Three Questions with Austin Belisle of – On AD, Alshon Jeffery and Free Agency…


1. The attempt by the Vikings to sign Alshon Jeffery seemingly came out of nowhere, what were your thoughts on that move and what it means about/for the VIkings offense for 2017?

You know, it’s funny, I actually wrote about this for Vikings Territory ( From everything I’d read and heard, Minnesota’s pursuit of Jeffery wasn’t a smokescreen or a bluff — it was the real deal. So what does that mean? I believe it raises more questions about the Vikings’ receiving corps, from Laquon Treadwell’s future as a No. 1 to the long-term status of Adam Thielen in purple and gold. In all honesty, I was disappointed the Vikings didn’t land Jeffery, a player who’s produced admirably for the Bears despite uncertainty at quarterback and a litany of injuries. He’s the type of player Minnesota wants Treadwell to become and would likely have given Pat Shurmur’s offense an instant boost on the outside. Without Charles Johnson and potentially, Cordarrelle Patterson back in 2017, much of the production will fall on Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The duo proved more than capable last season, but the loss of Johnson also means Treadwell will have to step up and improve his play in a little less than a year.

2. Apparently there hasn’t been a lot of interest from other teams for Adrian Peterson, do you believe he’ll be back in purple and gold in 2017? Either way, would you welcome it?

My answer is a big, fat “NO.” Minnesota’s interest in Eddie Lacy—confirmed by a Sunday visit—tells me the front office is ready to move on from Peterson. Like the Vikings surely know, the league is starting to figure out Peterson is no longer a fit in most spread or shotgun offenses. His market value is nowhere near what he believes it to be, leaving the veteran running back searching for scraps in a generally soft market for ballcarriers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Peterson sign with the Seahawks and touch the ball 10 times a game; a far cry from what he surely expects in the last years of his NFL career.

3. The Vikings also signed tackle Riley Reiff who has played multiple positions as a pro (Left and Right Tackle as well as Left Guard)? What position do you believe he’ll play for the Vikes in 2017?

Now that the Vikings have signed Mike Remmers, it’s almost assured Reiff mans the left side of the offensive line. He’ll replace Matt Kalil, who also signed a monster contract with the Carolina Panthers. Although Reiff played mostly right tackle last season, his first four years in the league were spent at left tackle. He does have the versatility to move around, but Rick Spielman would be wise to plant him in one spot and allow him to develop into the player the Vikings need protecting Sam Bradford’s blind side.


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