May 4, 2012; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Matt Kalil (75) walks between drills at rookie camp at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Kalil, Minnesota Vikings Reach Contract Agreement

The Minnesota Vikings and first-round pick Matt Kalil have reportedly reach a contract agreement.

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13 Total Updates since July 25, 2012
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Vikings, Matt Kalil Reach Contract Agreement, According To Report

The big snag between the Minnesota Vikings and first-round draftee Matt Kalil had been the talk of offset language, but they worked through that on Thursday and reached a contract agreement.

Many of the top-end first-round picks were the last to sign with their respective teams, despite the new collective bargaining agreement attempting to rectify holdout situations by putting caps on what rookies can make depending on their draft positioning. If we've learned anything, it's that players, teams and, of course, agents will find something to fight over when negotiations are going down.

Guaranteed money is the new "big issue." Players still need to negotiate what portion of their allotted salary is guaranteed, while teams are trying to play preemptive damage control in the event that their chosen player happens to be a bust. This is where offset language comes in, and has been an issue.

In so many words, offset language is a way for teams to get out of paying guaranteed dollars in the event that they cut a player before the contract is up. If a player signs for a deal that is equal to or greater than the guaranteed dollars that were remaining on the previous contract, then the first team no longer has to pay that money. It's offset to the new team. The player gets what he was originally supposed to make regardless. No offset language means that player would get paid by the first team and the second team.

Kalil, like many of the top-end players in the 2012 NFL Draft, want no offset language. The Vikings don't. Something had to give, and now, it looks like something has, as the Pioneer Press reports via Twitter that the two sides have agreed to terms and that a deal should be signed on Thursday.

They followed up with another Tweet that says the deal is essentially in Kalil's favor:

In all, it didn't actually make much sense for the Vikings to stick to this issue. Kalil is going to be their left tackle, and it's hard to imagine him not performing up to par for his contract. Left tackles have a much higher rate of success than most other drafted positions, and even if he doesn't perform up to standards, it's hard to imagine the Vikings getting someone better to play the position over the next four years.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Josh Robinson Signs Four-Year Deal With Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have come to an agreement with third-round pick Josh Robinson. The cornerback, selected No. 66 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Central Florida, has signed a four-year deal, via ProFootballTalk.

Robinson was happy to tweet the news on Wednesday, along with a picture of his first professional jersey:

The Vikings will begin their training camp on Thursday. There have been a flurry of signings ahead of camps opening, but Minnesota still has yet to finalize a deal with first-round pick Matt Kalil. Negotiations with Kalil have been held up because of offset language.

For more the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. More news and analysis on the NFL as training camps officially start up can be found over at SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub as well as at SB Nation's Youtube Channel:

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Minnesota Vikings Working Out Contract With Matt Kalil, But Offset Language Providing A Hold Up

Training camps are slated to start in the NFL on Wednesday, but Matt Kalil isn't with the Minnesota Vikings at the start as he and the team continue to work out the contract for the draft's fourth overall pick.

Under the new CBA, rookies are recieving a lot less money than they were in years previous, but guaranteed money is still a big seller in contract negotiations among rookies. In Kalil's case, the talks appear to be getting held up by an odd thing -- putting full offset language into whatever the potential contract is. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported on the matter on Wednesday:

Per a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the Vikings want offset language in the contract offered to left tackle Matt Kalil, the fourth overall pick in the draft. The Vikings are pushing the issue even though the player taken in front of Kalil (Browns running back Trent Richardson) and three of the five players taken behind him have avoided the offset duty completely. (The player taken directly after Kalil, Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon, presents a different set of circumstances given his post-draft DUI.)

For more on Matt Kalil and the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. More news and analysis on the NFL as training camps officially start up can be found over at SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub as well as at SB Nation's Youtube Channel:

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Vikings Training Camp Primer: Offensive Line

For more of the best coverage of the Minnesota Vikings, be sure to check out The Daily Norseman.

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2012 Vikings Offseason: Leslie Frazier Believes Rookies Will Play Big Roles

After seeing his rookies in offseason OTAs and minicamps, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier came away pleased with their progress and looking forward to seeing the youngsters compete in pads, says Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune.

The Vikings finished 3-13 last season, so left tackle Matt Kalil, the No. 4 overall selection out of USC, as well as former Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, the No. 29 overall pick, will be immediate upgrades to Minnesota's personnel. Frazier also praised cornerback Josh Robinson, the team's third-rounder, and former Arkansas receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs.

Kalil's development will be crucial so that the Vikings can protect quarterback Christian Ponder, their first-round pick in 2011. Frazier says facing off against Jared Allen and Brian Robinson in pads in training camp can only help Kalil get better quickly.

