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Hosting the draft, TNF, the catch rule and other takeaways from Mark Wilf’s sitdown with media

By Matthew Coller

Minnesota Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf took a break from helping host the Super Bowl on Wednesday to chat with the Twin Cities media. Here are some of the highlights:

Hosting the draft

Quote:

”It would be a combination potentially,” Wilf said. “I think we have great venues between our stadium in downtown Minneapolis and our new facility in Eagan. I think in this market we show that it can be a single place, multiple places, we can do a lot, a lot of flexibility in this market. Great corporate support, great fan support. Certainly the draft is something that is potentially in our future.”

Takeaway:

The Vikings and Twin Cities can’t dictate the weather, but they can show the league that they can handle large scale events by putting on a show for the Super Bowl. The 2018 location for the draft is Dallas, which hosted a Super Bowl shortly after opening a brand new stadium.

Thursday Night Football

“I know there are a lot of attention on the Thursday Night Football from the players, but from our standpoint, even from our team, I think it’s something that’s a good product. It’s good for the league. I think it’s great for fans to have the opportunity on Thursday night to watch. For the players even, you look at the short week, it’s also a half bye week too. So on the flip side, you get 10 days to the next game.”

”The scheduling people, I think they’ve done a lot towards making sure you don’t have too many conflicts where maybe it’s too short a gap or road following home or vice versa, all those kind of permutations the league kind of handles.”

Takeaway:

Players have repeatedly pointed out the hypocrisy of the owners claiming they do everything to protect them, then playing games on short rest. In the next CBA negotiation, Thursday Night Football may be a point of contention, but a $500 million deal with FOX creates more revenue to be spent in salaries. It’s possible the players will eventually fight for a bye week leading into TNF, but otherwise it’s likely here to stay long term.

Contract extensions

Quote:

”I think all the deals are run by us but certainly the bigger ones we’ll have more of a communication on and make sure we’re doing the right thing. We don’t just want to have the best talent, we want to have the right fits in the organization, the right players, coaches, that represent this franchise and this community well….we do have an implicit trust but we communicate constantly to make sure that’s kept up.”

Takeaway:

The Vikings have five key players in line for contract extensions, which makes their quarterback situation tricky. Paying Kirk Cousins $30 million per year may cause them to lose a player like Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, Trae Waynes or Stefon Diggs. However, the Vikings are one of the best in the NFL at handling their cap. On the character side, each of those players is known as being the type that the Vikings want to keep long term.

The loss in Philadelphia

Quote:

“It was a very disappointing day. We’re still in the process of examining it and seeing how we can get better for next year. There are a lot of highs and lows in this sport, the week before we had such an incredible high for our fans. We felt disappointed, not for just our organization, coaching staff and players, but most importantly the fans.”

Takeaway:

The owners feel much like the fans. The shine was immediately taken off an all-time great franchise moment and coming short of the Super Bowl this year stung as bad as it ever has.

The catch rule

Quote:

”I think we’re supportive of the direction [Roger Goodell] is talking about. Not so much to tweak it, but to take a fresh look at it from scratch and see where it goes. Every way you go with the catch rule, you don’t know where it’s going to come out.”

Takeaway:

Now here’s something literally every single person involved in football in any capacity can agree on. The catch rule has become far too convoluted. Watch any old NFL Films production and you’ll see great catches that would have been taken away. The league doesn’t want to have catches constantly be a point of conversation and players are tired of having catches taken away.

The post Hosting the draft, TNF, the catch rule and other takeaways from Mark Wilf’s sitdown with media appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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