Vikings rookies are set to report to training camp on Tuesday and it looks like they’ll all be under contract by then.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that first-round pick Mike Hughes has agreed to a deal with the team. The cornerback was the only member of Minnesota’s draft class without a contract.
In addition to competing for a spot in the Vikings secondary alongside fellow first-round picks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, Hughes will also likely be in the mix for work as a returner. He averaged 31.8 yards per kickoff Cheap Custom Jerseys return and 16.6 yards per punt return at UCF last season while returning three kicks for touchdowns.
QB Matt Stafford was sacked 47 times in 2017, a career-high for him. Detroit has to improve in pass protection and shield Stafford better than last season. Ragnow, the Lions’ rookie offensive lineman, didn’t give up a single sack in his entire college career—2,246 snaps (though it should be noted that centers usually give up fewer pressures on the quarterback than any other offensive line position along the line).
We didn’t make the playoffs three years in a row. That affects everything you do, team president Dick Cass said, via Jeff Zrebeic of The Athletic. It affects the morale here in our building, it affects the way the fans look at us. I think the fans have always trusted that if we didn’t make the playoffs one year, they’ve trusted us to fix it and get back the next year. And we haven’t done that. Everything we do is made so much easier if we win. When you’re not in the playoffs, it’s harder to connect with your fans. People don’t care as much about you.
The Ravens have flatlined in recent years, with a perfectly boring 40-40 record the last five seasons, and just one playoff appearance. Getting that part fixed will be a different accomplishment, but Cass said he and the team’s business staff made thousands of phone calls this season to try to fight off the ennui of a fanbase that was used to winning.
The major complaint, more than anything else, is ‘you guys are not fun to watch,’ Cass said. I don’t think it’s a style of play honestly. It’s whether you win-or-lose, because we weren’t a fun team to watch in 2000 [when they won the Super Bowl]. We didn’t score an [offensive] touchdown for five straight games, but fans were excited and still came to all the games and were really engaged.