Hartman mentions that Ponder did not have much practice time before last season began, so his first true offseason with the team could be an opportunity for the former Florida State Seminole to make a big leap.

All told, early playing time is readily available in Minneapolis.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, check out the Daily Norseman, and head over to SBNation's NFL hub for all news and analysis.

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Vikings' Christian Ponder Thrilled To Have Matt Kalil Protecting Him

Minnesota Vikings fans can expect better quarterback play in 2012 - that's almost entirely guaranteed. Donovan McNabb was the guy to start the season, or more accurately, the quarterback formerly known as Donovan McNabb was the guy. He was benched in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, who played well with the usual rookie jitters.

One thing that seemed to limit him in his rookie season is the fact that he spent a sizable portion of it on his back. Offensive line play was certainly lacking for Minnesota in 2011, and that's something the team addressed in the first round with the drafting of left tackle Matt Kalil - making him the No. 4 overall pick in the draft.

As it turns out, Ponder recognizes that the drafting of Kalil will help him, and is ecstatic about the move, according to the Star Tribune:

"I haven't stopped smiling since that Thursday night of the draft," Ponder said Wednesday afternoon during an interview on "NFL Total Access" which aired on the NFL Network. "I'm definitely excited that we picked up Matt. He's already impressed me. He's come into these OTAs and he's working hard. He's a big guy, he's really athletic and he's going to do a great job. Obviously he did really well at USC and he's going to continue that and be really good in the NFL. Hopefully we have 10-15 years together with the Vikings."

In so many words, Ponder is saying "Oh my God the guy we had last year was terrible. I don't even remember his name, all I know is Tupac at Coachella was more solid than he was. Matt Kalil is my hero." Of course, that's paraphrasing, but it's basically what he said. Just read it again.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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2012 NFL Draft: 'Cleveland Did The Right Thing,' According to Vikings GM Rick Spielman

The Pioneer Press had a Q&A with Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, who addressed a number of topics (even if he didn't touch a question about the recent arrest of running back Caleb King).

One of the issues discussed was what exactly transpired between the Vikings and Cleveland Browns during the first round of the NFL Draft.

The two teams, as you probably know, swapped picks, with the Browns moving up to No. 3 to get Trent Richardson and the Vikings dropping to No. 4 to get Matt Kalil, who they were expected to take all along at No. 3. The Vikes also landed Cleveland's fourth-, fifth and seventh-round picks.

From the Pioneer Press interview:

BS [Bob Sansevere]: One of the stories flying around is about Cleveland and whether any other team was prepared to trade with you....Was there a deal in place with another team?

RS [Rick Spielman]: We did have offers on the table, I can tell you that. I'm not going to tell you who or what. But I will say Cleveland did the right thing...

I think both teams benefited from that trade. Cleveland got a very unique running back (Trent Richardson), and it's very important for their offense - and I think we were able to accomplish what we wanted.

Over the weekend, The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted Browns president Mike Holmgren saying that Cleveland had to pull the trigger on the move and didn't regret the bounty they gave up for Richardson.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub, or check out SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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2012 NFL Draft Grades: SB Nation Gives Final Grade Of A- To Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have been getting rave reviews from all over the place after what has looked to be a great 2012 NFL Draft. They added a bunch of important pieces, had a great trading strategy that saw them gain a bunch of picks and still get the guy they wanted in the first place -- it was a good one by most accounts.

SB Nation's video recap of the NFC North agreed with the solid reviews that the Vikings have been getting, giving Minnesota an A- for their work. In addition to Matt Kalil obviously, the SB Nation gang were impressed by the good load of wide receivers that were picked up with WR being a huge need for them going in. Dan in particular also seems to like the color purple in general.

Their A- was tied for the highest score given in the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers.

For more news and information on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. More analysis on the NFL can be found at SB Nation's NFL hub and more on this season's draft in general can be found at SB Nation's specialized 2012 NFL Draft section.

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2012 NFL Draft Grades: Minnesota Vikings Lauded For Draft Strategy

It takes a well-thought out plan to excel in every aspect of the NFL Draft, but early indications are that the Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest winners in the league over the weekend. The Vikings traded down to get the same player they wanted anyway in lineman Matt Kalil, and then pounced on a possible Pro Bowl safety one day in Harrison Smith at No. 29.

Instead of addressing the secondary positions right away, Minnesota stuck to its plan and was still able to add a pair of future starters with its second (Smith) and third picks (Josh Robinson). Because of the way they let the draft work for them, Chris Burke of SI.com bestowed the Vikings with an "A" in his team-by-team draft breakdown.

