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Hunter gets extension, Vikes lock up another '15 draft pick.

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Article by Jamie Harmer 
Published 6/29/18
Photos via: 

   The Vikings showed Wednesday they weren't playing around, agreeing to terms in an extension with defensive end Danielle Hunter. The 4th year DE is just 23 years of age, and already in the last year of his rookie deal. The extension was reported as a 5 year/$72M deal, with $15M being a signing bonus. $40M total in guaranteed money.

Hunter entered the league via the '15 draft. The Vikings spent a 3rd round pick on the raw talented edge rusher out of LSU. At the time, Hunter was considered a "project player" with very high potential. A fair share of analysts deemed him a "reach" by the Vikings. Fast forward three years, and POOF! In 46 games(only 17 as a starter), Hunter has racked up 147 tackles, 25.5 sacks, and the most impressive stat(to me anyway) a whopping 160 QB pressures!

I'd say the young man has earned every cent of his new extension. I'm also inclined to heap praise the coaching staff's way. Their ability to develop raw talent, and get the most out of these guys is as important as the player's themselves.

Hunter becomes the second player of the Vikings 2015 draft class to earn an extension. Earlier this off season, Linebacker Eric Kendricks agreed to a 5 year/$50M deal. The Vikings have stuck to their word of retaining core players to keep this team a contender. So far, they have done just that. SKOL!
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Four names to watch come training camp

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Article by Jamie Harmer
Published 6/23/18
Photographs via 

    Now that OTA's and mini camp have concluded, let's take a look at four players to watch when training camp gets under way.
The first of the four on my list is second year guard Danny Isidora. The Vikings selected Isidora in the 5th round of the '17 draft. Isidora is a natural mauler interior lineman which is where the Vikings currently have an opening up front with Joe Berger now retired. Isidora is a load at 306 lbs, but can move well for a big guy. With the team forced to shuffle the deck up front in OTAs due to the absence of starting center Pat Elflein, the Vikes used starting sets that had right tackle Mike Remmers move inside to guard. I'm a fan of keeping Remmers at RT, and seeing a guy like Isidora take the starting guard position. Entering '18, the Vikes question mark continues to be the offensive line. Hopefully the questions will find answers within the current roster by week one.

Name number two on my list is UDRFA Mike Boone. The Vikings have two locks at running back in Dalvin Cook, and Latavius Murray, but with the departure of Jet McKinnon the team has an opening for that RB3 spot. Boone had a strong mini camp with the Vikes. His name came up when asked about players who stood out. Boone isn't a huge RB, but has a very physical running style. He can run up the gut or find himself in space out of the backfield. New OC John DeFilippo sent praise his way after a productive three day mini camp. So watch for the name Mike Boone to surface during camp. I think he will win a spot on the 53 with a solid preseason showing.

Number three on my list to watch is second year defensive end Tashawn Bower. The Vikings signed Bower as a UDRFA in '17 after an impressive rookie tryout. Bower came in as a raw pass rusher, seen very limited playing time in '17 as most UDRFA's would on a team that has the likes of Griffen and Hunter. With a year in the system under his belt, Bower could provide much needed rotation at the rush edge position. To do so, he will need to take that next step in camp, and show the coaches he is ready to share the workload.
I had asked Bower about the off season programs over Twitter shortly after wrapping up mini camp, his response above.
I feel that Tashawn Bower is a name you will hear during camp and preseason.

I'm wrapping my list up with the Vikings first round pick from this year's draft, corner back Mike Hughes. The 30th overall pick of '18, Hughes finds himself in quite possibly the best situation out of any of the '18 rookies. Drafted to a team coached by the corner back guru himself Mike Zimmer, a supporting cast around him in the secondary with the likes of Newman, Rhodes, and Smith. Hughes has the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the league. Early returns on Hughes so far have been positive. Coach Zimmer praised him for his retention of the workload he had been given during the off season programs. Hughes worked mostly in the slot, a position the team is in need of filling. My guess is Hughes will see the field in '18 in one form or another. I'm excited to see how his preseason goes. We all know Zimmer doesn't like to play rookies early, but if the kid has it, I say let him at it!

These are my four names to watch as we set sail towards training camp. Feel free to leave comments below on who you feel will be names that surface during camp and preseason. SKOL!
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Dalvin Cook: The Kitchen is Heating Up

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By: Tanishka Mhaskar
June 9th, 2018
Photo: Pioneer Press

Dalvin Cook Participates In Team Drills

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook returned to team drills on Tuesday, June 5th. Cook was back on the field with the team for the first time since his ACL tear vs the Detroit Lions. During the first two weeks of OTAs, Cook participated only in individual drills. Being able to participate in team drills was another milestone in his journey to recover.

