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Three Questions About the Vikings as Training Camp Gets Closer

Following a season in which the Vikings went 8-7-1 and fell short of their goal to win the NFC North, there’s a level of excitement about the team as 2019 approaches.

Now that the calendar has turned to July, the start of training camp is closing in and things are ramping up for the franchise to get ready for 2019.

Today we take a quick look at three questions about this team as they get set to embark on what they hope will be a season playing into early February.

1. Give Cousins a Chance

Kirk Cousins had plenty of ups and downs as the QB for 16 games for the Vikings in 2018, but he still wrapped up the season with 30 touchdowns and a QB rating of 99.7.

The line has to play better for him this season, as overall the team allowed 40 sacks, way too many for Cousins to not only be good, but for the team as a whole to be consistent.

Let’s see if this team can get on the same page early on.

2. More Cook Please

Dalvin Cook played in 11 games, starting 10, and looks like a dynamic back that can have a big impact on this offense in 2019.

He ran for 615 yards and a pair of scores, which included a 70-yard run during the campaign. Overall Cook put up 4.6 yards per carry, even with at times an offensive line that just didn’t block as well as they could.

Look for a camp that puts Cook into more situations of getting into the open field, and he should have a big season for the Vikings.

3. A Defense That Could Be Even Better

Last season the Vikings defense looked great at parts of the season, and wrapped up the season finishing fourth in yards allowed, with 9th overall in points given up.

The team did have their letdowns, like allowing 29 points to the Packers, 27 to the Bills and 38 to the Rams in weeks two, three and four.

They have to be more consistent, and look for this D to have a season in which they help this franchise make a run to the postseason.

Vikings and Tight End Kyle Rudolph Agree to Contract Extension

On the eve of their mandatory minicamp, the Vikings solved their most pressing financial question, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph, whose contract was set to expire after this season, told the Star Tribune via text message he has agreed to a new deal with the team, after posting a note on his Twitter feed that said, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

After drafting Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round, the Vikings worked with the 29-year-old Rudolph on a new deal that would extend his time with the team while providing the Vikings some salary cap relief.

The team entered Monday with just $611,926 in cap space, according to NFL Players Association salary data, and had targeted a deal with Rudolph — who was originally set to make $7.625 million this season — as a means of creating some breathing room.

The structure of Rudolph’s new deal will determine how much cap relief it provides. ESPN reported the terms were four years and $36 million.

John DeFilippo On His Departure From The Vikings

When it comes to sports, both the fans and the players can get emotional. But when it comes to football, there is no telling how emotional the games can get. In a recent turn of events, headlights have been intensified by rumors regarding the departure of Vikings offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo.

Football is almost like a game of chess, players are taken off the board and after some strategic planning and playing, a new game is started and new pieces are added back onto the board. Sports is taken very seriously , especially for members of NoviBet as real money is wagered on games and this is why it is so important fans have all the facts.

Apart from fans, online sports betting site rely heavily on the facts and news headlines, especially ones involving highly regarded teams as the Jaguars and the Vikings, serve bettors well. With the attention on every move players make, it is easy to see why the internet is abuzz with John DeFilippo’s latest reaction to queries involving his sudden departure to the Vikings after only 13 games.

The details regarding the departure of former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator remain rather mysterious. John DeFilippo was fired from the Vikings in 2018 after the team lost 21-7 to the Seattle Seahawks in week 14. The loss was a hard knock for all involved but the news of DeFilippo’s booting made everyone wonder why after only just 13 games. The Vikings suffered 3 out of 4 defeats, the Seahawks being the last before John DeFilippo was let go. DeFilippo, aged 40, was brought into the Vikings after he led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl before his season began with the Vikings. Much was expected from the offensive coordinator having helped developed Carson Wentz over the time period of 24 months.

After DeFilippo was let go, wide receiver Adam Thielen told the press the offensive coordinator was not to be blamed for the team’s challenges. He went on to say that the players are the ones who need to complete the plays regardless of what they are called and that all 11 players should do the right thing as a team.

