Vikings Ink Former Bears DT Will Sutton; Waive DT Toby Johnson

The Vikings signed defensive tackle Will Sutton, who played the past three seasons with Chicago before being waived last week, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

To make room on the roster, the Vikings waived defensive tackle Toby Johnson.

The 6-foot-1, 290-pound Sutton, who likely will play nose tackle, was taken by the Bears in the third round of the 2014 draft. He played in 36 games for them, with 18 starts, and had 60 tackles.

Johnson spent last season on Minnesota’s practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster and playing in the final two games of the year, his first two career games. Johnson was undrafted in 2015.

Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer Says He’s Undergone Seven Eye Surgeries Since November

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer revealed Friday he has now undergone a total of seven surgeries on his right eye after requiring additional procedures this spring, the most recent April 25, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

That operation came eight days after Zimmer said he was scheduled April 17 to have an oil bubble, which held his repaired retina in place, removed. Zimmer has also said he’ll need cataract surgery next month, when he turns 61 years old. It will be his eighth operation since Nov. 1.

Zimmer originally scratched his eye during the Oct. 31 game in Chicago last season. The issue persisted and eventually led to a torn retina.

When does he expect to have restored vision in his right eye?

“I hope now,” Zimmer said, under sunglasses. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen. Who knows?”

Vikings Closing In on Deal for Former Cardinals, Patriots WR Michael Floyd

The Vikings are looking to add to their wide out core, and ESPN is reporting that the team is going to bring in a player with an interesting past, that being former Cardinals and Pats wide out Michael Floyd.

Adam Schefter says Minnesota should have a deal done by the end of the weekend with Floyd.

Floyd, 27, is currently serving a sentence for a DUI conviction in Arizona. But once his sentence is complete, he is expected to sign with a team. He is from Minnesota, and the Vikings are a consideration.

The New England Patriots claimed Floyd on waivers from the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 15 after the Cardinals had waived him a day earlier, two days after his arrest. Floyd later pleaded guilty to one charge of second-offense extreme DUI (blood alcohol content of .150-.199). He had been found asleep behind the wheel of his Cadillac Escalade at a traffic light.

On Feb. 16, Floyd began serving a 120-day jail sentence; since March 13, he has served the sentence as a home detention. Floyd is not allowed to leave Arizona during his home detention until a motion is filed, according to the Scottsdale City Court.

If he is not signed by the Cardinals, the earliest Floyd will be able to report to his new team would be June 17, by which time most if not all teams will have concluded their offseason workouts.

Vikings Exercise Fifth-Year Option on LB Anthony Barr

The Vikings on Monday exercised the fifth-year contract option on linebacker Anthony Barr, Chris Tomasson of the St.Paul Pioneer-Press reports.

Barr’s option for 2018 will be worth $12.306 million. He has made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons, although he did have his ups and downs in 2016.

Barr, selected with the No. 9 pick in 2014, will make a base salary of $1.897 million in 2017.

Vikings Tell QB Teddy Bridgewater They Won’t Exercise His 5th Year Option

The Vikings informed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Monday they’re declining the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports.

But it’s not a sign of any new revelations about Bridgewater’s injured knee or setbacks in his rehab.

Bridgewater continues to make progress and is participating in voluntary conditioning work with teammates, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

Picking up the option wasn’t a realistic possibility at all, though, since that would have guaranteed for injury an eight-figure salary in 2018 at a time Bridgewater is still not healthy, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Also Monday, the Vikings exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Anthony Barr’s contract.

A Rundown of All the Minnesota Vikings 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Vikings 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 2, Pick 9 (No. 41 overall)

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: Both Cook and Joe Mixon were still sitting on the board at 41, so the Vikings made a move up to address their RB situation (48 and 128 to Cincinnati). Cook isn’t a “clean” prospect, necessarily, but he was our top-ranked back. He’s a dynamic playmaker that will bolster that offense.? GRADE: A

Round 3, Pick 6 (No. 70)

Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State: A doozy of a find in Round 3, and well worth trading up from No. 79 to get him. Elflein was the best center in this draft—he can be Minnesota’s man in the middle for years to come, assuming he wins that job out of camp. If he doesn’t, he can start at guard.? GRADE: A

Round 4, Pick 2 (No. 109) Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa

Round 4, Pick 14 (No. 120): Ben Gedeon, LB, University of Michigan

Round 5, Pick 27 (No. 170) Rodney Adams, WR, USF

Round 5, Pick 37 (No. 180) Danny Isidora, G, Miami

Round 6, Pick 17 (No. 201) Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech

Round 7, Pick 1 (No. 219) Stacy Coley, WR, Miami

Round 7, Pick 2 (No. 220) Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL, Northwestern

Round 7, Pick 2 (No. 232) Elijah Lee, LB, Kansas State

Round 7, Pick 27 (No. 245) Jack Tocho, CB, N.C. State

A Look at the 2017 Vikings Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out, and here’s a look at the Vikings slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 11 New Orleans Saints (Mon) 6:10 PM

Sep. 17 at Pittsburgh Steelers 12:00 PM

Sep. 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12:00 PM

Oct. 1 Detroit Lions 12:00 PM

Oct. 9 at Chicago Bears (Mon) 7:30 PM

Oct. 15 Green Bay Packers 12:00 PM

Oct. 22 Baltimore Ravens 12:00 PM

Oct. 29 at Cleveland Browns (London) 8:30 AM

Nov. 5 BYE

Nov. 12 at Washington Redskins 12:00 PM

Nov. 19 Los Angeles Rams 12:00 PM

Nov. 23 at Detroit Lions (Thu) 11:30 AM

Dec. 3 at Atlanta Falcons 12:00 PM

Dec. 10 at Carolina Panthers 12:00 PM

Dec. 17 Cincinnati Bengals 12:00 PM

Dec. 23 at Green Bay Packers (Sat) 7:30 PM

Dec. 31 Chicago Bears 12:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: This NFC North team could get off to a quick start with two of the first three at home, including a tough trip to Pittsburgh in week two to take on the Steelers.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: Three games on the road to end November and start December will be a hefty task for this team, with games against the Lions on Thanksgiving, long with the Falcons and Panthers.

