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INDIANAPOLIS — Despite the amount of uncertainty rooted in what the Minnesota Vikings will do at quarterback in 2018 and beyond, general manager Rick Spielman said no decisions have been made regarding the team’s plans at the position.

Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are slated to become unrestricted free agents on March 14. Whether any of the three will be back in a Vikings uniform next season has yet to be determined.

“We’re just right now still in the process of all three quarterbacks,” Spielman said at the scouting combine. “Gives me and us, our organization, an opportunity to sit down face-to-face with all three of the quarterbacks’ representatives. I think we’re in a very unique situation because of the in-depth knowledge we have on all three. Also, the practical game knowledge that we have because all those guys have played for us. There’s been no decisions made, unlike what’s been reported.”

Spielman said he will sit down with the agents and representatives of the three current Vikings quarterbacks soon to get a better feel for how the franchise will decide to move forward as free agency approaches.

“Speaking with the agents — you can speak with them over the phone — but when you get a chance to sit down one-on-one and talk to those, you’ll get a little bit more clarity on the direction you could potentially go.”

According to Spielman, the Vikings also have not decided whether they will use their franchise tag on Keenum before the window closes at 4 p.m. ET on March 6. Franchising Keenum would cost around $23 million on a one-year tender.

Regarding multiple reports that Bridgewater will indeed become a free agent in two weeks, Spielman spoke to the nature of the quarterback’s contract, which he believes will not toll in 2018.

“The one thing I want to make clear on the Teddy Bridgewater contract is that we’ve been in direct contact with the league. The league will make the final decision on the tolling contract. What’s been reported out there — to my knowledge — I don’t think the contract will toll, but the league will finalize that and have an announcement here in the near future.

“Teddy has been such a great teammate, is a great person, has been great for our organization. Any time our organization can reach out and help a player, even though it may not benefit us, we’re always going to try to look out for the best interest of our players.”

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Gardner Minshew’s mullet is no more

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Mondays are heavy days historically, but this one is particularly so because Gardner Minshew II‘s mullet is no more.

Yeah, Minshew may have gotten a hair cut yesterday, but this is the first I’m learning about it. So the pain is as fresh as if the stylist had just swept the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ backup quarterback’s fallen locks from the floor.

In what feels like the last remnant of a phenomenon once known as “Minshew Mania,” the former pride of Duval County chopped off his power source:

At the risk of sounding rash, it seems to me Trevor Lawrence came to town and basically told his new QB2 that there wasn’t enough room for both of their glorious heads of hair in that town and, well, we know who won that battle.

To be fair, I sort of knew this was going to happen as soon as Tim Tebow signed with the Jags.

Tebow, Lawrence’s mane AND one of the defining mullets of our generation? That’s just too much juice for one team.

Now, let us take one last look at Minshew’s former masterpiece for posterity:

In the haunting words of Michelle Branch: “Goodbye to you, goodbye to everything that I knew.”



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Minnesota Vikings expect DE Danielle Hunter at mandatory minicamp, source says

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings expect to have defensive end Danielle Hunter back in the fold this week during mandatory minicamp, a source told ESPN, after the Pro Bowl defensive end missed the team’s entire voluntary offseason program.

Hunter, 26, sat out the 2020 NFL season with a herniated disk that required surgery last October. At the time of his surgery, it was reported that the defensive end was unhappy with the state of his contract and wanted a reworked deal ahead of the 2021 season.

NFL Network, which first reported that Hunter planned to attend minicamp, is reporting that the Vikings and Hunter have agreed to terms on a reworked deal that will give the defensive end $5.6 million of the $12.75 million he is set to make in 2021 as a signing bonus. Hunter now has an $18 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the 2022 league year.

With $14.272 million in cap space, the Vikings moved up a significant amount of money to satisfy Hunter’s desire for more compensation in the short term while allowing both parties the time to work out a long-term extension following the 2021 season, NFL Network reported. The Vikings will need to make a decision on Hunter’s future by the fifth day of the 2022 league year.

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CB Stephon Gilmore doesn’t report for New England Patriots’ mandatory minicamp, source says

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, did not report to mandatory minicamp that began Monday, a source confirmed.

Gilmore could be making a statement about his contract, as he is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021.

The Patriots had advanced $4.5 million of Gilmore’s 2021 salary to him last year, leading to this year’s low figure.

Gilmore, who turns 31 in September, is in the final year of the five-year, $65 million pact he signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. The deal included $40 million in injury guarantees and $31 million fully guaranteed at signing.

At the time, a contract with those guarantees and an average of $13 million per season was viewed as a strong deal. The cornerback market has since exploded, with Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams topping it with a contract averaging $20 million per season.

Acknowledging they didn’t have specifics of the situation, teammates noted Gilmore’s absence in the locker room Monday, as well as on the practice field.

“I support my brother. I wish he was here, but I support him all the same,” veteran safety Adrian Phillips said. “What he has going, whenever he gets back here, he’ll let you know how it went.”

Longtime captain Matthew Slater added: “That’s a situation I don’t want to get too far into, because it’s frankly none of my business. Obviously you support all your teammates, whether they are here or not.”

Head coach Bill Belichick deflected questions on Gilmore earlier Monday and wouldn’t reveal whether he has given him (or any player) an excused absence. Players who don’t report for mandatory minicamp can be fined up to $93,085 — which breaks down to $15,515 for the first missed day, $31,030 for the second missed day and $46,540 for the third missed day.

Gilmore partially tore his quad in a Week 15 loss last season, landing on injured reserve.

The Boston Globe first reported Gilmore’s absence.

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