@GoesslingESPN: Good morning, everyone. We'll get started here. In one sense, Brian, I think the Vikings can get some idea of whether Cordarrelle Patterson has improved by that point; their main concern is that he runs routes consistently and does a better job setting up defensive backs, and they'll have plenty of opportunities to watch him do those things before the season starts. But on the other hand, I don't think we'll have a complete answer to whether Patterson has figured it out until the season, and here's why: He struggled against press coverage at times last season, and he probably won't see a great deal of that -- where teams are game-planning to take him away -- until the regular season. Until he produces against the full range of coverages teams are going to throw at him, there's probably still going to be something for Patterson to prove.
#VikingsMail when does AP start losing serious money if doesn't report— zach sween (@1Sween) May 14, 2015
@GoesslingESPN: Adrian Peterson hasn't been part of the Vikings' offseason workout program to this point -- he generally doesn't show up this early, even when things are normal between him and the team -- but we're approaching the juncture where his $250,000 offseason workout bonus is at stake. From what I've been told, Peterson's bonus requires him to participate in 90 percent of the Vikings' organized team activities (so essentially, he can miss one), as well as the Vikings' mandatory minicamp. And if Peterson skips the June 16-18 minicamp, the Vikings can fine him up to $72,940, according to the collective bargaining agreement. If Peterson stays away through June, the meter would run north of $320,000 in lost wages or fines, and the Vikings can fine him $30,000 for each day of training camp he misses. Essentially, by August 1, Peterson would have lost more than half a million dollars for staying away. That's a pretty big sum of money -- though Peterson lost more than $4 million in wages from his suspension last year -- and if Peterson is eventually going to report, he might eventually decide it's best to do so before he loses too much money on a holdout. We'll soon see how committed he is to the idea of staying away from the Vikings, once there's a real financial cost to doing so.
@GoesslingESPN: The thing that hurt DaVaris Daniels so much about getting kicked off Notre Dame's team for academic dishonesty, aside from the way it tarnished his reputation before the draft, was when it happened; he didn't play at all in 2014, which means teams had to work off his 2013 film and project where'd he be two years later. In the end, no team decided it wanted to chance a draft pick on that kind of player. But Daniels has strong hands and good size (6-foot-1, 201 pounds), and the Vikings thought enough of him to give him a $10,000 signing bonus. He needs to bulk up and run sharper routes, but he could be a good possession receiver if he matures (probably in more ways than one).
@GoesslingESPN: I can't share too many details about the film session Mike Zimmer held for reporters last week, but I'll say this: It might be the single most informative hour we spend around the team all year. Zimmer has done two of these now -- last year, he walked reporters through film of the Cincinnati Bengals' defense, talked about certain techniques he coaches at each position and what he wants players to do. This year, he had four or five different topics queued up on the projector in the Vikings' film room. He touched on certain players, talked pretty candidly about what he wants to see them do, and gave us a rundown of the Vikings' philosophy on offense and defense. As he said at the end, it was the same kind of talk he'd give at a coaching clinic. It's incredibly beneficial for reporters to get that kind of honest insight -- with film -- from the head coach, and I've got reporter friends around the league who tell me how jealous they are that Zimmer does that for beat writers here. In theory, it helps the team, too; it should generate smarter coverage (insert your jokes here) and better perspective on what the team is thinking. Part of the media's job is to help fans know what they should be looking for, and by sharing his ideas with us, Zimmer can indirectly steer fans in the right direction, too. We've talked about Zimmer's opinions on Pro Football Focus; part of his issue with their approach is, they don't have access to the Vikings' calls on certain plays, and are grading on what they think should have happened, not necessarily what a player was coached to do. An event like this allows Zimmer to provide some examples of where a player might have been doing his job, even if it looked to an outsider like he made a mistake. It benefits him to have an informed media and fan base, and it's refreshing to cover a coach who gets that on this kind of a level.
We'll wrap it up there for the week. Thanks for the great questions, everyone -- I'm taking some time off this week, so we'll put the mailbag on hold for a week until I return from vacation. Talk to you soon.