After the drastic end to a very promising campaign, Cook has high hopes for his sophomore season. In an interview done after OTAs, Cook said, "I'm still that same guy. I just need to pick up where I left off at. I'm just going back out there and playing football. The motivation is still there, and my talent is still here. I'm just a little bit older, that's all."

Cook will be a big part of this offense and will, hopefully, help QB Kirk Cousins settle in a little on game day. Before he went down, he was the leading rusher in the league, and he was on full track to win ROTY.

Dalvin Cook is fully ready for training camp and he believes that getting more reps in will help him settle into new OC John DeFilippo's offense. "I was excited to get back into action get out there and just get some live reps." 

The Vikings have been taking it easy during Cook's rehab and assuming that there are no setbacks, Cook could very well be ready to retake his role as the workhorse of the Minnesota Vikings offense.

Be careful because the the chef is back and the kitchen is heating up.

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96 says "I'm back!" for 2018

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Jamie Harmer
Published 5/14/18

Vikings current longest tenured player Brian Robison says he will be returning for the '18 season.
Robison has been with the Vikes since he was selected in the 4th round of the '07 draft. Entering his 12th season, Robison has seen his snaps diminish, but his role expand. Normally a defensive end, Robison has moved inside to play defensive tackle, and even dropped back in coverage.

Over his 11 seasons in the purple, Robison has amassed 60 sacks(placing him in the Vikings top 10 All Time) to go with 13 forced fumbles.
Robison has become a fan favorite over the years, a vocal leader, a team captain, and host of the best 10 minute show around with 96 Questions on

Although Robison isn't a lock to make the 53 man roster, I'd say he's got a pretty good chance of wearing the horns in '18.
Glad you're back BRob, now let's get to work!
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Terence Newman returns for his 16th Season

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By: Tanishka Mhaskar
April 30th, 2018
image: gettyimages

The Veteran CB Can Still Play Like He's 20

On Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings announced that another former first round CB was returning. This re-signing came with the name of 40 year old defensive back, Terence Newman. He returns to the NFL for his 16th season, and his 4th in purple and gold.

Newman's relationship with HC Mike Zimmer goes all the way back to the 2003 NFL draft when he was drafted fifth overall by the Dallas Cowboys. Zimmer was the defensive cordinator in Dallas at the time and when Zimmer took the DC job with the Cincinnati Bengals, Newman followed in his footsteps. That continued when Coach Zimmer was hired as the Vikings' head coach.Newman has been fairly effective with a lesser role. He registered 5 interceptions all years with the Vikings.

Terence Newman knows that he is coming back with a decreased role, and with more help coaching the younger players such as Hughes and Alexander develop into the best they can be. With Newman's extension, the Vikings currently have six corner backs on the roster. At this point the most assumable depth chart for the 2018 Vikings is:

1. Xavier Rhodes
2. Mackensie Alexander/ Mike Hughes
1. Trae Waynes
2. Terence Newman
3. Marcus Sherels

Without clarity of who our slot corner is going to be (keep an eye on that in training camp) the Vikings CB depth looks mostly the same, although Mike Hughes has the potential to completely shut down the opposing slot receiver. 

VKNT is glad to have you back for another year Terence! Let's get it done this year.

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2018 NFL Draft: R1, Vikings take a CB

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By: Tanishka Mhaskar
April 27th, 2018

"With the 30th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida."
CB was a priority for the Vikings. They needed more competition at nickel corner after Mackensie Alexander, drafted in the 2nd round in 2016, has not fully lived up to expectations. The Vikings had a couple of choices at CB and They did not disappoint. When they were on the clock, the Vikings pulled the trigger quickly by grabbing CB Mike Hughes, who was the highest rated player on the draft board at the time. 

According to HC Mike Zimmer, "He [Hughes] has all of the traits we are looking for." Not only can Hughes play as a pro CB, but he is also a very impressive punt returner. This was one of the other reasons that the Vikings chose him. It's not just offensive or defensive grades but also comes down to what the player can contribute to special teams. 

During the 2017 season at UCF, Hughes had 4 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. Hughes' outstanding defensive play definitely contributed to the UCF Knights going undefeated. 

Hughes comes with many strengths. He can keep up with almost every single receiver in the league, he’s very physical, and doesn’t just stall routes. He can completely stop them. Also, Hughes can catch just like a wide receiver. We all know that’s he a great punt returner and can can elude the first tackle very well. 

