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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 8 August 2023

I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well. - Robert Benchley

Minnesota Vikings v Miami Dolphins Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images



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“We’re very much right into the competition part of training camp,” O’Connell said Monday via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I would not over-evaluate one particular area. We have a lot of jobs guys are still fighting for, and we’re going to allow for our practices, joint practices [with the Titans and Cardinals] and preseason games to play out before we make any final determinations.”
Case-in-point on the Vikings’ first depth chart, running back Kene Nwangwu — who has participated sparingly in camp due to injury — is listed as No. 2 behind starter Alexander Mattison over Ty Chandler, who reportedly has looked good during camp.
“That backup spot is still really fully in the competition,” O’Connell said of the backup RB gig. “I will tell you that sheet of paper. We are not making any decisions at this point.
“I really want to see those guys get a full body of work before we determine overall what that position looks like. Ty has been really looking solid running the football and showing those instincts you saw last year in the preseason that we’re excited about, and he continues to grow from an understanding of protection.”

Take note.

NFL News

Florio points to two players for the NFL’s decision to make the rule change - Deshaun Watson and Brown. In Brown’s case, it’s due to his actions prior to signing with the New England Patriots, during which he was a free agent transitioning from the Las Vegas Raiders to the Pats.
At the time, Brown was being sued for sexual assault and rape but did not disclose the information to the Patriots before signing. Once discovered, the Patriots released him, just one week after signing.
Under the new rules, players will need to reveal all information about incidents of such matters.
“In addition, active and prospective players have an obligation to promptly disclose any such incidents to their club or the league office before signing a contract with a club,” the revised personal conduct policy states.

Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Dallas Cowboys
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Amik Robertson, CB, Las Vegas Raiders

2) So how have the other 49ers quarterbacks looked? The team has such a deep and talented beat-writer contingent that I trust them completely when they are all saying the same things: Trey Lance has proven more accurate and comfortable this season; Sam Darnold has mostly played well, avoiding interceptions; even Brandon Allen, the team’s No. 4, is better than some teams’ backup quarterback.
Will Lance even be on this roster in Week 1? The former No. 3 overall pick is splitting backup reps with Darnold, which says a lot about how San Francisco sees Lance’s future. Then again, the 49ers might want to keep as much quarterback depth as they possibly can, given what’s happened to them in the Shanahan era. If Lance plays well in the preseason, would they get rid of him for a mid-round draft pick? It’s hard to imagine them getting a better offer than that.

Queue up the Lance trade rumors!

5) According to multiple reporters, Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson has sat out team drills in recent days despite being suited up. I was listening to the Purple Daily Podcast, where reporter Judd Zulgad mentioned Hockenson having a genial conversation with ownership on the sideline while watching the team’s night practices. The podcast threw the observation into a segment called “Reckless Speculation,” but the following is not that reckless: This is the behavior of a player about to sign a long-term contract. Hockenson will be my top free-agent tight end for 2024 if he doesn’t sign a deal by the time I release my first list.
6) Undrafted free agent linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. has taken some first-team reps in Minnesota and garnered notice. The Cincinnati product is competing with second-year pro Brian Asamoah II for a starting job next to veteran Jordan Hicks. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores is looking for competition and “his guys.”
7) I like a lot of what Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has done since taking over, including how he handled Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter’s respective contract displeasure. (Smith was traded to Cleveland, while Hunter got a raise.) Still, it’s hard to ignore that the first two draft picks of this regime, safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth, aren’t even competing to start in their second training camp. Cine is no better than fourth on the safety depth chart, while Booth wasn’t making up ground in a CB battle before suffering an injury. Then again, the players ahead of Booth (second-year pro Akayleb Evans and rookie Mekhi Blackmon) are also Adofo-Mensah draft picks.
The 41-year-old GM also took Ed Ingram in the second round last year, and the guard struggled mightily as a rookie. The team hosted free-agent guard Dalton Risner for a visit last week, so a shakeup could be coming.

Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings
“We’ve thrown him in with all the complex run game rules and motions and formations and the route tree we’re asking him to learn, and I think he’s handled it really well and I think he’s shown his athleticism and his ability as a receiver,” Cousins said, per Will Ragatz of FanNation. “He’s a natural catcher of the football.”
According to Matt Anderson of SBNation, the rookie has been “lining up all over the field” and “crushing it” in training camp.
Jakorian Bennett, CB, Las Vegas Raiders (drafted two spots after Blackmon)

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