Many assume the move from the Vikings was due to the downfall of high expectations which was expected after Kirk Cousins joined the team as their new quarterback. When questioned about how he felt, John DeFilippowas not interested in commenting or making a statement.

What he did say was that he won’t be making many comments about anything that happened ‘up there’ and that he was more of a present kind of guy, focusing on the now rather than the past.

Currently the former Viking offensive coordinator is settling into his new role as the front-runner of the offense for the Jacksonville Jaguars which many are hoping to see play out well for both the team and the offensive coordinator. John himself has even been said to hoping this is his true fit and that his time with the Jaguars obviously works out in favor of him despite what some may think.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Liking What He Sees from Rookie Garrett Bradbury

As far as first impressions go, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was instantly drawn to rookie lineman Garrett Bradbury, if nothing else for his sense of style, Dane Mizutani of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports.

“He tucks his shirt in every day,” Cousins said. “I think that sends a message right there. He is ready to work. I respect that.”

And while his position was kept under wraps since he joined the team, it looks as if Bradbury is going to be given every opportunity to be the starting center. He snapped to Cousins during the first week of organized team activities, flanked by former starting center Pat Elflein, who will move to left guard for next season.

“He is a smart kid,” Cousins said of Bradbury. “I look forward to him being here a long time.”

That’s the goal for the Vikings, and for Cousins, who has expressed that to Bradbury while referencing the constant turnover on the offensive line. He noted how he worked with a handful of different centers last season — from Nick Easton to Cornelius Edison to Pat Elflein — and how he would rather not go through that again this fall.

“I told him, ‘I’d like to work together for about the next decade,’ ” Cousins said. “I just tried to set that vision for him and say, ‘You be the guy here for the next decade and let’s not have to worry about having anybody else snap for the quarterback.’ ”

“He’s been awesome,” Bradbury said of Cousins. “Just need to continue to build that rapport and continue to build the continuity in the offensive line room.”

As much as Cousins is dedicated to helping Bradbury excel at the next level, he understands part of that is figuring out what makes him tick when he’s away from the team facility.

“You sit around at the breakfast table and get to know him as a person,” Cousins said. “He has his head on straight and there is a maturity there. That is a good place to start.”

“You have to have good people to win,” Cousins added. “If a guy is a great athlete and not a great person, eventually it is going to catch up with him. I think they’ve done a good job of bringing good people into our locker room.”

There’s still a lot Bradbury has to learn before the Sept. 8 season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. And that’s OK.

“We have time, and we will take advantage of it,” Cousins said. “Just keep stacking days on top of each other and get him where he needs to be. As much as there may be some growing pains along the way to get to where we want to be, that’s OK as long as we can have that continuity. Hopefully, Garrett will be the guy for a long time.”

Report Claims Vikings and Patriots Have Discussed Tight End Kyle Rudolph

The Vikings are currently locked in a contract dispute with veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, a dispute that reportedly has caught the Patriots’ attention, Andrew Callahan of Masslive reports.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, New England has “talked with Minnesota about Kyle Rudolph,” amid its series of free-agent signings at the tight end position. The 29-year-old Rudolph is due $7.6 million this season from the cash-strapped Vikings. Minnesota drafted a tight end, Alabama’s Irv Smith, in the second round of this year’s draft.

The two sides were reportedly in extension talks until two weeks ago, at which point the possibility of trading him reopened. Rudolph, who intends to be present for the start of the Vikings’ OTAs on Tuesday, said he doesn’t want to be dealt. However, he also told reporters he’s “too young” to take a pay cut.

Rudolph caught 64 passes for 634 yards and four touchdowns last season. He’s earned two Pro Bowl nods — in 2012 and 2017 — over his eight-year career. His best statistical season was an 83-catch, 840-yard and seven-touchdown campaign in 2016.

Vikings Co-Owner Mark Wilf on the Team: “We’re in a Good Direction”

Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said that when the Vikings lost their final regular-season game to the Bears, thus missing the playoffs, the ownership group knew major changes had to happen. But he said it also felt like the Vikings had the right people in place to make those changes, Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

“Well, it was a disappointing season,” Wilf, also the team president, said last week. “We didn’t like the way it ended and it was a bitter taste in all of our months and we got right to work the day after that game. Coach Zimmer, Rick Spielman, the whole organization has had a plan, and we’re executing it and we like the changes, so far.”

