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Bleacher Report – Vikings

A look at recent contracts that could affect Diggs, Hunter and Barr’s negotiations

By Matthew Coller

Last year the Minnesota Vikings announced contract extensions for Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph near the beginning of training camp. As we hit the down period between minicamp and training camp, the Vikings will presumably be working toward deals with 2019 free agents Stefon Diggs, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter.

Recent contracts signed by comparable players generally set the bar for the player’s asking price. So with that said, here are three contracts at each position that could come into play over the next six weeks of talks. Important note: Not all the contracts listed will be the asking price for Diggs, Barr and Hunter. They will help form a ballpark figure…

(All data via Overthecap.com)

Wide receiver

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns

Contract: Signed April 16, 2018. Five years, $75.5 million with $47 million in guarantees, $34 million guaranteed at signing

While Landry averages 100 catches per season over his first four years, he and Diggs have similar impacts on their quarterbacks’ rating and Pro Football Focus grades. When throwing to Landry last season, Jay Cutler had a 96.8 rating, while Case Keenum/Sam Bradford had a 120.4 when throwing to Diggs. The Vikings’ receiver was graded as the eighth best in the NFL by PFF while Landry was 19th.

Landry’s contract is notable because he received more than half guaranteed and a large chunk of that money up front. Diggs’ side will be likely to focus on those parts of the deal if he’s going to sign an extension this offseason.

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Contract: Signed December 30, 2017. Four years, $58 million. Adams received an $18 million signing bonus which is the only guarantee on the contract

The Packers’ top receiver and Diggs had nearly identical ratings when targeted (Adams was 120.3). Over the last three years, Adams has 199 catches and Diggs has 200.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Contract: Signed March 12, 2018. Five years, $82.5 million with $55 million in guarantees, $38.258 million of which is guaranteed at signing

Evans may be looked at as a superior receiver, but he was also graded lower by PFF last year than Diggs. However, in 2016 he graded in the top five. Like Landry’s contract, Evans’ deal includes a large chunk guaranteed up front. Diggs likely couldn’t reach this plateau now, but it might be reason to bet on himself. If has a big year with Kirk Cousins and decided to hit the market, he would be looking at a contract in Evans’ range.

Linebacker

Eric Kendricks, Minnesota Vikings

Contract: Signed April 16, 2018. Five year, $50 million contract, $22.938 million in guarantees, $11.638 million of which is guaranteed at signing

Since 2015, Kendricks and Barr have been partners in Mike Zimmer’s defense, each playing nearly every snap. While Barr might be considered an outside linebacker, in the nickel package, they have similar roles, though Barr rushes the passer more often. Last year Kendricks was rated 37th and Barr 44th among inside LBs.

From Barr’s perspective, being a former first-round pick and generally more versatile, his side could be looking to top Kendricks’ deal by a significant margin.

Jamie Collins, Cleveland Browns

Contract: Signed January 24, 2017. Four year, $50 million with $26.4 million in guarantee

From a usage perspective, Barr and Collins are similar. While Collins doesn’t have huge sack totals (5.5 career high), he split his snaps nearly 50-50 between inside linebacker and outside linebacker last season (per PFF). Like Barr, he’s asked to chase the QB, drop back in coverage, run stuff and create turnovers.

Since Collins signed at the end of last year, Barr could be looking to top his rate of guaranteed money.

Donta Hightower, New England Patriots

Contract: Signed March 15, 2017. Four years, $33.5 million contract, $17 million fully guaranteed at signing.

From the Vikings perspective, they might look at Hightower’s deal as attractive — fewer years, but with a high percentage of guaranteed money. Barr could sign a shorter deal and look to cash in again a few years down the road.

Defensive end

Olivier Vernon, New York Giants

Contract: Signed March 9, 2016. Five year, $85 million, total guarantees in Vernon’s contract are $52.5 million

Hunter may have seen a dip in his production last year, but Vernon’s deal shows us that a down year wouldn’t have much impact on his contract if Hunter hit the open market. In 2013, Vernon had 11.5 sacks and then followed up with 6.5 and 7.5 sacks and still landed the richest deal in the NFL. If he has a solid year and hits the market, not only could Hunter look for a higher average annual value than Vernon — possibly in the $18 million range — but with well over half guaranteed.

Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Contract: Signed March 18, 2017. Four year, $62 million with $49.5 million in the first three years and $29 million in total guarantees

Pierre-Paul was traded, but his deal was signed as a contract extension with the Giants. He’s farther along in his career than Hunter and hasn’t had a double-digit sack season since 2014. No doubt Hunter would be looking for more guaranteed, but if he signs a four-year deal with the majority of the money coming in the first three years, he could bank on another mega contract after a few years.

Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars

Contract: March 11, 2017. Four years, $60 million with$30 million guaranteed at signing

Prior to a monster 2017 season, Campbell had never reached double-digit sacks, which Hunter has already achieved. If the Vikings’ young pass rusher looks for a contract with a term shorter than five years, he would ask for more than half guaranteed.

The post A look at recent contracts that could affect Diggs, Hunter and Barr’s negotiations appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

Mike Max Talks Football, Vikings With Danielle Hunter

By Vikings – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) – One of the Vikings that is expected to move into Pro Bowl-type status is defensive lineman Danielle Hunter.