Minnesota Vikings: You can dock Minnesota if you think Claiborne should have been the pick at 4 over OT Matt Kalil. I think the Vikings did the right thing, and their subsequent pickups of S Harrison Smith (29), CB Josh Robinson (66) and WR Jarius Wright (118) just add to that belief. Grade: A

The decision to add a pair of Arkansas receivers in Jarius Wright and Greg Childs was also interesting, since it was well-known that the pair are best friends and have played together competitively since early childhood. Even during a year when Minnesota took a position that doesn't normally get referred to as a "great pick" at No. 4 overall, the Vikings still managed to draft well enough throughout to bring home an outstanding haul worthy of top marks. That's a testament to the impressive job done by first-year GM Rick Spielman and his staff.

For more on the Vikings, head to Daily Norseman. For more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, head over to SB Nation's NFL Draft hub. And for more NFL coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.

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2012 NFL Draft Grades: Vikings Get Job Done In Round 1

There was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding what the Minnesota Vikings planned to do with the third overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. With many expecting that the Vikings would select left tackle Matt Kalil, there was an underlying thought that the team may balk at the opportunity to use the pick, opting instead to trade down and collect assets.

Ultimately, they ended up doing both.

Trading the third pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the fourth overall selection in addition to a handful of picks, the Vikings used the fourth pick to select Kalil and added picks. However, the team wasn't finished yet; prior to the end of the first round they traded the 35th overall selection and the 98th overall selection to the Baltimore Ravens in order to trade up to pick 29 to select the second highest-rated saftey, Harrison Smith.

When it came time to grade the Vikings picks, SB Nation NFL Editor Joel Thorman gave them a 'B' grade. Here's his rationale:

"Love that the Vikings picked up three extra mid-round picks to move back one spot and draft the guy they wanted (Matt Kalil). Not a big fan of trading back into the first round for Harrison Smith. Good player, just not a huge fan of the trade-up."

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more news and information on the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and for more on the NFL Draft as the hours tick closer, head to SB Nation's specialized NFL Draft hub.

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NFL Draft Grades: Minnesota Vikings Considered 'Winners' After First Round

The Minnesota Vikings have probably had more than their fair share of blunders when it comes to the NFL Draft, but the 2012 rendition seems destined to be different. It may be too early to say that after just one round, but general manager Rick Spielman is getting high marks for Thursday's results.

NFL Draft grades were released by ESPN following the conclusion of Thursday's 32 picks and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Vikings were named the biggest winners for their decision to grab Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith after trading down to get the former and then back up to grab the latter.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman proved to be the shrewdest among the wheelers and dealers. He was able to get three additional picks from the Cleveland Browns and still get the player the Vikings wanted -- left tackle Matt Kalil. The process started by getting the word out that they wanted to draft either Kalil or cornerback Morris Claiborne. The idea was to convince the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who started with the No. 5 pick, that they might be left with Claiborne if the Vikings selected Kalil and the Browns selected running back Trent Richardson. He also got word out that other teams were interested in picking No. 3.

Unlike the Bucs, the Browns knew the Vikings wouldn't take Richardson; they have Adrian Peterson on the roster. Although the Vikings didn't get a second- or third-rounder, the acquisition of a fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round pick gave them even more flexibility in this draft. That upped their draft total to 13 picks. As the round developed, the Vikings were able to move back into the first round in a deal with theBaltimore Ravens to get safety Harrison Smith. The Vikings came out with Kalil and Smith, and have 10 more choices over the final two days of the draft. It doesn't get much better than that.

It'll be a whole new ball game if they're able to pull that off with their 10 picks coming up over the next couple of days, but at least they started off better than most likely expected.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more news and information on the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and for more on the NFL Draft as the hours tick closer, head to SB Nation's specialized NFL Draft hub.

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NFL Draft Results: Matt Kalil Selected By Minnesota Vikings

After all the excitement that the hour prior to the draft brought, the Minnesota Vikings did the right thing and took the player that many people felt that they should have been targeting all along.

USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil was the best possible pick for the Minnesota Vikings, in this writer's opinion. The Vikings absolutely, positively could not go into the 2012 season with Charlie Johnson starting at left tackle, and they have remedied that potential issue. The selection of Kalil will allow Johnson to slide inside to a guard position, allowing the Vikings to upgrade two spots along their problematic offensive line in one swoop.

2012 is going to be a season of finding out whether or not Christian Ponder can be the quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings. Rick Spielman and company are going to give the man a chance to succeed, and they're starting out by drafting the best offensive line prospect in this year's draft.

The Vikings now have 12 picks remaining after their trade with the Cleveland Browns. What else will the Vikings do over the next few days? Keep it right here at SB Nation Minnesota to find out!

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