With coaching like Mike Zimmer’s defensive staff it is easy to see Hughes as a potential starter as soon as this season.

Most people wanted the Vikings to draft an offensive lineman the first sound to protect the guy the team just gave 84 million dollars. In an interview from GM Rick Spielman earlier this week, he mentioned there being 6 different positions the Vikings could draft and Number 1.There is a reason that there are 6 more rounds in the draft. 
Welcome to Minnesota, Mike Hughes! We hope that you find a home here. SKOL

Some think that the drafting of Hughes slims the chances of resigning veteran CB Terence Newman. Mike Zimmer denied those claims and said, "There's a possibility, yeah." Zimmer mentioned that because of the amount of passing going on the league right now, it is possible that the Vikings have 4 corners on the field. 

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Predicting the Minnesota Vikings 2018 Record

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By: Tanishka Mhaskar
April 22nd,  2018

After a brutal loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship, it is safe to say that the Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest winners in free agency
note: this is just a prediction

The Vikings signed the 'unicorn' of free agency in quarterback Kirk Cousins and made a splash on the defensive side of the ball with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Due to the brilliant work of GM Rick Spielman, Minnesota has almost no excuses next year. VKNT will take you through a game by game analysis of what to expect for each game and a prediction of the Vikings record. 

Week 1:
vs San Francisco 49ers 
Sunday September 9th, 1 PM EST
Game 1 includes a battle between two of the highest paid quarterbacks, 2 shutdown corners, and the return of former Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon. It should be quite an interesting battle between Adam Thielen and Richard Sherman. But it all comes down to defense and the Vikings defense has only allowed 12.5 points per game at home. A stronger offense, the shutdown defense and the crowd noise will hand Jimmy Garoppolo his first loss as a NFL starter.
Score Prediction: 29-19
Record: 1-0

Week 2:

at Green Bay Packers
Sunday September 16th, 1 PM EST
The two games vs the Packers are highly anticipated and should set the stage for the division title. The Vikes travel to Green Bay early this season to take on a revengeful Aaron Rodgers in an interesting matchup. The Packers defense is quite an improvement from last year with the signing of DT Muhammad Wilkerson and TE Jimmy Graham on the offense. Although the game will be close, Green Bay pulls off the win. 
Score Prediction: 24-23
Record: 1-1

Week 3: 
vs Buffalo Bills 
Sunday September 23rd, 1 PM EST
The Vikings defense take on an offense that was ranked 29th in the league last season and have done almost no huge offensive signings to make themselves better. There is a chance they will face their first rookie QB of the season. Likewise, this should be a breeze at home, with the crowd helping them along. 
Score Prediction: 42- 10
Record: 2-1

Week 4:
at Los Angeles Rams
Thursday September 27th, 8:20 PM EST
The Vikings play their 1st primetime game with QB Kirk Cousins. This one of their first real tests of the season. I can see a win here if they execute and don't turn the ball over. This game is very important because it has a lot at stake when it comes to playoff seeding. Luckily the Vikings have 2 of the top 5 receivers last season in conquested catches. This should be important going against the Rams' newly acquired CBs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. The offensive line will also have to step up this game going against one of the best DLs in the league in Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. The Vikings have signed OGs Tom Compton and re-signed OG Nick Easton. The draft is coming up early this week to solidify the positions even more but the Vikings fall to the Rams.
Score Prediction: 21-17
Record: 2-2

Week 5:y

at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday October 7th, 4:20 PM EST
Playing on the road can be tough enough, but playing the Super Bowl champions is even harder. It can be a it easier if you are the Minnesota Vikings, hungry to get revenge on the team that ripped out their dreams of playing a home game in Super Bowl 52. Add on top of that Kirk Cousins, who was division rival of the Eagles. I'm expecting the Vikings to play with some kind of intensity never seen before. They get 10 days between the Rams and the Eagles so they will be well rested and the defense, hungrier. They will win a very hard fought game by a clutch field goal by Kai Forbath. 
Score Prediction: 27-24
Record: 3-2

Week 6:
vs Arizona Cardinals
Sunday October 14th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings head back home after 2 tough weeks on the road. The win and loss should really shape the playoff picture. This week they meet former friend, now foe, QB Sam Bradford. The Cardinals re much improved from last year with the return of RB David Johnson and the addition of S Tyrann Mathieu. After a pair of interceptions by Cousins, the exhausted offense can't get back on their feet and the Vikings defense is tired from the previous weeks. Bradford gets revenge on the Vikings in a tough loss. 
Score Prediction: 27-18
Record: 3-3

