So much for free agent signings all coming on the first day. The Vikings did some quick work when signing became permissible, but took til the second week to get a lot of deals done. You can see Part one here but there's more to talk about today.
The first signing of the next wave was from another rival team. They agreed to terms with defensive end Datone Jones who had previously been in Green Bay. Notre Dame was the school that the brain trust used to keep acquiring players from. Now UCLA seems to be the source du jour. It's only a one year deal and he may not get beyond fourth on the DE depth chart but rotation along the line is one of the most important parts of the defense so getting a former first round pick on a prove it deal could pay major dividends, even from a fourth end. Sneaky usage may even lead to him playing as a rusher from the inside sort of like Robison has at times. All together, it seems like a good signing by the Vikings!
Next up came a couple signings with players that the Vikings are already very familiar with. First was Terence Newman who is seemingly determined to finish his career the way he has spent most of it, under Zimmer's leadership. He will help continue to bring along the young defensive backfield and likely playing well. He's not just a warm body for the sideline, which is nuts considering how old he is as an NFL player The second player that will continue to don purple is Adam Theilen. 3 years at 9 million per year is a great signing for the Detroit Lakes product. The guaranteed money is less then half but with the work ethic and production he's already shown the incentives are likely to be achieved for him. With the losses that have already happened at receiver getting this deal done was important. In my opinion he's worth more then the second round tender that the Vikings put on him so it's a good thing that no other teams acquired his services.
Then came the news over night that the Vikings signed a free agent running back who wore #28 last season. No, not that one. He's probably seen his last days in the Minnesota back field. The player they signed was free agent running back Latavius Murray from the Oakland Raiders. It's a 3 year deal that may only last one season which is an interesting wrinkle but obviously was agreeable for the first time free agent. He isn't the last back to join the covenant but is a nice piece for the offense to have, regardless of any other additions.
For the rush of additions there are some noteworthy departures.
Adrian Peterson has probably seen his last days in Vikings garb. It's a bittersweet nugget because before this season I still held out hope that he would be in purple his whole career and set more records here. Yeah, even with the suspension season I thought he may have been able to get it done. That's out the window now and since he won't be back it doesn't matter as much. He may do the whole one day contract thing at retirement but my gut feeling is that he doesn't really care about that so he'll retire with whichever team he signs with last. A disappointing finish to a hall of fame career.
The other guys who won't be back in Mankato are Andre Smith, who's going back to Cincy. Anyone out there shedding a tear for this one? No? Okay.
Then came the biggest bust since Hershel Walker. There wasn't nearly as much stuff traded hands in the CP trade but giving up four picks for a guy who did so little over the balance of his time in Minnesota is now, and kind of was then, a terrible transaction. If he breaks out in Oakland it'll be another terrible representation for the Vikings but I would be shocked if he managed to do more for them then he did for us this past year. Decent production but underwhelming for a first rounder.
All told, the Vikings gained and retained more then they lost but that doesn't mean the departures were the easiest thing. There will probably be more news to come out but I won't get to any of it until after the first rush of March Madness has past so that's all for now!