What impact will Jordan Addison have on the Vikings? Nobody knows. Despite the hype that’s spewed out on draft day about how great the players are, the NFL draft remains a crapshoot.
In 2016, with the No. 23 overall pick, the Vikings chose wide receiver Laquon Treadwell from Mississippi. He turned out to be a bust.
Four years ago, the Vikings drafted Justin Jefferson out of LSU with the No. 22 overall pick. He’s probably the NFL’s best wide receiver.
On Thursday, with the No. 23 overall pick, the Vikings drafted Addison out of Southern California.
Star? Bust? We’ll see.
—New licensed sales of Jefferson merchandise rank No. 13 among all NFL players, the highest-ranking Viking. Jefferson’s $150 million contract extension will come this summer.
—It will be Bryce Young, age 21, throwing passes to Adam Thielen, age 32, for Carolina this season. The Vikings will be playing against Thielen this year, as well as ex-Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks with the Los Angeles Chargers.
—Not only did the Vikings enter Thursday’s draft with just five picks, but they also have only five picks for the 2024 draft.
—Ex-Twin Luis Arraez, 26, the reigning American League batting champion, leads all major league hitters in batting average (.427) for the Miami Marlins.
—The way it looks now, especially with Jorge Polanco back in the lineup, the Twins could win the American League Central Division by 15 games.
—If there were no NCAA transfer portal, it’s for sure that 6-foot-6 Andrew Rhode would have remained at St. Thomas rather than opted for Virginia for his sophomore season. The Cavaliers rank No. 9 in teams that have benefitted from the portal, per College Basketball Report.
Meanwhile, it’s interesting that Rhode chose the Cavaliers over hometown Marquette, which is expected to be a top-three ranked preseason team this year.
—Dennis Evans, the 7-1 California basketball prep who decommitted from the Gophers for Louisville, has a name, image and likeness (NIL) valuation of $59,000, as deemed by on3.com.
—Ex-Viking Kyle Rudolph is doing TV analysis for the U.S. Football League.
—An autographed game-used 1991-92 season Neal Broten North Stars jersey has received a VSA online auction bid of $2,925. A signed official lineup card of Joe Mauer’s first major league game on April 5, 2004 has a bid of $1,735.
—Gophers-bound Centennial pitcher Will Whelan struck out the first 15 batters he faced the other day against Totino-Grace.
—Best Minnesota high school prospect for the July 7-11 major league amateur draft is outfielder Easton Breyfogle of Benilde-St. Margaret’s. The 6-2, 185-pound outfielder has committed to Arizona, which is coached by ex-Twin Chip Hale.
—Twins baseball president Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine speak at a Dunkers breakfast on May 9 at Interlachen Country Club.
—Hastings grad Pat Fraher, in his 22nd season as a NBA referee, for a 15th time this year was awarded with a league playoff assignment.
—Wild executive advisor Mike Modano and wife Allison the other day sold their Phoenix area home to retired NFL star J.J. Watt for $7 million.
—The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, whose salary is $37.4 million this season, had a Minnesota state “Jock Tax” bill of $89,989 (9.85 percent rate) for the two games he played against the Timberwolves at Target Center in 2022, reports Huddle Up. Only New York ($95,927) and Oregon ($90,445) taxed Curry more than Minnesota for two-game appearances.
—Guard Diamond Miller, the No. 2 overall pick by the Lynx in the recent WNBA draft, will be paid $74,375 this season.
—Tony Finau has committed to play in the 3M Open in Blaine from July 27-30.
—Gophers hockey icon Johnny Mayasich from Eveleth turns 90 in three weeks.
—Gophers women’s hockey icon Krissy Wendell-Pohl, 43, from Brooklyn Park is a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
—Ex-Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, 68, is favored to be next coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, per BetOnline.ag. If hired, it would be Boudreau’s fifth NHL head coaching job.
—Erik Westrum, 43, the former Wild, Maple Leafs, Coyotes and Gophers center, has Paul Martin, Casey O’Brien, Brock Boeser and P.J. Fleck among headliners for his big May 7 mental health awareness seminar at Mystic Lake Showroom.
