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Rick Spielman wants Phil Loadholt to stick around

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There’s been a lot of attention paid to the Vikings’ first-round pick from the 2009 draft, but wide receiver Percy Harvin isn’t the only player from that draft that Minnesota has to make a decision about this offseason.

Tackle Phil Loadholt, their second-round pick in 2009, is headed for free agency next month if the Vikings aren’t able to re-sign him. The right tackle started all 16 games in 2012 as part of a unit that helped Adrian Peterson to the second-most rushing yards in history while cutting the team’s sacks from 49 to 32 and it’s a unit that General Manager Rick Spielman wants to see remain together in 2013.

“Continuity is a huge part of it on the offensive line because those guys have to work as one unit and they have to know each other inside and out. They work together on combination blocks, on picking up stunts and twists when they’re in pass pro passing off. I think continuity is a big key to that,” Spielman said, via the team’s website. “We’d love to keep Phil Loadholt, so we’ll try to do everything we can to keep Phil Loadholt but we also have a lot of guys we’d like to keep.”

Loadholt moved into a starting job as a rookie and hasn’t given it up over the four years he’s spent in Minnesota. Given the need to figure out Harvin’s future as well as the need to improve the overall look of the wide receiving corps, getting a contract done with Loadholt quickly would allow the Vikings to devote their time to other things without adding a worry on the offensive line.

The two sides were reportedly talking during the season so there would seem to be a good chance of making that happen before Loadholt can run up his price by talking with other teams.

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9 Responses to “Rick Spielman wants Phil Loadholt to stick around”
  1. Manbearpig says: Feb 12, 2013 9:39 AM

    Yeah cuz we need somebody who can jump offsides all the time.

  2. PurpleRaid18 says: Feb 12, 2013 9:52 AM

    When we drafted this guy out of Oklahoma I was stoked, he’s 6’8″ and 350 pounds – it was like having another McKinnie on the offensive line. Loadholt is much more of a team player and has far superior work ethic plus he’s liked by everyone on the team. Oh yeah, and he’s an absolute mauler in the run game. Could still use some work in pass protection, but he’s still young. Get it done Spielman!

  3. Ponder This says: Feb 12, 2013 9:57 AM

    He’s not a great player but he’s good and there’s a lot to be said for continuity. Hopefully, he’ll get a reasonable deal and then improve.

  4. fwippel says: Feb 12, 2013 10:08 AM

    Loadholdt could also use some work on his pass blocking. That said, the Vikings don’t need another hole on the OL; they’ve already got problems they need to address at guard. Resign him quick and start dealing with the other issues (Harvin).

  5. whatjusthapped says: Feb 12, 2013 10:59 AM

    He’s decent but not (yet) at an All Pro level. Maybe he is like Harvin in that he aspires to play with a winner in which case he is as good as gone.

  6. vikingsvoice says: Feb 12, 2013 12:54 PM

    Can’t have stars at every position. Loadholt isn’t great, but he’s good enough to be a serviceable starter on an offensive line with two potential top players at their respective positions in Kalil and Sullivan.

  7. bleedinpurple says: Feb 12, 2013 6:51 PM

    Listen to your MVP, he said he won’t let Loadholt go & would never trade Percy.

    Sign those two guys to extensions, and continue to build through the draft.

    Lord knows our last FA move was a disaster (cue John Carlson).

  8. oldlineman says: Feb 13, 2013 10:30 AM

    Vikings have no one else on the roster today that’s even close to step in and start at RT. How much would a decent w/no injuries and no problems 27 yr. old Right Tackle, which has started 63 NFL games cost in free-agency? GM should have signed Phil before now…

  9. pillowporkers says: Feb 13, 2013 6:24 PM

    Absolutely deserved. Keep this guy around. As a Vikes fan, I know most of his big runs went right. That wasn’t a coincidence. Partly due to the fact that’s generally the strong side and there’s a TE over there, and partly because this guy is a beast.

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