Happy Wednesday, everyone.
Here’s what we have to look forward to for the upcoming off-season, from the Strib.
January 28: The Vikings will send a large contingent of scouts and coaches to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl, the premier collegiate all-star game. Running back Jerick McKinnon, defensive tackle Shamar Stephen and offensive linemen T.J. Clemmings and Willie Beavers are among the Senior Bowl participants the Vikings have drafted in recent years.
January 29: Six Vikings are slated to play in this year’s Pro Bowl down in Orlando. They are defenders Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, Linval Joseph Xavier Rhodes and Everson Griffen and returner Cordarrelle Patterson.
February 5: Tom Brady’s Patriots and Matt Ryan’s Falcons will vie for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LI, held at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
February 15: This is the first day for NFL teams to designate franchise or transition players. They have until March 1 to do so. The Vikings are not expected to use either tag on any of their pending free agents.
February 28-March 6: The NFL heads to Indianapolis for the meat market that is the annual scouting combine. The Vikings will watch prospects work out in spandex then conduct interviews with dozens of them.
March 7-9: Starting at 11 a.m. CT, NFL teams are allowed to enter into contract negotiations with the agents of pending free agents from other teams in what has unofficially been called the “tampering period.” But no contracts can actually be signed during this two-day negotiating window.
March 9: If the Vikings want to pick up the 2017 option for running back Adrian Peterson, they must inform him in writing before 3 p.m. CT. The Vikings are not expected to pick up his option or pay him his $6 million roster bonus later in the week. But they are open to bringing him back next season for much less than the $18 million he is slated to earn.
March 9: The 2017 league year begins at 3 p.m. CT, marking the official start of free agency. Teams are now allowed to make trades again, too. Last year, the Vikings were relatively busy on the first day of free agency, signing Alex Boone, Michael Griffin and Emmanuel Lamur to deals.
March 26-29: The league will hold its annual owners meetings in Phoenix. The highlight will be coach Mike Zimmer being forced to have breakfast with reporters as they pepper him about free agency and the draft.
April 17: Zimmer and the Vikings are permitted to start their offseason workout program. Teams with new coaches start two weeks earlier.
April 21: This is the last day that restricted free agents can sign offer sheets. Wide receiver Adam Thielen is the Vikings’ most notable RFA.
April 27-29: The NFL draft happens in Philadelphia. With no first-rounder, the Vikings might be quiet that first night. But they have eight picks the final two days, including two in both the third and fourth rounds.
May 5-8: The Vikings will likely hold their rookie minicamp this weekend, though they have the option to hold it the following weekend instead.
Late June: Sometime during the second half of this month the Vikings will hold at Winter Park their three-day mandatory minicamp, which wraps up their offseason workout program. Then the players and coaches get a few weeks of downtime before reporting to Mankato at the end of July.
August 3: The 2017 preseason officially kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The real season will be here before we know it.
Around the DN since our last open thread:
Eric was on the Chase Thomas Podcast.
Cordarrelle Patterson said he would welcome a move to running back.
George Paton is also drawing interest from the Colts for their GM position.
Rick Spielman was on SiriusXM NFL Radio and talked about Adrian Peterson & the quarterbacks.
Vikings news from other sources:
The Strib looks at the key Vikings off-season dates.
George Edwards talked at the Senior Bowl about his experience there.
Mike Mayock is high on Western Kentucky tackle, Forrest Lamp (Lamp, not Gump).
Wobby says that two secret ingredients are the key for Super Bowl teams.
Around the rest of the NFL:
From NFL.com, Coach Gruden expects to see Kirk Cousins back with the Redskins next year.
ESPN has every team’s way-too-early odds to win next year’s Super Bowl.
We come to today’s media selection.
This is another one that fishin’ buddy introduced me to, pretty good stuff.
Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:
-No discussion of politics or religion
-No feeding of the trolls
-This isn't a male version of The View, so leave the gender hatred at the door
-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must
-Speaking of which, if discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags
-No pictures that could get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer
-If you can't disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
-While navigating the open thread, just assume it's sarcasm
With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on. Don't forget to tip your waitress, & try the blood sausage.