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Rick Spielman
General Manager

BIOGRAPHY

Rick Spielman enters his 5th season as General Manager of the club and 10th overall with the Vikings in 2016, the 26th season he has worked in the NFL.

The 2016 season will be a monumental one in Vikings history as the club enters the new state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium and is coming off a successful 2015 campaign boasting a roster of young, talented core players.

Spielman joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel on May 30, 2006 and directed scouting, free agency and draft preparations for the club before taking on General Manager duties for 2012. Spielman has climbed the ranks of NFL personnel departments with Detroit, Chicago and Miami prior to joining the Vikings. Spielman’s tenure with all 3 franchises has been highlighted by drafting impact players throughout the seven rounds and making key trades and free agency acquisitions. Spielman’s teams have won 6 divisional titles and advanced to the playoffs 10 times.

Rick Spielman enters his 5th season as General Manager of the club and 10th overall with the Vikings in 2016, the 26th season he has worked in the NFL.

The 2016 season will be a monumental one in Vikings history as the club enters the new state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium and is coming off a successful 2015 campaign boasting a roster of young, talented core players.

Spielman joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel on May 30, 2006 and directed scouting, free agency and draft preparations for the club before taking on General Manager duties for 2012. Spielman has climbed the ranks of NFL personnel departments with Detroit, Chicago and Miami prior to joining the Vikings. Spielman’s tenure with all 3 franchises has been highlighted by drafting impact players throughout the seven rounds and making key trades and free agency acquisitions. Spielman’s teams have won 6 divisional titles and advanced to the playoffs 10 times.

The Vikings have drafted players who have made immediate impacts on the club under Spielman’s direction. The team has used 11 picks in the 1st round since Spielman joined the club to select Adrian Peterson (2007), Percy Harvin (2009), Christian Ponder (2011), Matt Kalil (2012), Harrison Smith (2012), Sharrif Floyd (2013), Xavier Rhodes (2013), Cordarrelle Patterson (2013), Anthony Barr (2014), Bridgewater (2014) and Trae Waynes (2015). Of those drafted from 2007-14, all 11 were starters in their rookie seasons, 7 were All-Rookie selections, 4 were Pro Bowlers as rookies, Peterson and Harvin were each named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year and Patterson was a 1st-Team Associated Press All-Pro, only the 2nd rookie position player in team history to achieve the honor, joining Randy Moss in 1998. Rookie K Blair Walsh in 2012 joined Moss and Patterson as the only rookie All-Pro selections in team history. Under Spielman’s drafting, a total of 13 Vikings have earned All-Rookie honors, highlighted in 2015 by 3 players earniong All-Roookie honors- LB Eric Kendricks (2nd round draft pick), DE Danielle Hunter (3rd round) and WR Stefon Diggs (5th round).

Since Spielman began directing the Vikings drafts and personnel from 2007-15, the Vikings drafted 11 players (Peterson, Rice, Harvin, Rudolph, Walsh, Kalil, Patterson, Griffen, Smith, Barr, Bridgewater), signed 2 as free agents (Brett Favre, Jerome Felton) and acquired 1 in trade (Jared Allen) who have gone on to earn Pro Bowl honors.

The Vikings have had multiple 1st-round picks in 2012, ‘13 and ‘14, the 1st time in team history to achieve the feat and the Vikings 7 selections in the 1st round is the most in the NFL over that 3-year span, ahead of Cleveland and St. Louis with 5 each. In 2013, the Vikings had 3 picks in the 1st round for only the 2nd time in team history, joining the 1967 Vikings draft class, and became the 1st NFL team with 3 picks in the 1st round since 2001.

In 2015, the Vikings took the NFC North title away from 4-time defending champion Green Bay on their home field in the regular season finale, posting an 11-5 mark and hosting a Wild Card playoff game against Seattle. The Division title was the 1st in Minnesota since 2009 and the team got big contributions from the rookie class. Kendricks became the 1st rookie to lead the team in tackles since the inaugural season in 1961 and Diggs became the 1st rookie to lead the team in receptions. Peterson returned to the field and led the NFL in rushing for the 3rd time in his career. Peterson and Griffen earned Pro Bowl honors in 2015.

The 2014 Vikings had rookie 1st-rounders Barr and Bridgewater both earn Player of the Week accolades and Bridgewater was named the QB of the All-Rookie team by PFWA and voted by fans as the Pepsi Rookie of the Year. Griffen led the team with 12.0 sacks and earned NFC Defensive Player of the Month honors in September. In his 1st season on the 53-man roster, former practice squad WR Adam Thielen was a key special teams contributor and emerged on offense late in the season. Thielen was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week against Carolina after blocking a punt and returning it for a TD. Barr was tabbed as NFC Defensive Player of the Week at Tampa Bay when he returned a FR for a TD on the 1st play of OT for the win. Bridgewater twice earned Pepsi Rookie of the Week, vs. Atlanta in his 1st career start and vs. Carolina.

