More than four months have passed for Stefon Diggs since his yes-that-really-happened touchdown reception for Minnesota on the desperate last play from scrimmage gave the Vikings a postseason victory for the ages over New Orleans.
He still hears about the play a couple of times per week.
As nice as the accolades can be Xavien Howard Jersey , they won’t win the Vikings any games this year.
”I’m kind of over it at this point. It’s definitely a blessing, but we’ve got a brand new season to worry about, a lot of exciting things taking place right now, so I’m going to focus on that,” Diggs said. ”It’s definitely an old smile right now.”
After a career-high eight touchdowns in 2017 while forming one of the NFL’s best wide receiver duos with Adam Thielen, Diggs has entered the final year of his rookie contract, bound for a big raise.
With Kirk Cousins now in place, he’s working with his fourth primary starting quarterback in as many seasons in the league. John DeFilippo also represents his third offensive coordinator.
Diggs is not one to be ruffled, though, not with the hurdles he has cleared over his career and the setbacks he’s faced in life since his dad died 10 years ago.
”For me, it’s just the same old building process Charcandrick West Jersey , getting back going, getting the trust of your quarterback. That excites me, having a new challenge,” said Diggs, who went to the Atlanta area with Thielen earlier this spring to hang out with and catch passes from Cousins.
Those receiver-quarterback relationships are as important as any on the roster.
”As far as being our general and the guy that’s going to lead us, I put 100 percent faith in him,” Diggs said.
Diggs is not the only integral Vikings player with an expiring deal, joining linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Danielle Hunter in the about-to-get-paid-a-lot club with no guarantee all three of them will fit under the salary cap.
The price for Diggs has markedly increased since the ”Minneapolis Miracle ” game not only because of the clutch catch.
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), Sammy Watkins (Kansas City) and Jarvis Landry (Cleveland) have all signed new contracts since March with annual average values of more than $15 million. Diggs has been watching, naturally, with several public praises of his peers . Reading between the tweets? Diggs is clearly confident he’ll be in their situation soon.
”I like to congratulate guys every chance I get Jordan Poyer Jersey ,” Diggs said. ”So for my particular situation, I let my resume speak for itself. It’ll figure itself out.”
If an extension doesn’t get done in 2018 and he becomes a free agent, he could still sign with the Vikings, of course. Exploring the market doesn’t sound like a goal of his, however.
”I love playing for the Vikings. I started here. I’ve had all my time here. I love my teammates. I love my staff. There’s no place I’d rather be,” he said.
Barr was the only notable player missing on Wednesday from practice. Coach Mike Zimmer said Barr told him he wouldn’t attend, but Zimmer didn’t divulge a reason. Barr’s absence could be driven by a form of soft protest about the lack of a new deal or self-preservation from injury. These organized team activities in late May and early June are not required. Only the minicamp in mid-June is contractually mandatory.
One player whose presence was more pertinent than anyone’s absence was kicker Kai Forbath, who was startled last month when the Vikings drafted Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson in the fifth round. Such moves rarely end well for the incumbent.
”I fortunately have never lost a competition, and I’m not shying away from this one just because they drafted him,” Forbath said. ”As long as I make my kicks, everything should take care of itself.”
WINNIPEG Chris Ivory Jersey , Manitoba — The Winnipeg Jets nailed down a playoff spot for just the second time since relocating from Atlanta in 2011, but their work isn’t done.
Next up on the agenda is locking up home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs and possibly the second. They can take a big step toward that by extending their five-game winning streak. Standing in their way is none other than the third-best team in the NHL — the Boston Bruins.
The Jets are virtually assured of finishing second in the Central Division, but after their exhilarating 5-4 shootout victory over Nashville on Sunday, they’ve got a franchise-high 102 points and are just five points behind the suddenly struggling Predators. Nashville has lost three straight games on the heels of an impressive 10-game winning streak.
“You have no idea (how satisfying it is making the playoffs),” captain Blake Wheeler told The Winnipeg Free Press. “The worst part of (past years) has been having to watch these games that mean a lot, both coming down the stretch and into the playoffs. That stung and, unfortunately, we have watched a lot of it. (We’ve) just been biding our time for our opportunity.”
Wheeler, who scored his 20th goal of the season against Nashville, giving the Jets five players to have reached that milestone, is the NHL’s assists co-leader with 65.
Many prognosticators believe the Jets and Predators will meet in the second round of the playoffs. If their regular-season games are any indication Joe Staley Jersey , it could be a memorable battle. The Predators won three of five contests and the two teams combined for 41 goals.
While Patrik Laine has cooled off the last few games after blocking a slapshot off his skate against Los Angeles last week — he’s still second in the race for the Rocket Richard trophy with 43 goals — rookie winger Kyle Connor has picked up the slack. After scoring four goals — including back-to-back overtime winners — and two assists in three games, he was named the NHL’s third star of the week.
The Bruins come to town after defeating Minnesota 2-1 in overtime on Sunday and sit in second place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Division with 104 points, trailing just the Tampa Bay Lightning with 106, but with a game in hand. Super pest Brad Marchand sniped the winning goal just 28 seconds into the extra period for his 33rd of the season.
Defenseman Torey Krug said he saw that Marchand had a step on his man, so he bounced a pass off the boards and let him go to work.
“He wants to be the guy,” Krug told The Boston Globe. “He’s got that edge to him. (He) wins a lot of 50-50 pucks, and when you are three-on-three on the ice and he is winning those battles, it is going to lead to a chance for your team.”
Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who has been out for a week since suffering a concussion against Dallas, has been cleared to resume practicing with a no-contact jersey.
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