Henderson, Bowman positioned to impress for Vikings

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 27, 2012 - 9:42 PM

GM Rick Spielman is pleased with the moves to bolster the team's defense.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. - Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman feels good about the recent moves he's made to stabilize the defense. It started with the re-signings of defensive tackles Letroy Guion and Fred Evans. Spielman also has made moves to solidify the middle and back of his defense, first through the Friday re-signing of linebacker Erin Henderson and then with Monday's acquisition of cornerback Zack Bowman.

In regard to Henderson's deal, the Vikings always intended to reel the 25-year-old linebacker back in but took their time negotiating, using calculated business savvy to let a stagnant free-agent linebacker market dictate the asking price.

Henderson's upside, however, was never in question. Spielman remains excited by his versatility.

As for Bowman, Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier see a physical cornerback who brings added value on special teams. The Vikings assessed Bowman's full body of work, not only reviewing a disappointing 2011 where he sputtered in a reserve role in Chicago but also considering an impressive 2009 when Bowman had six interceptions.

"Sometimes, for whatever reasons, when players make a change in teams or get a change of scenery, sometimes you can get the best year out of that player as well," Spielman said Tuesday from the NFL owners meetings.

Given the reputation defensive coordinator Alan Williams has for developing young players, the Vikings believe Bowman can make a big leap forward in 2012.

One and done

Henderson and Bowman will both play under one-year deals in 2012. So, too, will recently signed fullbacks Lex Hilliard and Jerome Felton as well as receiver Devin Aromashodu and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz. Why all the one-year agreements?

"I think if the players aren't getting what they expected, a lot of times they'll look to do a one-year deal," Spielman explained, "to see if they can cash in the following year if they have a productive year."

From the team's standpoint, one-year agreements also offer a limited-risk chance to see if a player fits the scheme.

Said Spielman: "We feel like we've brought in a lot of quality guys. But they're also a lot of guys, I think, who have a chip on their shoulder. They want to prove themselves worthy of getting another big contract."

Still on the to-do list

Spielman would not quantify just how intense the Vikings' pursuit of receiver Pierre Garcon was when the free-agent market opened. Garcon agreed to a five-year, $42.5 million deal with Washington only a few hours into free agency.

Meanwhile, the Vikings have accomplished little to upgrade their receiving corps. Spielman, conceding that free-agent receivers "seemed to cash in this year," again expressed the need for patience as he revamps the position.

"As you fill needs, they don't have to be filled [in a specific] order," Spielman said. "Maybe [receiver help] comes during the draft. Maybe that need gets filled after the draft."

Spielman also believes the signing of tight end John Carlson will inject life into the passing game, hopefully lessening the demands on the receiving corps.

Draft slots

The slots for all 10 of the Vikings picks in next month's draft are final. The Vikings will start with the No. 3 overall pick followed by selections at 35, 66, 98, 128, 134, 138, 175, 210 and 223.

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
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Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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