Week 7:
at New York Jets
Sunday October 21st, 1 PM EST
As of right now it is hard to say who the starting QB for the Jets will be but I feel like they will give Teddy Bridgewater a chance to get revenge on his old team. Bridgewater will play well but doesn't have the weapons or defense to even stand a chance against the Vikings top 10 offense and defense. 
Score Prediction: 33-14 
Record: 4-3

Week 8: 
vs New Orleans Saints
Sunday October 28th, 8:20 PM EST
This prime time game will be one on everyone's radar. Not only are these 2 teams Super Bowl contenders but the last time they met lead to a historical playoff walk off TD. The Saints certainly want revenge. I'm sure their DBs have worked on timing when it comes to tackling. This will be a hard fought game but the Saints just come in with more fire. Kirk Cousins lights up the offense but the lack of CB depth just burns the Vikings.
Score Prediction: 38-30
Record: 4-4

Week 9: 
vs Detroit Lions
Sunday November 4th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings offense faces a revamped Lions defense at home. The offense has been on fire the last few games and the defense plays up to their usual caliber. The Vikings have their most efficient game of the season and play with no error.
Score Prediction: 24-16
Record: 5-4

Week 10: BYE week

Week 11:
at Chicago Bears
Sunday November 18th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings always have trouble playing at Soldier Field. Maybe it is the wind, or maybe it is the loud fans. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has a lot more weapons than last season with the additions of TE Trey Burton and WRs Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. The Bears offense should stand much more of a chance against the best defense in the league but it still wont be enough to pull an upset. 
Score Prediction: 29-24
Record: 6-4

Week 12:
vs Green Bay Packers
Sunday November 25th, 8:20 PM EST
The biggest rivals of the Minnesota Vikings come to town as Rodgers probably still wants more revenge but the Vikes do too now. If they lose this game against the Packers, they will lose the division. This home game is a must win for the Minnesota Vikings. With the crowd backing them up and Kirk Cousins playing better every week the Vikings are able to take the dub on Sunday Night Football. 
Score Prediction: 38-24
Record: 7-4

Week 13:
at New England Patriots
Sunday December 2nd, 4:25 PM EST
This is one of the most anticipated games of the season for Vikings fans. The Patriots have lost quite a few key players this offseason in WRs Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola, OT Nate Solder, CB Malcolm Butler, and the unsure return of TE Rob Gronkowski. The Pats should still be a very dominant team but Tom Brady is aging, and it is unclear if Belichick can manage drafting players to cover up for all of the starters that left. The Vikings get a last minute punt return TD by Marcus Sherels to win the game. 
Score Prediction: 27-20
Record: 8-4

Week 14:
at Seattle Seahawks
Monday December 10th, 8:15 PM EST
The Vikings final prime time game comes in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. The Vikings will be able to handle the noise, but not play their best game of the season. The Seahawks have lost most of their key offensive and defensive players this offseason and haven't done much to bolster their roster. They do have the draft but replacing a surplus of players less than 10 draft picks is tough. The Vikings dominate in Seattle on Monday night. 
Score Prediction: 23-14
Record: 9-4

Week 15:
vs Miami Dolphins
Sunday December 16th, 1 PM EST
The Vikings head home to play the Miami Dolphins. This was a tough one for me to predict because it is still not clear who the Dolphins QB will be next season. Regardless, the Dolphins have lost their WR1 Jarvis Landry and star DT Ndamukong Suh. They will be an easy match up for the Vikings and they will take the clear win. 
Score Prediction: 45-17
Record: 10-4

Week 16:
at Detroit Lions
Sunday December 23rd, 1 PM EST
The Vikes will travel to Ford Field for their last road game of the regular season. This divisional match-up is key to making sure that the Vikings become Kings of the North. This game ends up being a low scoring battle of both defenses and it's extremely tough to beat Mike Zimmer's prized defense and the Vikings take yet another win. 
Score Prediction: 17-9
Record: 11-4

Week 17:
vs Chicago Bears
Sunday December 30th, 1 PM EST
Another week, another division battle. The final week of the regular season is always a surplus of divisional battles. The Vikings get to close it out at home, similar to last season. Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears have been one of the most improved teams this season and Trubisky has showed tons of improvement. The Bears defense has lost most of their games for them this season and the same thing occurs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kirk Cousins plays impressively throwing 5 touchdowns and the defense closes out the regular season with a win. 
Score Prediction: 26-20
Record: 12-4

This whole article is simply one fans prediction and there is no guarantee that a single one of these things happen but this was a very fun project for me. Regardless, it is safe to say that the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs in 2019. This will be a fun season with new QB Kirk Cousins at helm. 

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