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Rudolph with a Very Shiny New Contract

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32 minutes ago, vikingsrule said:

Is this money even needed? Unless there is another trade in mind (Trent Williams?) it seems like we're okay to not need to do this deal. It's not a significant long term commitment, I just hope this team doesn't get in a bad habit of hanging onto these home grown players a season or two too long because of what they meant in the past. 

It's more about continuing to send the message that we take care of our own.  Kyle is being retained because of his leadership in the locker room and off the field and to help groom Irv on it.  Despite our knowledge of his limitations, the reality is that he's still one of the top targets in the NFL in key situations (3rd downs/red zone), as seen in the article below.  In fact, in those situations alone, he could widely be considered one of the top 5 to 10 TEs.  

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-breaking-down-the-vikings-tight-end-room-with-kyle-rudolph-re-signing-long-term

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1 hour ago, PrplChilPill said:

Hmmmm. I don't get this. I'd 100% rather have Waynes after this coming year. 

Zimmer can always just draft a first round CB. Not as easy to do that at TE.

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45 minutes ago, vikingsrule said:

It's not a significant long term commitment, I just hope this team doesn't get in a bad habit of hanging onto these home grown players a season or two too long because of what they meant in the past. 

This franchise hasn't really ever done that, so it's hardly a concern for me.

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1 hour ago, vikingsrule said:

Is this money even needed? Unless there is another trade in mind (Trent Williams?) it seems like we're okay to not need to do this deal. 

They'll extend Weatherly and probably Harris too.

Any extension for Weatherly will cost against the cap this year, since he's making basically nothing in salary. They could do a Harris extension as cap neutral this year, but better to add some of the signing bonus to 2019 to keep cap hits flatter going forward.

1 hour ago, vikingsrule said:

I still think they let Waynes walk and get the comp pick. Another year of Hughes, Alexander and Hill might make the decision easier. Epps might be in the mix too. Also need Rhodes to rebound. 

The CB situation will make more sense in the off season, I don't expect any decisions until then. 

If Rhodes doesn't bounce back this year, I think they'll release him (or trade him for a pick).

I predict they'll end up keeping at least one of Waynes and Alexander. I think they'll both be better than Rhodes from 2020 onward (they were both better last year). They could keep both for what Rhodes will cost against the cap over the next 3 years ($41M from 2020-22, with a dead cap hit of $4.8M if he's traded or released. 

Zimmer particularly values outside corners, and Hughes can probably play in the slot. If they have to pick one, and both continue to play well, I think Waynes is more likely to get the extension, unless Alexander shows he can handle some reps outside this year. 

Hughes/Waynes/Hill plus depth at nickel (Epps?) seems more like what Zimmer wants than Hughes/Alexander/Hill and an unproven depth outside corner (Boyd?). 

If both Waynes (in 2020) and Rhodes (no later than 2021, I predict) leave, they'll definitely be drafting another corner in the 1st round. 

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Great news for Kyle and the team. We still need a proven red zone threat at TE and it will take a few years to see what we have in Smith. 

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3 hours ago, vikingsrule said:

Is this money even needed?

Remember 2016? I remember 2016

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FiveThirtyEight, last March:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-team-that-signs-kirk-cousins-should-also-invest-in-tight-ends/

Quote

Cousins’s recent performance in Washington offers his next employer a clear blueprint for turning him into a truly great player: employ fewer wide receivers and more tight ends. For the three-season period from 2015 through 2017, Cousins was the most efficient quarterback in football when two tight ends were on the field, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. During that time, Cousins threw 256 passes with exactly two tight ends in the formation and averaged 10.24 yards per attempt. That’s nearly a yard better than the second-best quarterback with two tight ends, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (9.37), although Stafford attempted nearly 100 fewer passes. And Cousins beats the NFL quarterback average of 7.76 yards per attempt with two tight ends on the field by nearly 2.5 yards.

Cousins is far less effective in more traditional formations. He averaged nearly three fewer passing yards (7.37) when not equipped with two tight ends in the formation. If you were to prorate Cousins’s two-TE production over a full season, he easily tops Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner’s record for most yards per attempt in a single season since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. Without them, he’s 2017 Josh McCown.

...

Here’s the thing about these tight ends, though: There’s a case to be made that every team should load up on the position and try to use two tight ends more frequently. Overall, from the start of the 2015 season through 2017, quarterbacks averaged 0.64 more yards per attempt with two TEs than they did otherwise (7.76 vs. 7.12). This suggests a two-TE strategy might be worth a look — even for teams that aren’t paying a quarterback $30 million a year.

