The Vikings are one of the NFL’s most dynamic offensive teams, and they’ve always been at the forefront of safety technology.
But the team’s rookie class is one of those groups that’s been left out of the safety-gear craze, even after they’ve had a chance to get a taste of the new safety-shoe craze.
“It’s not really a new trend,” said Jared Allen, a former NFL safety who is now the vice president of product management for the Minnesota Vikings.
“When you have that type of talent, that kind of ability, and you don’t have the proper gear, it’s just not going to work.”
Allen was referring to the NFL Players Association, which has said the league’s new Safety First protocol, introduced last year, will not go into effect until Jan. 1.
That means the Vikings’ first-round draft pick will not have his own pair of safety-gloves until 2019.
Allen said it was up to the team to determine what kind of gear they would be using, and that the team was willing to spend time educating its players on the issue.
Allen and the other former safety players also said the Vikings had a plan to develop the right kind of safety shoes to keep rookies comfortable, and the NFLPA’s statement is a good start.
“We have a safety-first philosophy, and we do,” Allen said.
“There is a little bit of a gap in terms of the equipment that’s out there.”
The Vikings also had their own safety-wear manufacturer that had a stake in the safety market, according to Allen.
“I think they got a very good feel for what’s out in the marketplace,” he said.
But safety-safety is a two-part word.
There are safety-tougheners, who have to be well-protected, and then there are safety specialists, who wear protective gear but are not expected to be aggressive.
The NFLPA, Allen said, has a list of requirements for safety specialists who are supposed to wear safety-protection gear and are on the team.
Those requirements were not included in the draft protocol released by the league, and Allen said he was not aware of any of them.
The safety-hardened position is the most difficult to develop, he said, because of the complexity of the job.
“You can’t just go out and say, ‘Hey, you know, we need a safety specialist, let’s give him this.'”
Allen said the NFL should have required the safety specialists to wear protective equipment in their first season on the field, but that it didn’t happen.
He said the players’ representatives had no input on the safety protocol, and he believes the NFL didn’t want to be responsible for educating its own players.
Allen’s experience on the Minnesota front office also suggests that the NFL will continue to ignore safety-related issues.
Allen, the safety coach for the NFL and the Minnesota Lynx from 1998-2001, said the front office was very focused on keeping the players safe during their first seasons in the league.
“They really wanted them to know that they were going to be protected, that they weren’t going to have a lot of problems,” he added.
The Vikings have had two first-year safeties in their front office since the beginning of the 2014 season.
In 2016, defensive end Eric Kendricks was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who then traded Kendricks and his $12.5 million salary to the San Francisco 49ers.
Kendricks said he’s excited to be back with the Vikings.
But it won’t be the first time he has worn a safety suit.
In 2013, Kendricks signed a five-year contract extension with the Minnesota team that drafted him.
“As soon as I got drafted, I knew I had to make the most of my opportunity,” Kendricks told reporters in 2016.
“And it was my first time ever getting a contract like that.
He said he has no plans to take on another contract in his first season. “
So now I’m kind of taking that next step in my career.”
He said he has no plans to take on another contract in his first season.
“The biggest thing is I want to make sure that I can be here for my whole career,” Kendicks said.
The team said Kendricks has a long history with safety, including being named a first-team All-Pro in 2006 and being named to the Pro Bowl four times, as well as having an interception in the Super Bowl in 2011.
He also had a sack in Super Bowl XLVIII.
But Kendricks’ most memorable play came in 2012, when he was forced to dive to the ground by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen after the pair tangled in the end zone.
Kendriks said he and Allen were in the process of arguing about who would take over the game-winning field goal attempt when Allen, who had returned the kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown,