January 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, United States; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive winger Ndamukong Suh (93) enters the field before the game against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFC division playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Vikings remain interested in adding veteran depth to the defensive tackle and an interesting name emerged this week when it was reported that the team was a potential suitor for three-time All-Pro Ndamukong Suh selection. USA Today’s Tyler Dragon reported that Vikings have had multiple conversations with Suh, who is also haunted by the Las Vegas Raiders after spending three years in Tampa Bay and winning a Super Bowl during the 2020 season.
Suh, 35, isn’t the player he was in 2010, when he was selected as the second pick in the Detroit Lions draft, but he has shown he can still contribute. Last season, he had six layoffs, a fumble recovery and 27 tackles with the Buccaneers. Suh spent her first five seasons with the Lions before playing three years with Miami and one with the Rams. He has signed one-year contracts with the Bucs in each of the last three seasons and will enter 2022 with 70.5 career layoffs.
The Vikings, who are transitioning to a 3-4 base defense, have already faced early defensives in Dalvin Tomlinson and newcomer Harrison Phillips, but adding veteran depth would fit the plan of a team that hasn’t shown any interest in rebuilding under the new general the coach Kwesi-Adofo Mensah and the coach Kevin O’Connell. The team has $ 10.907 million of remaining space, so there’s room to add a player like Suh.
Vikings could be an attractive landing point for Suh, as she would join a run on passing that includes outside linebackers Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith. A potential sticking point could be playing time. Suh’s deal, which will almost certainly last a year, would likely be filled with playing time and statistical incentives and he would like some assurances as to how long he would be on the pitch.
Suh’s wife Katya is from Minneapolis, so it would have been in the family if she had signed with the Vikings. But there is also the possibility that as he nears the end of his career, Suh doesn’t want to join a Vikings squad that many expect will be around .500.
The Raiders, like the Vikings, also have a new manager (Josh McDaniels) and have added former Packers wide receiver Davante Adams in an off-season exchange. Las Vegas went 10-7 in the playoffs last season – Vikings were 8-9 under sacked Mike Zimmer and missed the postseason for the second year in a row – and the opportunity to play in Las Vegas is a plus for the Vikings don’t have.
If Suh signs with the Raiders, the Vikings could try to bring back 33-year-old Linval Joseph or 31-year-old Sheldon Richardson, who made a second stop in Minnesota last season. Joseph was a force in the middle of the Vikings defensive line during his stint with the team from 2014 to 2019 and most recently was with the Los Angeles Chargers. Scoopmaster Darren “Doogie” Wolfson recently reported that Joseph was training in Eagan.
- Mets manager Buck Showalter recently suggested that the All-Star ballot has a utility player category that fans can vote on. The twins and intern Luis Arraez would probably agree. Arraez was fourth in first base on Tuesday when the first update on the ratings was provided. His 307,442 votes put him to 639,609 votes behind the leader, Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., despite the fact that Arraez leads the big league with an average of .362. With Jorge Polanco on the injury list, Arraez is back in his more natural second base position. Many big league fans probably had no idea that Arraez was playing at first base and would not have voted for him for some of the big players in that position. It would make a lot more sense to create a utility category for guys like Arraez, who have the ability to move and deserve more voting support.
- Look for the Vikings to announce their training camp schedule next week. It will be the first field under O’Connell, so there are likely to be changes to the way Zimmer has done things. O’Connell seems determined to make sure he keeps his players fresh and healthy and the NFL rules on the pitch will help him. The first three days do not allow contact. Helmets and light exercise equipment can be used during full speed practice on days 4 and 5. After a mandatory rest day on day 6, fully padded practice can begin on day 7.
- Tim Connelly, Timberwolves’ recently hired president of basketball operations, has a lot of experience managing the NBA draft, having come from the Denver Nuggets. But Connelly, who will oversee the Wolves draft on Thursday, isn’t afraid to give an honest assessment of the process. “I was better than nine, 10 years ago,” he said, according to a tweet from Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. “Less information. Too much information now. We can tell if the boy liked blue or red in kindergarten and I don’t know if that helps you make a good selection. I think you have to go with your instincts.
- Connelly could have talked about the NFL draft. These teams now have so much information and talk to so many players, coaches, etc. that they often fail to resolve what’s most important and become fixated on the minutiae.
- Joe Ryan’s early game difficulties in the Twins’ 6-5 and 11 innings defeat to Cleveland on Tuesday at Target Field ended up showing the maturity of the 26-year-old right-footer. Ryan gave up three runs out of six shots in the first three innings, but was allowed to stay in the game and only conceded one shot in the next three innings before leaving. He threw 101 pitches in his second game after dropping off the COVID-19 list. Ryan’s calm on the mound is impressive, and last year’s trade that sent designated hitter Nelson Cruz to Tampa Bay for Ryan proved to be one of Derek Falvey’s best moves as president of Twins baseball operations. Ryan is 5-3 with an ERA of 3.00 in 10 starts.
- Cruz is cutting .250 / .332 / .383 with seven home runs and 38 RBI in 65 games for Washington. The Nationals are last in the NL East with 25-46, so Cruz is likely to be moved before the 2 August trade deadline. Cruz, who will turn 42 a week from Friday, will play a $ 15 million annual contract with the Nationals.
- While Wild CEO Bill Guerin has expressed a desire to bring back free agent goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, it looks like Fleury may have a chance to land in Pittsburgh. It is there that he began what will become a career in the Hall of Fame and many believe that Fleury’s desire is to end his playing time with the Penguins. NHL insider Elliott Friedman said on Pat McAfee’s show that Fleury’s return to Pittsburgh is not out of the question. “I think there is a chance that Fleury will return to Pittsburgh,” Friedman said. “I think it is possible. Last year Washington really wanted Fleury. And he wasn’t going to be sold to the Capitals. Because he was like, ‘I might want to go back to Pittsburgh. And I don’t think I could play for the Capitals. ‘”Fleury started his first five games in the opening-round playoff defeat of the Wilds to the Blues after being acquired by the Wilds when the trade expired.