VU Daily Blog: 6/22/10

Two Vikings receivers break into a top-100 list for the first time, Adrian Peterson makes a change off the field, and the Vikings won't have to face the man who twisted Brett Favre's ankle. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progressed through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 2:53:00 PM

Rice, Harvin make top-100 debuts is rolling out its annual list of the top 100 players in the NFL, and the Vikings had two of their wide receivers listed at 62nd and 97th.

While the Vikings are sure to have more players crack the top 60 in the coming days as the countdown continues, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin were the only Vikings in the 60-100 slots.

Harvin was ranked 97th.

"The 2009 Offensive Rookie of the Year is the latest in a string of young game-breakers that contribute in running, receiving and kick returning games," wrote author Peter Schrager, who doesn't pick 2010 rookies or kickers in his list. "In '09, Harvin overcame a bout with migraines and countless pre-draft critics (he smoked marijuana in college) to catch 60 balls and score eight touchdowns, two of which came on kick returns. Harvin was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl roster as a kick returner. Many more of those to come."

Schrager had Rice ranked No. 62 after leaving him off the list of the top 100 last year.

"After two seasons of unnoticed mediocrity, Sidney Rice emerged as one of the NFL's top WRs in 2009. A Pro Bowl selection for the first time in his career, Rice became Brett Favre's go-to target in Minnesota, catching 83 balls for 1,312 yards and 8 TDs," Schrager wrote. "In last season's Vikings playoff win over the Cowboys, Rice caught 6 balls for 141 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. If he wasn't considered a Top-10 NFL wideout before that game, he certainly was afterwards."

The Bears' Jay Cutler found a precipitous drop in his ranking, but he just barely made the list at No. 100.

"For years, I've been killed for being a Jay Cutler ‘apologist.' After last season, in which I predicted he would lead the Bears to the NFC Championship only to see him toss an NFL-high 26 INTs, I ate quite a bit of crow," Schrager wrote. "But I'm still a sucker for that cannon arm, and with Mike Martz and Chester Taylor in town there's a lot to like about Cutler in 2010. The Bears WRs may not be household names, but there's big expectations in the Martz offense. Despite the picks, Cutler still threw for 3,500+ yards and 27 TDs in '09. I'll roll the dice: Forget the haters, Jay Cutler's one of the top 100 NFL players."

More Vikings should be listed in the coming days as the countdown continues.


Posted on Twitter at: 11:40:00 AM
The Onion takes shots at Peterson, Childress. RT @tomspeicher: via @TheOnion - Too funny even for #Vikings fans!

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 8:52:00 AM

Favre's ankle tugger is released

The New Orleans Saints have released defensive end Bobby McCray.

Why is that significant to Vikings fans? You might remember that McCray is the man that is credited with causing Brett Favre's ankle injury in the third quarter of the NFC Championship Game by pulling on Favre's foot after bringing him to the ground. The NFL said McCray should have been penalized for the action (the Vikings probably sent many more uncalled infractions to the league) and fined McCray $20,000 for the incident.

Favre had surgery last month to remove scar tissue and bone spurs from the ankle and still has a few weeks of rehabilitation left, according to his surgeon, the renowned Dr. James Andrews.

Of course, the Vikings are scheduled to play the Saints in the season opener on a nationally televised Thursday night game. Saints safety Darren Sharper tweeted that "X marks the spot," an inference that the Saints could target Favre's since-surgically-repaired ankle, but this time it will have to be someone other than McCray or defensive end Charles Grant, who is also no longer a member of the Saints.

Or the Vikings offensive line could just protect Favre better.


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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 7:59:00 AM

Peterson switches marketing agents

The changes around Adrian Peterson continue.

Peterson's decision to skip minicamp earlier this month in favor of "Adrian Peterson Day" in his hometown of Palestine, Texas seemed to irk Vikings coach Brad Childress, causing him to declare that "the work is here."

Now Peterson is switching marketing agents as well, moving away from Bill Henkel of 10 Sports Marketing in favor of Ben Dogra of CAA Sports, according to the Sports Business Journal. Henkel has represented Peterson's marketing opportunities since the Vikings drafted him in 2007. Henkel told Viking Update in the past that Peterson has always been focused on football first and that getting into the glitz and glamour of commercial endorsements wasn't a top priority for Peterson.

"I have a great deal of respect for Adrian the Athlete and even more admiration for Adrian the Person," Henkel wrote in a statement to the Sports Business Journal. "I am proud of the work we accomplished together over the past few years, and to me he will always personify a successful yet challenging period of my professional life. Although there are aspects of working with Adrian the Businessman that I will not miss, I will be forever grateful for AD's steadfast trust and faith in me throughout our relationship."

Dogra has represented Peterson in contract negotiations since the star running back entered the league, and Dogra's agency will now be in charge of Peterson's marketing as well.


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