Vikings rumors, reports and reality

The Browns eschewed a report they commissioned and the Vikings ended up with the winner on Cleveland's report. Plus, how likely is the rumor that the Vikings could part with Adrian Peterson "sooner rather than later," and we look at the massive appeal the NFL draft had among fans.

The Vikings, according to numerous reports, believe they had a deal in place with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 22nd pick and were poised to take Johnny Manziel. But, as the story goes, Philadelphia convinced Cleveland to give up the 26th and 83rd picks overall to move up four spots and select Manziel at No. 22.

The Eagles decided they didn't want to wait until the Vikings' No. 40 pick overall and used the Vikings' offer as leverage to increase Cleveland's offer, which allowed Philadelphia to get back on the clock four picks later and select OLB/DE Marcus Smith (from Louisville).

The Vikings still traded back into the final pick of the first round and selected Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.

The interesting part about Cleveland trading up to select Manziel is the Browns eschewed an expensive study that said Bridgewater would be a better NFL quarterback than Manziel.

The Browns commissioned an outside study of the traits that make a college quarterback successful in the NFL. The study was conducted by an outside agency, costing more than $100,000, and reportedly showed that Bridgewater was the winner among the 2014 NFL Draft prospects.

"This study pointed to Teddy Bridgewater by far as having the best metrics of anyone in this draft," CBS reporter Jason La Canfora said before the draft.

The Vikings' trade offer with Philadelphia was turned away with minutes to go, but it didn't take them long to find a trade partner at the end of the first round and select Bridgewater.

Draftniks and NFL fans alike will follow the successes and failures of Manziel and Bridgewater over the coming years and assess both, but it's interesting to note that the Browns overruled a study they commissioned that pointed to Bridgewater, even if that study was commissioned by a former Browns executive, Joe Banner.

Gambling site, by the way, gives Manziel slightly better odds to become the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at 15/2, while Bridgewater was at 12/1. QB Blake Bortles, meanwhile, selected before both of them, at No. 3 overall, was behind both of them at 20/1 odds.


Expect this to be a recurring rumor … until it actually happens: Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report (and formerly of reported a rumor he heard during the draft was that the Vikings were looking to part ways with Adrian Peterson "sooner rather than later."

"My personal opinion," said one AFC general manager, "is this (coming) season will be Peterson's last with the Vikings. Despite the cap hit, they'll make some sort of move to get him off the roster."

The Vikings would take a $4.8 million cap hit if they released Peterson before this season, while he is scheduled to count $12 million against the cap in 2014.

But after this year, Peterson would cost only $2.4 million to release, and doing so after the 2015 season wouldn't cost the Vikings anything against the cap. His $12 million cap figure this year is scheduled to increase to $13 million in 2015, $15 million in 2016 and $17 million in 2017. Despite the salary cap expected to continue to increase by about $10 million per season with a new television contract kicking in, those could be tough numbers to swallow for a running back that will turn 30 next March.

But the report didn't include two important factors: The Vikings could look to renegotiate his contract, which runs through the 2017 season; and the team currently doesn't have a viable replacement running back on the roster.

So don't expect "sooner" to mean before the 2014 season.


  • The NFL brand just continues to grow. Despite delaying the draft until May, the first-round coverage between NFL Network and ESPN drew a combined 32 million viewers, the highest number for the first round yet and up 28 percent over last year's viewership.

    Day 2 viewership was up 8 percent over last year, and Day 3 viewership was up 17 percent.

  • Social media also saw record numbers from the draft. More than 9.6 million tweets were sent about the draft, according to Nielsen Social Guide.

  • The Vikings waited until the final day to get involved in drafting defensive backs, but with the selections of Antone Exum, Kendall James and Jabari Price, they contributed three to the pile of the 53 defensive backs selected, the most of any position group. Linebackers were next with 37, and the Vikings were just above the average there, too, with two linebackers (Anthony Barr and Brandon Watts) selected.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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