LSU RB Leonard Fournette Has No Issues Being Compared to Adrian Peterson

Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette is possibly a player that the Minnesota Vikings could be taking a look at when the NFL Draft rolls up at the end of the month, a player that could take the place of one of the Vikings all-time greats Adrian Peterson.

Checking the betting sites, you can see that many think the Vikings are in the middle of the pack in the NFC, but adding a dynamic player like Fournette could be a key to getting the team back to the top of the NFC North, a division owned right now by the Packers, who lost to the Falcons in the NFC Title game in Atlanta.

Back to Fournette, he’s often compared to Peterson, and it’s not hard to understand why. They’re both big, powerful rushers who dominated at the college level.

Peterson was the first running back selected in the 2007 draft, and indications are that Fournette will hold the same distinction in the 2017 draft.

Fournette, however does not like being compared to Peterson, Chase Goodbread of reports.

“Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in the league. Someone who dominates the game as a single player, who wins one-on-ones, who makes guys miss,” Fournette told NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock at LSU’s pro day Wednesday. “I wouldn’t mind, but to me, that’s a little too much credit because he’s who I want to be.”

Fournette showed off his speed at the latest LSU Pro Day, as he ran a quicker 40-yard dash than many expected, coming in at 4.51 seconds.

He did struggle with his vertical leap, just 28.5 inches, which was outjumped by eight offensive linemen in Indy. By running back standards, that number puts Fournette in the first percentile, per Mockdraftable, of all logged RB combine jumps back to 1999.

Still, he’s an impressive player, and one the Vikings may take a long look at in a few weeks.

Peterson’s Replacement? Vikings Sitting with Packers FA RB Eddie Lacy

Packers free agent running back Eddie Lacy is set to visit the Seahawks, Vikings and Packers, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Both the Seattle Seahawks’ and Minnesota Vikings’ interest in Lacy come as no surprise. The Seahawks have yet to solidify their backfield since Marshawn Lynch retired, and it appears the Vikings are in business for a new back after they declined to pick up Adrian Peterson’s option. Lacy is a bruising running back, but he certainly comes with risk.

He’s been plagued by injuries in recent seasons and his play has proven to be rather inconsistent. After racking up back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons to start his career, he totaled just 1,118 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in his past two seasons combined.

However, at just 26 years old, Lacy still has plenty left in the tank. Now it’s just a matter of which quarterback will be handing him the ball.

Peterson Flirts with the Idea of Going to the Giants; Moving Him This Offseason Won’t Be Easy

Just weeks after saying on ESPN that the Giants are a team he’s “thought about” playing for in the 2017 season, Adrian Peterson took that thought to another level on Wednesday.

The Vikings running back tweeted late on Wednesday that the Giants have “been making some interesting moves,” Nicholas Parco of the New York Daily News reports.

While they just released wide receiver Victor Cruz, it’s likely the most “interesting” move Peterson is talking about is the release of running back Rashad Jennings.

That leaves Paul Perkins as the Giants’ primary back heading into next season, which you know with a high profile team like the Vikings isn’t going to fly, meaning they will go out in either free agency or the draft and look at potential running backs.

On many of the big name sites like Sports William Hill – one of the top betting site, the Giants are 25-1 for the Super Bowl, a number they will want to improve on as the season gets closer in 2017.

Back to Peterson, other than the knee issue that sidelined the 31-year-old for 13 games in 2016, there are other roadblocks in the way of him suiting up for Big Blue.

For starters, he is under contract for one more year in Minnesota.

Peterson will make $11.75 million in the final year of his three-year deal if he stays a Viking, which is a big if seeing how that’s an awful lot for an aging running back coming off a serious injury.

As a team the Vikings had the league’s worst rushing attack, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry with nine touchdowns and three fumbles, and carrying a player that is due to make that much money is simply not going to fly going into this season.

Yahoo Sports had an interesting thought as to what to do with AP and his mega deal.

With Peterson set to draw a non-guaranteed $18 million salary in 2017, the Vikings’ best option looks to be through a strict contract renegotiation in which they attempt to sign the seven-time Pro Bowler to a one-year deal worth around $6.4 million with $3.2 million of it guaranteed. Minnesota would be wise to include a two to three-year option that can be picked up if his performance meets or exceeds expectations while incorporating specific production incentives and roster bonuses.

If a deal cannot be reached between the two sides, there is a good chance that the Vikings will cut Peterson before March 12th, when his $11.75 million base salary becomes guaranteed along with his $6 million roster bonus.

At soon to be 32 years old, Peterson is clearly on the downtrend of his NFL career. If the Vikings are smart, they will continue to shop him around, making sure they get the most they can for him.

However teams know that they might have a hard time finding a trading partner if his salary is still where it’s at. No matter how the Vikings look at it, moving AP is not going to be easy over the next few months.