Wilf said that for a team with such a solid core group of players, this offseason has seen a tremendous amount of change.

“We had a real busy offseason, did a lot in both free agency and the draft, and I think we’re set up well for the months ahead and the season ahead,” Wilf said. “We’re in a good direction. We like our team, busy with practices and the next phase of OTAs are next week. It’s the next step in the process.”

There is no doubt the Wilfs and the Vikings front office were both pleased with some aspects of Kirk Cousins’ performance in 2018 but also know the only way for him to earn his contract — which will pay him $29 million in 2019, the second-highest total in the NFL behind only Detroit’s Matthew Stafford — is a playoff run.

“I think a year under his belt here in Minnesota and his familiarity with everything is going to bode well,” Mark Wilf said. “He’s doing great. We expect a lot out of him as well as our whole team.”

What are his expectations as the team gets ready to start OTAs? “We expect a lot better season, and we’re working hard every day,” Wilf said. “I know our coaches, and staff, and players are working hard and getting ready for the season.”

Vikings Draft NC State Center Garrett Bradbury with the 18th Pick in the NFL Draft

The Vikings added some beef to their line on Thursday night, snagging NC State center Garrett Bradbury with the 18th pick in the NFL Draft.

Bradbury is a natural knee-bender with excellent quickness and agility. He’s an outstanding pass-blocker who has great awareness and mirrors well.

Although he isn’t a powerful drive blocker and fits best in zone-heavy schemes, he is tough and technically sound. He’s a leader with a professional work ethic.

Check out the Complete 2019 Minnesota Vikings Schedule

The 2019 NFL Schedule is out – and Vikings fans you can start to look at what trips you want to take and days off as well!

Here it is – the complete 2019 Vikings slate!

Sept. 8 Atlanta Falcons 1:00
Sept. 15 at Green Bay Packers 1:00
Sept. 22 Oakland Raiders 1:00
Sept. 29 at Chicago Bears 4:25
Oct. 6 at New York Giants 1:00
Oct. 13 Philadelphia Eagles 1:00
Oct. 20 at Detroit Lions 1:00
Oct. 24 Washington Redskins (Thu) 8:20
Nov. 3 at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00
Nov. 10 at Dallas Cowboys* 8:20
Nov. 17 Denver Broncos 1:00
Bye
Dec. 2 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:15
Dec. 8 Detroit Lions 1:00
Dec. 15 at Los Angeles Chargers* 8:20
Dec. 23 Green Bay Packers (Mon) 8:15
Dec. 29 Chicago Bears 1:00

Vikings Back in the Picture for Linebacker Anthony Barr?

It’s been a tough 24 hours for Vikings fans as they felt they were on the verge of losing one of their better defensive players, linebacker Anthony Barr.

Reports now indicate that Barr is not gone from Minnesota just yet, as Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider for SNY says that Barr is backing out of his reported deal with the New York Jets.

It was thought that the Jets were going to pay Jets Barr somewhere in the range of $13 million to $14 million per year, but the Vikings may have upped their offer and now it sounds like Barr is having second thoughts.

It remains to be seen if the Vikings have done enough to keep Barr, but the fact that he’s even having thoughts of backing out of his reported deal with the Jets is a good sign.

Vikings to Lose LB Anthony Barr to the New York Jets Once Free Agency Starts

The Vikings are going to have a big hole at the linebacker spot come the start of free agency, as veteran LB Anthony Barr is set to ink a deal with the New York Jets.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Barr will ink a deal with the Jets once free agency starts on Wednesday.

The Vikings and Barr could not come to terms on an extension, and the writing was on the wall that he was set to leave the team.

“I love Minnesota, but I’m willing to play anywhere I find fit,” Barr told TMZ a few weeks back.

“If it’s comfortable, that I would have a role on the team with and help win. My possibilities are open.”

Barr over the last five seasons started 71 games for the Vikings, appearing in four Pro Bowls and being one of the best defensive players to play in Minnesota.