Erasamus James has finally agreed to a contract and will make nearly $7 million in guaranteed money. But his status as a number one pick will not help him overcome the frustration of his teammates over his holdout:
"We stopped caring whether he was coming or not," nose tackle Pat Williams said. "If he came, he came. If he didn’t, he didn’t. He’s here now, but he’s late and we’re not waiting for him. We’re not going to go backwards waiting for him."
The good news, though, is that James appears to be in good shape:
James had to run four 106-yard dashes, each in less than 18 seconds, through a gauntlet of players who spurred him on.
"He did what he had to do," Tice said. "I told him, ‘Pass your conditioning test now, and tomorrow morning join the team.’ So … he got that out of the way."
The veterans have held off their tradition of hazing rookies until James arrived in camp.
The linebacking depth continues to evolve, with E.J. Henderson taking Dontarrious Thomas‘ weakside spot with the first team, with Thomas going to the second team, Rod Davis moving to the second team Mike position, which forces the swift but luckless Raonall Smith to the Wil position on the third team. Former Pro Bowl linebacker Bryan Cox joins former Viking offensive lineman Corbin Lacina an intern with the coaching fellowship program.
The defense continues to look good in practice, dominating at the goal line during a passing scrimmage, the Pioneer Press reports.
I had a feeling Travis Taylor would thrive with the Vikings and it looks like that’s panning out. It appears he’s beating out the enigmatic Marcus Robinson for the number two receiver spot. The Pioneer Press reports:
Taylor was expected to spend this season operating out of the slot as the No. 3 wide receiver, but after watching him catch a team-high seven passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns in Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, coach Mike Tice said the new guy is pushing Robinson for the starting outside job.
The Viking’s PR department has done a good job of lowering expectations for the 7th pick in the draft, Troy Williamson: Every time he drops passes in practice, which sounds like it’s happening all too often, the report is buried in the newspaper.
The Star Tribune Viking beat writers continue to blog from Mankato. It’s a great read.