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By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - With the NFL Free agency period officially underway, Rick Spielman met with the Minnesota media Tuesday afternoon to highlight the moves that have gone down already.
Spielman played his cards very close to his vest and divulged little new information (even neglected to confirm some old information). That said, it's always nice to get a chance to talk to the general manager and get some quotes straight from the horses mouth.
Here are the highlights...
On Percy Harvin...
With the new league year officially underway, Spielman was able to confirm the Percy Harvin deal and was able to confirm the compensation that the team got in return. It was indeed a 1st & 7th round pick in 2013 as well as a 3rd round selection in 2014 that got the deal done.
"There was an opportunity for us to accumulate some draft picks," Spielman said. "We just felt it was too good to pass up."
Spielman did however claim that the Vikings were not actively shopping Harvin around the league. They were approached by Seattle and considering the bevy of picks they got in return, they were likely approached by other teams as well.
On Resigning RT Phil Loadholt...
Though is sounds as if the contract has not officially been signed, Spielman was also able to announce that the Vikings have signed RT Phil Loadholt to a "multi-year" deal.
"Very excited to get the Phil Loadholt deal done," Spielman announced. "That was one of our primary players we wanted to make sure returned...we feel that he is a key part of our offensive line."
While it did come close to the 3pm deadline,Spielman admitted that Loadholt was "definitely our top priority" heading into free agency.
On the release of veteran CB Antoine Winfield...
"It was a business decision," Spielman insisted right off the bat.
Winfield, who spent the past nine seasons with the Vikings, will now test the free agent market for the first time since leaving the Bills in 2004.
"We definitely want to keep the door open on his possible return," Spielman said. "But at this time we had to release him in order to get him out in free agency."
For the time being, the Vikings will rely on the unpolished skill sets of Josh Robinson and a handful of other young players.
"We feel confident in the way that Josh has developed," Spielman said. "We have a couple other young guys that we're going to look at as well, but by no means do we want to shut out Antoine and hopefully have the door open for his potential return if that's possible.
On the possible resigning of WR Jerome Simpson...
While he would not confirm anything "until we have signatures," Rick Spielman was hinting at the fact that he is excited to see what a second year in purple would look like for the troubled wide receiver.
"Coming back for a second year in the offensive system, coming back healthy, you can see some of the potential that [Jerome] showed during training camp," Spielman said. "If officially Jerome is signed here, we look forward to having him."
On UFA FB Jerome Felton...
While no deal has been finalized, Spielman did say that the Vikings were in active conversations with the fullback that plowed the way for Peterson's historic season.
"We've been in discussions and are currently in discussions with Jerome, if there's an opportunity to get him finalized, we definitely want to do that."
On the rest of the Free Agent field...
Despite the added cap space that the Vikings have acquired over the last 48 hours, all of Spielman's comments today lead me to believe that the Vikings will not make many big splashes in free agency and will continue to build the future through the draft.
" We'll look at everything," Spielman said. "We're going to look at the UFAs. The philosophy here is putting an emphasis on signing your own back and we've been doing that through the night."
"This is a very fluid business...It changes by the minute up there. As you sit there working on deals and then this falls through and what's your plan B and what's your plan C."
Before the Loadholt deal and the rumored Simpson deal, the Vikings were sitting pretty with approximately $20M to work with under the cap. But Spielman made a point to remind everybody that "cap room can be deceiving."
Stay tuned to KFAN.com and follow @AjKFAN on Twitter for the latest breaking Free Agency news.