Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Spielman: Vikings will remain active in free agency

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: March 14, 2014 - 5:17 PM
The Vikings have been active through the first week of free agency but they’re not done yet. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said on Friday that there are more visits already scheduled and the team will continue to monitor the free agency market over the next few weeks.
 
“We’re trying to be as aggressive as we can, trying to hone on specific guys that we know can come in and help our ballclub,” Spielman said during a teleconference. “I think by the activity that we’ve done so far, it’s by no means the end of what we’re going to do.”
 
The Vikings focused on improving their 31st ranked defense last season in the offseason by targeting young players that would fit head coach Mike Zimmer’s need. Some of their biggest signings over the last week, defense end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, are all in their 20s.
 
“We had guys that we specifically kind of honed in on that we were trying to go get, but we also had some alternatives that we wanted to look at as well,” Spielman said. “But we had a specific plan in place and very pleased how that plan came together.”
 
Spielman said while the team’s cap space is in good shape at the moment, most of the deals moving forward will likely be shorter. The Vikings brought in defensive tackle Henry Melton for a visit, but he left without a deal. He reportedly has other visits lined up with the Seahawks and Cowboys. Spielman said the team has contacted his agent and monitor his status.
 
Spielman also intends to monitor defensive tackle Kevin Williams’ situation. He said he spoke to Williams’ agent this week.
 
“There’s no decision that’s been made,” Spielman said. “I told him we’d leave it open. But we were trying to address some other needs that we definitely wanted to get done first.”
 
Guard Charlie Johnson is another former player that Spielman said the team will monitor. He said he would like to bring Johnson back, but he has interest from other teams as well. Spielman wants to bring 15 offensive linemen into camp and keep at least eight on the team.
 
“I think the more depth you can accumulate on that offensive line, it really helps your ballclub,” Spielman said. “That’s an area that we’ll probably address in the draft as well.”
 
Along with free agency, Spielman and the Vikings front office have continued evaluating players in the draft. Spielman, along with Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner, were at Alabama’s Pro Day on Wednesday. Spielman said he intends to watch college tape on Friday and Saturday before heading out to more Pro Days this week.
 
“Between Pro Days and working on free agency, it never ends,” Spielman said. “But that’s part of the business and that’s the exciting part. This is the time of year with this free agency and with the draft that you want to improve your ballclub, and we’ve got a lot of good people in place working hard in their specific areas to get that accomplished.”

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NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit - WP: D. Price 12 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco - LP: S. Romo 9 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 10
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez 4
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
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Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
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Florida
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Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
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Troy
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ULM
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(17) Notre Dame
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Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
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Hawaii
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Ottawa
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Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
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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 Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
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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