He’s a young and talented defensive lineman that came into the league at just age 20. He’s just starting to hit his prime, and WCCO’s Mike Max caught up with him to talk Vikings and NFL life.

Watch the video for the full interview.

Source:: CBS Minnesota

Vikings plan a team approach to anthem

By Mike Florio In more than three weeks since the NFL enacted a new anthem policy that managed to cause more problems than it solved, teams and owners and league officials generally have managed to keep their heads low and their mouths shut on the topic. For the Vikings, the subject became unavoidable on Friday, because the team [more]

Source:: ProFootballTalk

Pelissero: Vikings Optimistic As TCO Performance Center Officially Opens

By NFL Network NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero comments on the brand new opening of the Vikings practice facility and notes how it will affect the team moving forward.

Source:: Minnesota Vikings: Videos

Week In Review: A Successful Offseason Program Concludes

The Vikings wrapped up their offseason program this week by completing a three-day mandatory minicamp, and now set their sights on training camp, which begins in six weeks and will, for the first time, originate from Eagan.

Source:: Minnesota Vikings: Videos

Vikings Dedicate Sid Hartman Interview Room at TCO

By Lindsey Young EAGAN, Minn. — Sid Hartman and Bud Grant — two Minnesota icons — have enjoyed interconnected lives since first crossing paths on the campus of the University of Minnesota in 1945. Their paths that…

Source:: Minnesota Vikings: News

Newman’s versatility could give Vikings’ defense new wrinkles

By Matthew Coller

On Wednesday, Terence Newman and Andrew Sendejo swapped jerseys for the day and Newman filled in for Sendejo’s position on the field.

Newman, 40, has remained a quality NFL player through age 39, which is virtually unheard of for defensive backs historically. His encyclopedic knowledge of the game has allowed Newman to stay one step ahead of younger opponents and in 2017 it allowed him to switch to — and succeed at — starting nickel corner.

According to Pro Football Focus, when opponents threw at Newman during the regular season, they went 28-for-51 with 293 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, good for a 76.6 rating. He was on the field for 55.8 percent of total plays.

“His versatility in the secondary, everybody knows about it,” defensive coordinator George Edwards said. “He’s had to start games for us with two days of preparation to do it. That is a hat that he can wear. We are glad we got him.”

It’s plausible the Vikings simply wanted to see Newman take reps at safety to keep him sharp, but there might also be an opportunity for Mike Zimmer to add some new wrinkles to his already-strong defense.

Zimmer said following the Vikings’ selection of Mike Hughes in the first round that hew as considering some packages with different combinations of DBs than he’s used in the past.

“Quite honestly in today’s NFL, with as much throwing as is going on, I could see four corners in the game at one time,” Zimmer said.

One of the reasons the Vikings’ head coach has had longevity in the NFL is his ability to adapt, so despite the Vikings’ No. 1 ranking, he might be wise to make such a tweak. Last offseason, we looked at how difficult it was for top defenses to repeat their previous success. As of last year, there were only three instances since 2007 of a team remaining in the top five for three years in a row.

So it would make sense for Zimmer to make tweaks even when he’s coming off season where he ranked at the top.

There might be an opportunity to use five DBs in a hybrid dime package with Harrison Smith lining up in a linebacker position and Anthony Barr on the line of scrimmage.

Last year, Smith lined up in the box on 227 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, with 115 snaps coming on passing plays. Newman only took 16 snaps at safety.

“It’s fun being back there with a guy that has that much experience at every different level, I’m always trying to learn from him whether he’s talking about corner or safety or whatever,” Smith said on Thursday. “He just loves football. He loves learning everything about football. He can sit in the classroom and not get any reps at safety and know the key and exactly where to line up.”

Newman’s role might also be determined by the progress of third-year corner Mackensie Alexander, who struggled last offseason and lost the job to the veteran. In a smattering of snaps throughout the regular season (278 in the slot) Alexander performed well. He worked with the first team at nickel corner during minicamp while Hughes plays with the second team. If each of the Vikings’ recent draft picks takes a step forward, Zimmer will have more chess pieces to use as his team faces a tough schedule of quarterbacks this year, including Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Carson Wentz and Tom Brady.

The post Newman’s versatility could give Vikings’ defense new wrinkles appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

TCO Performance Center Ribbon Cutting Intro

On Friday the Vikings held an official ribbon cutting ceremony for Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, which included guests such as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Governor Mark Dayton, and others. Watch the opening video that was shown to guests.

Source:: Minnesota Vikings: Videos

Vikings minicamp audio recap (ep 334)

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings wrapped up minicamp on Thursday. We look back at some of the most interesting quotes and Matthew Coller talks 1-on-1 with right tackle Rashod Hill.

The post Vikings minicamp audio recap (ep 334) appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

Lunchbreak: Diggs, Elflein Included in NFL.com’s ’25 Under 25′

By Lindsey Young There’s no denying the volume of young talent that stands out each season across all 32 NFL teams. Every offseason, NFL.com releases a “25 under 25” list to highlight some of the top names impacti…

Source:: Minnesota Vikings: News