PFF today: 

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-breaking-down-the-vikings-tight-end-room-with-kyle-rudolph-re-signing-long-term

Quote

Smith certainly has the potential to dip into Rudolph’s snap count while Rudolph continues to make an impact in high-leverage situations — where he has thrived for the majority of his career.

Just a season ago, Rudolph caught 16-of-20 late-down targets for 199 yards, one touchdown and 12 first downs. Among the 19 tight ends with at least 15 late-down targets last year, Rudolph’s 124.8 passer rating ranked third behind only Evan Engram (133.5) and Travis Kelce (129.2), while his 80.0% catch rate ranked tied for second.

In addition to his work on late downs, Rudolph was also a difference maker on his red-zone targets, catching 8-of-14 passes for 42 yards and three scores. Over the last three seasons, Rudolph has generated a passer rating of 111.9 on his red-zone targets, joining Stefon Diggs (128.6) and Adam Thielen(113.4) as arguably the most efficient red-zone trio in the NFL.

With two relatively productive tight ends now on the books, it opens up a world of possibility for the Vikings’ offense and allows them to run plenty of 12 and 22 personnel — which just so happens to suit quarterback Kirk Cousins down to the ground. Since 2015, Cousins leads all quarterbacks in adjusted completion percentage (83.3%), passer rating (112.8) and yards per attempt (9.39) in those personnel packages, and his 2018 passing grade from such (90.8) ranked third among quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts last year.

 

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What I wanted to see us get in a trade back for Rudolph was probably unrealistic. I'm glad he's back.

At least now we can move on from Conklin and just move forward with Rudolph, Smith and Morgan.

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42 minutes ago, SteelKing728 said:

At least now we can move on from Conklin and just move forward with Rudolph, Smith and Morgan.

All 4 will likely make the team. 

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16 minutes ago, SemperFeist said:

All 4 will likely make the team. 

Because of 2 TE sets? 

Which position gets cut down then? WR?

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I think they’d keep Conklin over Morgan, if they only keep 3 TEs. But they probably do keep 4 this year, since they’ll often be playing 2. 

They can keep 5 WRs since there’ll be fewer snaps there to go around. Keep Taylor, Beebe, and either Mitchell or Zylstra.

Better yet, keep 5 LBs. Kearse might end up taking more of the “LB” snaps this year. The 6th LB is mainly used on special teams but they could have a 4th TE take some of that work or else Mata’afa if he makes it as a 9th DL. Keep Wilson and two of Gedeon, Downs and Cam Smith. 

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1 hour ago, Krauser said:

I think they’d keep Conklin over Morgan, if they only keep 3 TEs. But they probably do keep 4 this year, since they’ll often be playing 2. 

They can keep 5 WRs since there’ll be fewer snaps there to go around. Keep Taylor, Beebe, and either Mitchell or Zylstra.

Better yet, keep 5 LBs. Kearse might end up taking more of the “LB” snaps this year. The 6th LB is mainly used on special teams but they could have a 4th TE take some of that work or else Mata’afa if he makes it as a 9th DL. Keep Wilson and two of Gedeon, Downs and Cam Smith. 

Why Conklin over Morgan? Morgan is the only reliable blocking TE on the roster. I'd imagine there is still value in that. Usually the Vikes have kept 9 receivers (6 WRs and 3 TEs). I think 9 will still be kept but I'm guessing one more TE and one fewer WR will be kept.

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Posted (edited)

If the team only keeps 5 receivers, which makes sense if the team plans on running as much 12 personnel as has been hinted at, there’s going to be some very tough decisions made to get to those 5. 

Choosing only 3 out of Treadwell, Taylor, Beebe, Zystra, Badet, Mitchell, and Johnson is going to be tough.

As much as it pains me to say, I don’t see Beebe making the roster. 

Edited by SemperFeist

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Just now, SemperFeist said:

If the team only keeps 5 receivers, which makes sense if the team plans on running as much 12 personnel as has been hinted at, there’s going to be some very tough decisions made to get to those 5. 

Choosing only 3 out of Treadwell, Taylor, Beebe, Zystra, Badet, Mitchell, and Johnson is going to be tough.

PS eligibility will make some of that determination, as well as how they perform on special teams.  Obviously Treadwell is not PS-eligible and I'm pretty sure Taylor is not, but I'm not sure Zylstra is either.  But, Beebe, Badet, Mitchell and Johnson definitely all are.  

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