—Sports eccentric Jason Gabbert of Wood Lake, Minn., last Sunday from 1:10 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. watched the Twins beat Washington at Target Field, then from 5:45 p.m. to 8:09 p.m. watched Dallas defeat the Wild at Xcel Energy Center, then left St. Paul at 8:15 p.m. and at 8:41 p.m. arrived at his seat at Target Center to watch the Denver Nuggets lose to the Timberwolves.
—St. Paul lost two wonderful sports figures recently with the unexpected passing of John Morin, the beloved former Cretin and University of St. Thomas basketball standout and Mancini’s hall of famer, and Billy Hafner, the longtime football, basketball and baseball official.
—Get well: Former Stillwater boys basketball coach Duane Mutchler, is recovering from heart surgery.
—Prayers are welcome for hall of fame former Gophers track high-jump star Tim Heikkila, who is facing complications from cancer.
—Larry Carlson, a left-handed quarterback for the 1966-67 Gophers from North Dakota, passed away recently in Rice Lake Wis.
—Esteemed Andy Froistad’s former Naval Academy baseball teammates were to hold a tribute last week for the former Cretin-North St. Paul pitching standout who was a 2004 Navy grad and passed away two years ago at 39.
—Former Gopher-Packer Jim Carter was in San Diego with ex-Green Bay teammate Willie Buchanon among a nice turnout to celebrate the life of former Packer John Brockington, who died recently at 74.
—Whitney Taney, the former Edina and Michigan women’s tennis star whose record in high school was 166-0 and is married to Twins minor leaguer Ryan LaMarre, has a 2-year-old son who already is hitting tennis balls.
—The Pohlad family has begun its 39th year of owning the Twins. Predecessor Calvin Griffith owned the Twins for 24 years.
—Frannie Hottinger, who is Cretin-Derham Hall’s lifetime basketball scoring leader and last season was the Patriot League’s Player of the Year at Lehigh, will play next season for Marquette via a COVID-year exemption.
—Infielder Michael Busch, 25, the former Simley three-sport star who on Tuesday made his big league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Pittsburgh with a single and run batted in, is the 22,902nd major leaguer in the history of baseball. He has also begun earning nearly $4,000 per day in salary while in the majors.
—Another nice story: Drew Maggi, 33, the former St. Paul Saints infielder who spent 13 years in the minor leagues, last week finally made it to the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
—Former Stillwater star Drew Gilbert, 22, a former Twins draft pick, is hitting .345 with three home runs for the Houston Astros’ Class A Nashville club. The outfielder is a legitimate major league prospect and should be promoted before long.
—Jeff Sorenson, the teaching pro at Minikahda Country Club, has qualified for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., May 15-21.
Don’t print that
—The Dalvin Cook trade, probably to his hometown Miami Dolphins, could occur anytime, even this summer. The best the Vikings can expect for Cook, who turns 28 just before the season, is a fifth-round draft pick.
The problem for the Vikings is Cook’s $11 million salary for next season. The Dolphins also figure he isn’t worth that much, so why give up much when they know the Vikings aren’t going to pay him that much. If a trade can’t work, the Vikings might just have to release Cook.
—It’s unclear what the Vikings think of Trey Lance, the San Francisco QB from Marshall, Minn. The problem for Lance, 22, is that he hasn’t played much going back to North Dakota State and remains unproven. The 49ers, now with Brock Purdy, 23, as starter, are willing to trade Lance to get rid of his remaining $18 million in guaranteed salary. And with Kirk Cousins set to start for the Vikings next season, Lance wouldn’t get time to continue his development.
—Eccentric NBA analyst Charles Barkley has been invited to play in a 3M Open pro-am in July at the TPC, but a schedule conflict may prevent him from coming to Blaine. Pro-am fees for the 3M range from $2,500 to $5,000 per round.
