NFC North Blog
Adrian Peterson is back from suspension and expected to have a monster season. Obviously, Peterson is going to eat up the vast majority of touches in the Vikings' backfield. However, he believes he'll see even more snaps than expected. Last season AP was expected to see a lot more action on third downs. Unfortunately his season was derailed due to a suspension for child abuse. This season, Peterson believes he'll see a lot more third-down touches like he was planned to last year. If true, he may be near the league lead in touches.
Free agent wideout Reggie Wayne recently made it clear that he intends to play this season. He also mentioned that teams have been calling. Today four teams were named as possible suitors for the 36-year-old receiver. The teams named were the Patriots, Ravens, Texans and Packers. There is no word yet on a favorite, however, it appears the teams have been narrowed down. Nonetheless, this does not guarantee Wayne will make a roster or even be offered a deal.
According to sources the Ravens are not interested in free agent wideout Reggie Wayne. This contradicts a recent report that they were one of four teams interested in the former Colts WR. Despite having next to nothing after 36-year-old Smith, the Ravens reportedly do not wish to add the veteran receiver. They could still add another wide receiver before the start of the season.
Of the four teams that were reportedly interested in Reggie Wayne two have now denied any interest. The Texans reportedly will not pursue the 36-year-old veteran. The Ravens also denied any intent to sign the former Colts wideout. It appears Wayne's options are becoming more limited by the hour. We will have to wait and see how this shakes out.
Last year Joique Bell missed most of the offseason with a knee injury and went on to have the best fantasy season of his career. This season Bell has been sidelined while recovering from knee and Achilles' surgeries. The procedures were not major but surgeries nonetheless. According to ESPN's Michael Rothstein, "there seems to be more concern this time" when it comes to Bell's health. He is expected to make a full recovery, however, they are not in the clear until they see him on the field.
The Vikings and Adrian Peterson have mutually agreed to restructure the final three years of his contract. They made it clear that the agreement was mutual so not to hurt AP's ego after his lengthy Twitter rant earlier this offseason. Both Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and Peterson commented on the matter with great admiration for each other.
Adrian Peterson's new three-year contract has a base value of $44 million. He was previously set to make $44.75 million, however, with the new deal he's much more likely to actually earn the majority of his money. He was set to make $12.75 million this season, instead he will be given $11 million guaranteed and will receive a $2 million roster bonus on July 28. While it adds up to less money, there is more guaranteed early and the Vikings will be forced to make a decision early each season. So if they want to cut him, it has to be before free agency starts and all the money is used up.
Free agent Jermaine Gresham has been less than stellar but he's still the best TE left on the market. The only reason he hasn't signed a deal yet is because of offseason back surgery. In an interesting turn of events, Gresham is visiting with the Packers. He has already met with the Cardinals and has a contract on the table from the Saints. Gresham's expected to pick a team before training camp opens up.
The Bears have reportedly discussed the idea of signing free agent Jermaine Gresham. They have no proven pass-catching TE behind Martellus Bennett and could use the help in blocking as well. Gresham has been meeting with multiple teams this week including the Packers and Cardinals. He also reportedly has an offer on the table from the Saints. He is expected to decide on a destination prior to the beginning of training camp next week.
Second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is being projected to have a breakout sophomore campaign after a strong finish to 2014. He has been garnering praise from teammates and coaches. His tight end Kyle Rudolph called him a "great player" and says that he's noticed that Bridgewater is "very comfortable" in his role. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner may have given him the highest praise saying "he has no limits in terms of being able to learn and pick things up." Bridgewater himself explained why he feels so much more comfortable this year than last. "I have more of a feel for what the coaches are trying to do here, as far as game plan-wise," Bridgewater said. "Last year I was kind of learning my way around game plans and getting a feel for coaches Norv and Scott Turner and what they're asking of us. Having an understanding of the coordinator, I think I'm that far ahead this year."