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As a 55-year old man and a 24-year retired veteran of the Marine Corps, I just wanted to express that I couldn't be more proud of our players during these difficult times. I watched the social justice process news conference, and our players and team are looking for ways to make lasting and positive changes in our society.
These young men will absolutely make a positive change in our future. With people like this, our future is in good hands. I can't adequately explain in an email the depth of my feelings, other than to say I am proud of these young men and the support the team and ownership is giving them. I would be proud to call anyone of these men my son.
In closing, I just want to thank them and pass that the more people that think and act like them, the more positive and lasting positive change we will achieve. Thank you.
— Jeff Poncelet
I commend the Vikings for creating the social justice committee and sharing the players' views with the fans. Ameer Abdullah, in particular, has been an awesome presence, making him a great role model and my new favorite Viking. Skol!
— Adam in Fargo, North Dakota
We'll combine these emails since they both touch on the topic of social justice. But before I respond, let's all recognize and appreciate Jeff's great service to our country.
The Vikings have been hard at work in recent years in the social justice arena, but there is plenty of work to be done. A global spotlight is shining on issues, and there's a widespread focus on making meaningful societal changes.
Locally in recent weeks, players shown their support for the community at an essential-goods drive, and several attended George Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis.
We will keep you updated on all social justice initiatives and the work that the players and organization are doing in the community.
Abdullah has become a vocal leader on the team's social justice committee, and he has taken on a larger public-facing role within the team. From a personal standpoint, I love how Ameer explains his views because there is often humor associated with his salient points. Plus, his family has historical connections with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s that are fascinating to hear about.
And Adam, it's funny that he is now your favorite player. He recently chatted with NFL.com's Steve Wyche on a mini-panel with Kyle Rudolph and Eric Kendricks, joking that while kids likely want to grow up to be one of his two teammates, they might not want to be like him. (That clip is referenced below).
I expect Abdullah to continue to be a leader in the team's efforts for social justice.
I heard that it is a possibility for the Vikings to pursue Demaryius Thomas as a WR and Russell Wilson for quarterback. Is this correct?
— Tyler Brink
I have my doubts those players will end up with the Vikings anytime soon, especially Wilson. He just signed a massive multi-year deal in the spring of 2019 and is the face of the Seahawks franchise. Plus, the Vikings gave Kirk Cousins an extension this offseason.
As for Thomas, he is currently a free agent. But the Vikings appear set at that position right now, especially after drafting Justin Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Minnesota also brought in veteran Tajaé Sharpe during free agency.
Do you think the Vikings have any interest in Jadeveon Clowney?
— Blake Harsma
Good question, Blake. From purely a talent standpoint, who wouldn't want Clowney on their team? He is a game-changer and has been a great player in this league for many years. But from a deeper lens, does he fit into the team? There is the financial aspect, with Clowney's asking price unlikely to be in line with Minnesota's space under the salary cap. While other signings occurred at the start of free agency, Clowney remains on the market. Perhaps a team didn't feel quite as urgent to ink him yet since all offseason programs were virtual.
Let's throw out a hypothetical scenario. If you could sign Clowney or Everson Griffen to a contract that works from salary cap standpoint, who would you choose? I would go with Griffen because he knows the system, teammates, coaches and the culture in Minnesota. That's not to say Clowney wouldn't fit with the Vikings, but there are more unknowns with him.
Griffen hit the market after voiding his remaining contract with the Vikings and remains a free agent.