to step up in 2020 (part 1)

Let’s have a look at five Minnesota Vikings players whose improvement would significantly help the team during this year’s NFL season to be a contender for the Super Bowl beginning with an offensive lineman.

1. Pat Elflein, Guard

It once looked as if Pat Elflein was going to develop into an anchor at the center position and become one of the league’s best players at this position. Unluckily, since fracturing his ankle and having surgery on his shoulder, he hasn’t looked the same. And a move from center to guard hasn’t helped Elflein bounce back and there were times when he was completely ineffective as a pass blocker and allowed much pressure on quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Although the exact starting lineup for the offensive line during the current NFL season hasn’t been confirmed, the Minnesota Vikings seem to be confident that Elflein will come back and play at a higher level at one guard spot.

Letting go of Josh Kline and waiting to draft interior linemen seems to insert Elflein right back into the beginning lineup. If he doesn’t succeed to perform once again, the team might be looking to move on from the former third-round draft in 2017.

2. Garrett Bradbury, center

It is no need to space out the offensive linemen on this list. In 2019, the interior of the offensive line attempted in a massive way and a lot of it had to do with Garrett Bradbury and Pat Elflein, especially in terms of passing blocking. The Minnesota Vikings seems to be more patient with Bradbury, who has entered his second season in the NFL. There is still much hope he can find his footing since he gains experience at the professional level. Another reason is due to their investment as the team used a first-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft on him and will likely give him every chance to succeed before doing anything to make a change at the position.

Three Hall of Famers who almost played for the Minnesota Vikings (Part 2)

Brian Urlacher – LB

During the early portion of the 21st century, the Minnesota Vikings had to deal with going up against Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher twice each season. It was never an easy task.

The All-Pro linebacker became a free agent during the 2013 off-season after 13 years in Chicago. When figuring out what to do next, Urlacher was reportedly considering deals from both the Minnesota and the Denver Broncos.

Eventually, the veteran linebacker didn’t sign with either team but decided to retire from the NFL.

The Vikings arguably ended up having the worst defense in the entire 2013 league. Minnesota gave up the most points that year and their pass defense couldn’t cover a sloth.

So would Urlacher make much of a difference for the Vikings in 2013? His impact might have been too significant, but he likely wouldn’t have been much worse than what they put out on the field.

Dan Marino – QB

In terms of quarterbacks, the Vikings didn’t have much stability under center after a 1999 season that resulted in Jeff George starting 10 games for them.

Heading into the 2000 season, its group of quarterbacks were led by an unproven passer in Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper seemed to have been going to step in and be the starter for the Vikings in this year, but the team also showed some interest in signing future Hall of Fame passer Dan Marino.

Marino spent his entire career being a member of the Miami Dolphins and during the 2000 off-season, he was going to retire or sign with Minnesota. In the end, the 38-year-old quarterback decided that his time in the NFL was finshed and he chose to retire rather than giving it one last shot with the Vikings.

It might be a tough decision for Marino to make as he was never able to win a Super Bowl during his pro career. Joining a Minnesota offense including playmakers like Randy Moss, Robert Smith , and Cris Carter could have been the perfect recipe for the veteran signal-caller to win his first-ever championship.

Luckily for the Vikings, Culpepper ended up playing well during the 2000 season and the team was able to make it all the way to the NFC Championship.

Three Hall of Famers who almost played for the Minnesota Vikings (Part 1)

During their history as an NFL franchise, the Minnesota Vikings have been the home for a number of players who were eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

During the last few decades, Minnesota has had some opportunities to add players to their roster who would eventually go on to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But for whatever reason, the Vikings ultimately were not able to work out a deal with these future Hall of Famers.

Some of Minnesota’s recent history could have been altered in a big way if they were actually able to land some of the Hall of Fame talent they were going after. So who were some of these players that almost ended up joining the Vikings before their eventual induction in Canton?

LaDainian Tomlinson – RB

After a long and glorious tenure with the then, San Diego Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson was in search of a new team in 2010. Tomlinson was coming off a 2009 season with the Chargers that saw him score a total of 12 touchdowns, so he was able to draw a good amount of interest from around the NFL once he became available.