—Don’t be surprised if Drake’s Darian DeVries, 48, if there’s a Gophers men’s basketball coaching change after next season, gets serious consideration. The problem for Minnesota, though, is that the going rate for a Power Five head coach now is $3.5 million a year.
—Nobody’s talking, but one educated estimate of the recent sale price of the St. Paul Saints to Diamond Baseball Holdings is at least $35 million. The Saints would not have sold, an insider said, unless the new owners committed to continue the team’s unique game experiences.
—There’s little wonder that the Twins have extended beer sales from the seventh to the eighth inning after games this season have averaged nearly 30 minutes fewer in length due to the new pitch clock. A Budweiser source says the revenue the Twins receive from beer sales at Target Field is eye-popping.
—Carlos Correa, at $36 million, is the ninth highest-paid player in the major leagues this season. He’s batting .195.
—The Wild, Timberwolves, Vikings and Loons all lost in the first round of the playoffs, and the Twins have lost 18 playoff games in a row
In the 18 years the Wilfs have owned the Vikings, they have won three playoff games.
—The Wisconsin football team, which lost to the Gophers 23-16 in Madison last season, under new coach Luke Fickell has added 22 players through the transfer portal and early freshmen enrollees.
Meanwhile, the Badgers have a sponsorship deal with Pepsi-Cola that will bolster their already-considerable name, image and likeness (NIL) athletes deals.
—By the way, if scholarship athletes enter the NCAA transfer portal and aren’t accepted by another school, they could lose their initial scholarship.
—People who know say Iowa women’s basketball star Caitlin Clark’s combined NIL deals are worth $3 million.
—Gophers sophomore right-hander George Klassen is only 1-5 this season with a 5.12 earned-run average, but his impressive arm speed and a fastball that reached 100 mph vs. Iowa are expected to make him a decent pick in July’s major league draft. Klassen had Tommy John (ligament replacement) surgery two years ago.
—Max Meyer, 24, the former Woodbury and Gophers pitching star who was the No. 1 draft pick of the Miami Marlins three years ago, is extending throws to 90 feet and ahead of schedule after Tommy John surgery last August.
—Former Gophers left-hander Lucas Gilbreath, 27, who pitched in the majors for the Colorado Rockies the past two seasons, underwent Tommy John surgery the other day and will miss the entire season.
—Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison term and $740 million payback for Reggie Fowler, the former Vikings investor, in a cryptocurrency scam in New York, reports Front Office Sports.
—It has probably changed, but until the Detroit Lions had two players indefinitely suspended the other day for gambling, the Lions — and not the Vikings or Packers — were favored to win the NFC’s North Division next season, by sportsbetting.ag.
—It’s just a matter of time before sports gambling becomes legal in Minnesota and gamblers will be able to bet during games. That’s why the NFL already electronically monitors plays sent in to QBs.
More than 30 states now allow legalized gambling, the Vikings noted at a recent Dunkers club gathering, and with six professional teams there is a significant local gambling market.
—Lauri Markkanen, 25, whom the Timberwolves traded to the Chicago Bulls after taking him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft, last week was named the NBA’s most improved player.
—A sports fan experience startup co-owned by prospective Timberwolves investors Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore the other day raised $20 million in seed money, JohnWallStreet reports.
—The Timberwolves’ first-round pick on June 22 that goes to Utah in the Rudy Gobert trade turns out to be No. 16 overall. The Wolves have just one pick in this year’s draft, No. 53 overall.
—The Wild’s first-round pick in the June 28 NHL draft is No. 22 overall.
—There’s buzz that the Ottawa Senators could fetch nearly $1 billion in an upcoming sale, making the Wild, valued at $850 million, worth more than $1 billion.
—Former NFL defensive back Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, 85, asked by the Pioneer Press the other day his memories of playing against the Vikings: “Fran Tarkenton, the quarterback, ran like (hall of fame running back) Barry Sanders. You get him cornered, you think you’ve got him, and he’s out, running to the other side of the field. He tired out all those overweight defensive linemen. Then on the next play, he’d run right up the middle at you.”