Vikings headlines from offseason

  • Updated: July 25, 2012 - 9:45 PM

The Vikings saw their last game action on New Year's Day, wrapping up a dismal 3-13 season with a 17-13 loss to the Bears.

A lot has happened in the 29 weeks since. With training camp beginning this week, here is a recap of a wild offseason:

Star Tribune headline:


After years of making collaborative decisions, the Vikings promoted Rick Spielman to be general manager.

What happened: After five years as the vice president of player personnel, Rick Spielman was bumped up the front office totem pole.

What it means: For the first time since 2006, the Vikings have a true general manager. Spielman now has more control and final say when it comes to assembling the roster. That means he should be held accountable for all personnel moves -- good and bad. Spielman also can test his GM philosophies without constraints or fallback excuses.

Star Tribune headline:


The team has offered the defensive coordinator job to Alan Williams. Also, Pagac and Singletary will stay.

What happened: Alan Williams (left) became the new defensive coordinator and Brendan Daly returned to Winter Park as the defensive line coach. Last year's defensive coordinator, Fred Pagac, is now a linebackers coach alongside Mike Singletary.

What it means: With Williams at the controls, the defense will retain a zone-based, Cover 2-type system. After 10 years as a defensive backs coach in Indianapolis, Williams has much to prove as he becomes a coordinator for the first time. Daly, meanwhile, is being asked to use his energetic coaching style to light a fire under the defensive line.

Star Tribune headline:


Releasing the veterans now frees up salary cap money for Tuesday's opening of the free-agent market.

What happened: A few days before free agency opened, the Vikings released a trio of veteran starters in guards Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera and cornerback Cedric Griffin.

What it means: In addition to letting that trio go, the Vikings later released kicker Ryan Longwell and made no effort to bring back in-house free agents Visanthe Shiancoe and E.J. Henderson. It was a symbolic turning-of-the-page and an indication that the over-30 crowd is thinning quickly at Winter Park. With the long term in mind, a youth movement is fully underway.

Star Tribune headline:


Vikings get coveted USC tackle, use extra picks to nab Notre Dame safety

What happened: In assembling a 10-player draft class, Spielman nabbed a pair of first-round standouts in Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith; both likely will start right away.

What it means: Kalil and Smith will be cornerstones of the youth movement. Kalil seems a ready-made star. And Smith has the combination of athleticism, intelligence and passion that coach Leslie Frazier is after. But the franchise will need most, if not all, of its 2012 picks to make the roster and contribute if the team is to take a significant step forward. Hopes are that cornerback Josh Robinson and safety Robert Blanton, in particular, make fast strides early. Also keep an eye on rookie receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs.

Star Tribune headline:

Cleared Cook ready to play

NFL is unlikely to sanction Vikings cornerback, acquitted of domestic abuse.

What happened: Arrested last October and charged with two felony counts of domestic assault, Cook was acquitted at his March trial.

What it means: The Vikings used their top draft pick in 2010 on the big and quick cornerback, then patiently stood behind him as the legal process in his assault case played out. Now it's time for the 25-year-old Cook to reward the Vikings' faith. That means he must not only lock down a starting job, but also prove himself to be trustworthy on the field and off. Having played only 12 games his first two seasons, Cook must transform potential into production.

Star Tribune headline:


The former Litchfield, Minn., standout should pair nicely with TE Kyle Rudolph.

What happened: John Carlson signed a free-agent deal worth $25 million over five years but was the only high-profile signing the Vikings made.

What it means: Spielman was conservative in free agency, resisting the temptation to chase quick fixes. Instead, he signed a horde of average players with upside to one-year "prove it" contracts. Most notable on that list: receiver Jerome Simpson, cornerbacks Chris Carr and Zack Bowman and linebacker Marvin Mitchell. The internal admission that the rebuilding process won't happen overnight is a big step, even if it requires patience from an oft-anxious fan base.


Star Tribune headline:


Senate's stadium bill OK ended string of long nights, closed-door dealing.

What happened: After years of chaos and frustration, the Vikings finally broke through in their quest to get a new stadium.

What it means: All the political negotiating and backbiting has quieted. All the fear that the Vikings might relocate to San Antonio or Los Angeles is no longer. The Vikings still will play in the old, outdated Metrodome deep into 2014. But the good news is the franchise has committed to Minnesota for another 30 years and soon will showcase a fancy stadium to attract mega-events -- such as the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four.

Star Tribune headline:


Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is at that dangerous part of knee rehab -- feeling good enough to push it too hard.

What happened: After tearing the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee on Christmas Eve, Peterson wasted little time attacking the rehabilitation process.

What it means: On several occasions this offseason, Peterson's recovery was on full display for the media, including one heavily attended session in mid-May in which Peterson wowed onlookers with agility drills, sprints and box jumps. The star running back has persevered throughout with a positive attitude and, to this point, has reached or exceeded all the rehab goals put in front of him. Peterson has not wavered from his vow to be back by opening day. And while the medical staff will take a cautious approach, the organization has yet to rule out a Sept. 9 return and expects Peterson to be a significant contributor throughout 2012.

Star Tribune headline:

Harvin hints at a holdout if contract isn't redone

The Vikings receiver is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $12.05M deal.

What happened: During an otherwise quiet June minicamp, the Vikings' top receiver publicly expressed his unhappiness but refused to detail the root of his discontent.

What it means: The Vikings will have to tolerate and quell Harvin's enigmatic mood swings. Does that mean getting him more playing time? Does that mean working to negotiate an early extension for a contract that doesn't expire until March 2014? Does that mean Frazier shouldn't publicly call Harvin out for missing time as the coach did in June when Harvin skipped several voluntary organized team activities? Who knows? What's certain is that for all the explosion and excitement Harvin brings, his volatility remains a worry.


Star Tribune headline:

Peterson jailed for resisting arrest

The Vikings star, accused of shoving an officer at a Houston club, has a Friday court date.

What happened: Following a skirmish with officers inside a Houston nightclub, Peterson was taken to jail and charged with resisting arrest.

What it means: The off-the-field nonsense never ends. Peterson is the latest addition -- and one of the most surprising -- to the Vikings' troubling arrest log. In April, running back Caleb King was apprehended after allegedly fracturing another man's skull in an attack outside a party. The Vikings quickly released King. Five weeks later, new fullback Jerome Felton was arrested in Eden Prairie and charged with driving while impaired. Five weeks later, Peterson wound up in handcuffs. Since the turn of the century, 27 Vikings have accounted for 39 arrests. No matter how much the organization tries to find high-character guys, too many players continue running afoul of the law.

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Philadelphia 3:30 PM
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
UC Santa Barbara 45
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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 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




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