The Vikings are adding University of Texas at El Paso assistant coach Robert Rodriguez to their coaching staff. Rodriguez will join second-year head coach Mike Zimmer’s staff as the assistant defensive line coach under defensive line coach Andre Patterson.
Rodriguez replaces Robb Akey, who joined the Redskins last month.
Rodriguez played linebacker at UTEP and is among the school’s all-time leaders in tackles. He spent time with the Panthers and Titans in 2005 but never played in a regular-season NFL game. He had stints in NFL Europe in 2006 and the CFL in 2006-07 before getting into coaching.
He joined UTEP’s staff as an assistant in 2008 and was promoted to linebackers coach in 2010. The past two years the 33-year-old was their nickels coach and assistant special teams coordinator.
Having missed out on Michael Johnson, the Vikings are turning their attention to George Selvie.
The Vikings are “getting a visit lined up” for the free-agent defensive end, according to an ESPN report. Selvie, who played for the Cowboys in 2014, has been on their radar since last week.
So who exactly is George Selvie? The journeyman defensive end has been with five teams since the Rams took a seventh-round flyer on him in the 2010 NFL draft. He has played for the Rams, the Panthers, the Jaguars, the Buccaneers and most recently the Cowboys in 2013 and 2014.
The 28-year-old finally settled in as a starter with the Cowboys, starting 29 of his 32 games there. He had 10 sacks the past two seasons with the Cowboys, but pass-rushing isn’t his strongest suit. He is a reliable run defender who Pro Football Focus graded as the 14th-best run defender among 4-3 defensive ends last season. He ranked 16th the previous season, according to PFF.
Selvie has predominantly been a left defensive end — Johnson is a right end — so if the Vikings are indeed displaying more interest in Selvie, it’s likely because they can envision him rotating with veteran Brian Robison at left end. Robison turns 32 next month and Scott Crichton, drafted in the third round last year to eventually replace Robison, did not play much on defense last season.
The Vikings struggled to defend the run last season, allowing 4.3 yards per carry, 24th in the NFL.
It doesn’t take much to kick up another round of Adrian Peterson trade speculation.
Peter King wrote this in his Monday Morning Quarterback column:
There’s some noise out there that Adrian Peterson could be traded to Arizona. Well, I guess he could, at some point. But the money would be a major problem. I spoke with a reliable Cardinals source Sunday night, and the three years and $45 million left on Peterson’s contract is an absolute non-starter with the Cards. “We haven’t had contact with the Vikings about it, to the best of my knowledge,” the source said. “And there is no way we could live with those numbers. We just got Larry Fitzgerald’s contract under control. No way we’d add that salary.”
Pro Football Talk picked it up and ran with it:
The unnamed source who told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that the Cardinals wouldn’t take on Peterson’s three years and $45 million specifically mentioned Fitzgerald’s contract. And there’s a chance that wasn’t an accident. Despite creating $13 million in cap space by re-doing Fitzgerald’s deal, the Cardinals will pay him $11 million per year in 2015 and 2016. With Fitzgerald possibly the No. 3 receiver in Arizona at best this year, that’s still way too much. For years, there’s been speculation that Fitzgerald would like to end his career in his home state of Minnesota, returning to the franchise for which he once served as a ball boy. Last season, speculation swirled that a straight up trade of Peterson for Fitzgerald could happen. Maybe it still could.
Maybe, might, could, unnamed … that is the currency of offseason NFL reporting, a blurry slurry of rumors, facts and half-truths.
Should these types of speculative reports even be acknowledged? We chose to say yes, in this case, for two reasons. 1) Anything about a possible resolution to the Peterson situation is interesting and 2) There is a large element of entertainment in sports reporting, and as long as we can take these speculative items for what they are, they offer fodder for debate.
Would that be a good trade for the Vikings — Peterson for Fitzgerald? Well, it would continue the recent homecoming trend since Fitzgerald is from Minneapolis; as a receiver, he’ll be 32 next season and hasn’t reached 1,000 yards since 2011. Some of that is a function of poor QB play in Arizona, and he could do damage here — particularly if Mike Wallace provides a deep threat and Cordarrelle Patterson can develop.
Overall, it would make more salary sense than a deal between the Vikings and Cowboys and could benefit both teams in some ways.
Right now, though, it’s all just rumors, speculation and unnamed reports — worthy of a little talk, and not much else.
On Monday morning, two days after the Vikings released him after acquiring fellow wide receiver Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings made his first comments about his release in a social media statement.
In that post, Jennings said he and the Vikings parted ways “amicably.” He also said that his family will continue to make its home in Minnesota and that his charity, the Greg Jennings Foundation, will still be committed to children in the Twin Cities.
Here is the full statement from Jennings:
I would like to thank the Minnesota Vikings organization. It was an honor to play for such a great franchise for the past two seasons. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the team and made some good friends.
I would also like to thank the Vikings fans who warmly welcomed me and my family. Being a part of the Vikings and the Minnesota community has been a positive experience and a true blessing.
I respect the organization’s decision to part ways and we do so amicably. I wish the best to the young and talented group of men on that team.
Although I will continue my career with a different organization, my family and I will still make our home in Minnesota. Since we are raising our family in Minneapolis, the Greg Jennings Foundation will remain committed to improving the lives of all children through education in Minneapolis and my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. God bless you all! I look forward to running into you at Mall of America.