The Vikings were one of the teams who were interested in the talented running back and ultimately, his decision came down picking between Minnesota and the New York Jets.

Tomlinson met with the Vikings and they actually ended up offering him more money to sign than the Jets did. However, the running back recently revealed that New York was able to seal the deal when they gave him and his expecting wife a baby basket.

Tomlinson’s wife was in love with the Jets after their generosity and the future Hall of Famer really didn’t have any other choice than to sign with New York.

He ended up having a pretty decent season with the Jets in 2010 that saw him accumulate a total of 1,282 yards and six touchdowns. Tomlinson then spent one more year in New York before he decided to call it a career in the NFL.

It’s still crazy to think that Minnesota could have had an offensive backfield in 2010 that featured Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson. It definitely would have made life a lot easier for Brett Favre during his final season as the Vikings quarterback.

Minnesota Vikings News: Team submits plan to NFL for return to action

The Minnesota Vikings have officially submitted their plan to the NFL to begin their offseason regimen and prepare for training camp. Here’s the latest on the big news.

At this point in time, the Minnesota Vikings are ready to head back to the TCO Performance Center to begin their journey towards training camp and eventually, preseason action. Due to the current pandemic that has hit the world, teams across the NFL are allowed to submit their finalized plans to return to their training facilities.

If it gets approved, the Vikings will be able to head back to their training camp facility and at least get the wheels in motion that football is indeed on the horizon. It’s all about making sure all players, coaches, and everyone on the Vikings’ staff are able to do what needs to get done in a safe manner. The Vikings plan to do a mix of people that are physically working at the TCO Performance Center and some working remotely as they monitor the current coronavirus pandemic.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s great to see the Vikings take the right steps forward in order to hopefully bring some normalcy to the world. Vikings fans all across the globe are anxious and filled with hope that the NFL will continue as planned with training camp, preseason football, and the regular season all taking place.

Hopefully, there won’t be any suspended events or football games if NFL teams are able to follow all safety protocols and ensure that everyone is safe. Just like the start of every NFL training camp, if this gets approved, the only players that will be allowed to enter training facilities are those in rehab or seeking medical treatment to get ready for football activities. The rest allowed to physically be there will simply be employees that work in the operations/administrative parts of a team.

The NFL put better safety measures in place similar to restaurants and businesses in states that are slowly reopening in that no more than 50 percent of a team’s staff will be allowed in the training facility at any given time. This is a smart move so not only can social distancing be strictly enforced but it will help make keeping facilities clean and sanitized at all times even easier.

Overall, the Vikings are already ahead of the game and hopefully, will be on track to get their training camp program approved to prepare for the adventures ahead.

What the Minnesota Vikings can expect from Troy Dye this year

With the 132nd overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings picked up Oregon linebacker, Troy Dye. He is an experienced play-maker on the defensive side and can be a situational player in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings has done a great job of pointing positions of need very early in the 2020 NFL Draft. This helped them to take more of a great pick as they added Oregon’s linebacker Troy Dye in the fourth round. Dye takes part in a crowded group of young Minnesota Vikings linebackers who will compete together for playing time on defense and special teams.

Minnesota Vikings has a lot of young hopefuls already in their linebacker space. Players such as Eric Wilson and Ben Gedeon are likely on their last opportunity to stick around. Meanwhile, DeMarquis Gates, Cameron Smith, and Troy Dye will be competing for early playing time.

Dye comes to the Minnesota Vikings with a variety of starting experience under his belt. During four years at Oregon, Dye appeared in 48 matches and recorded 391 tackles. Dye has shown that he can make plays against both the pass and run, and bring some versatility to his game.

The newest defender of Minnesota Vikings projects as a situational linebacker who can support in coverage from the jump. He is sound in coverage as well as has a ton of length in his favor when he stands at 6-foot-3. If new Minnesota Vikings senior defensive assistant Dom Capers plans to play Anthony Barr as an edge rusher a little more often, Dye can have the change to take his spot in coverage.

The fourth round of the 2020 NFL was a solid value for Dye in this draft class. What will he be able to bring to the table for the new-look Minnesota defense?