In 2013, Patterson re-wrote the Vikings and NFL record books and showcased his unique play-making ability. He tied an NFL record for the longest play in league history and notched the longest KO return in NFL history with a 109-yard score vs. Green Bay (10/27/13).

The 2012 Vikings relied heavily on contributions from the rookie class and newly-acquired free agents. The Vikings rookies set a team record when 5 (Kalil, Smith, Robinson, Ellison, Wright) started vs. Chicago (12/9/12). Rookie 6th-rounder Blair Walsh kicked his way into the club and NFL record books en route to All-Pro, Pro Bowl and All-Rookie honors, setting an NFL record by hitting 10 FGs of 50+ yards and broke the Vikings rookie scoring record with 141 points. Peterson had a season for the ages as he ran for 2,097 yards to finish 9 yards short of the NFL single-season record.

In 2008 the Vikings engineered a pre-draft trade to land Allen from Kansas City, who has earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2009. The club signed Favre as a free agent entering 2009 and the veteran QB directed one of the most exciting seasons in team history and set career-bests in several offensive categories. The 2009 Vikings boasted an NFL-best 10 players who earned Pro Bowl honors.

Spielman began his NFL career as a scout with Detroit in 1990 and worked with the club in college scouting for 5 seasons before adding pro scouting duties in 1995 and ’96. He moved to Director of Pro Personnel for the Bears from 1997-99 before joining the Dolphins in 2000 as Vice President of Player Personnel. He was promoted in 2002 to Senior Vice President-Football Operations/Player Personnel and eventually General Manager in 2004. Spielman left the Dolphins during the 2005 off-season and worked with ESPN as an NFL analyst before joining the Vikings. While with Miami for 5 seasons, the team had a winning record 4 times, won the AFC East in 2000 and went to the playoffs in 2000 and 2001 but missed the playoffs in 2002 and 2003 despite 9-7 and 10-6 records respectively.

Spielman got his first taste of NFL personnel analysis as a college scout with Detroit from 1990-94 and added pro scouting responsibilities for his final 2 seasons (1995-96) in the Motor City. The Lions enjoyed one of the finest stretches in franchise history in the early 1990s, winning a pair of NFC Central titles in 1991 and 1993 and the team advanced to the playoffs in 1991, ’93, ’94 and ’95. The 1991 team set a franchise record with a 12-4 regular season mark, hosted and won a playoff game for the first time since 1957 and advanced to the NFC Championship Game against Washington, losing out on the chance to play in Super Bowl XXVI at the Metrodome.

Following Spielman’s playing career at Southern Illinois from 1983-86 he was invited to training camp with the San Diego Chargers (1987) and Lions (1988). His younger brother, Chris, was a Pro Bowl LB who played 11 NFL seasons with Detroit (1988-95) and Buffalo (1996-98).

Spielman has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois and a master’s from Ohio State. He and his wife, Michele, have been active with children’s charities. The couple has adopted six children, Juan, Luis, Ronnie, J.D., Omie and Whitney.

VIKINGS HONORS UNDER SPIELMAN

ALL-ROOKIE

2007- Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison

2009- Phil Loadholt, Percy Harvin

2011- Kyle Rudolph

2012- Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Blair Walsh

2013- Cordarrelle Patterson

2014- Teddy Bridgewater

2015- Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, Stefon Diggs

PRO BOWL

2007- Matt Birk, Steve Hutchinson, Adrian Peterson, Tony Richardson, Darren Sharper, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams

2008- Hutchinson, Peterson, K. Williams, P. Williams, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield

2009- Allen, Hutchinson, Peterson, Williams, Winfield, Heath Farwell, Brett Favre, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice

2010- Peterson, Williams, Winfield, EJ Henderson

2011- Allen, Chad Greenway

2012- Allen, Peterson, Greenway, Jerome Felton, Kyle Rudolph, Blair Walsh, Matt Kalil

2013- Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson

2015- Peterson, Everson Griffen, Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith

 

ALL PRO

2007- Steve Hutchinson, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams

2008- Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams

2009- Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams

2011- Jared Allen

2012- Adrian Peterson, Blair Walsh, Chad Greenway, Jerome Felton, John Sullivan

2013- Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson

2015- Adrian Peterson, Joe Berger, Cordarrelle Patterson, Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, Zach Line

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