Aug 12, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (34) participates during training camp drills at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Free Agent Rumors: LaRod Stephens-Howling

Aug 12, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (34) participates during training camp drills at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


1500’s Doogie has been absolutely crushing the phones, digging up the dirt on potential Vikings free agent targets and tweeting the skinny to all us eager information-consumers out there.

Here’s a name to keep in mind per the ever-vigilant Mr. Wolfson aka the Adam Schefter of Minnesota: LaRod Stephens-Howling.

The free agent running back has been the subject of Vikings inquiries, says Wolfson, though no visit has yet been set up.

The obvious connection here is Kirby Wilson, who coached Stephens-Howling last year in Pittsburgh, and is now the Vikings’ running backs coach.

With Toby Gerhart leaving to probably start in Jacksonville, the Vikes are likely shopping around for running backs to at least bring into camp. Right now they have Matt Asiata, Bradley Randle and Joe Banyard.

Drafting a running back is also not out of the question.

Stephens-Howling, besides having an amazing name, has a little more experience than the players currently on the roster. He began in 2009 with Arizona after being taken in the seventh round, and stuck with the Cardinals through 2012.

In his career, Stephens-Howling has rushed for 670  yards and caught 58 balls for 545 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. That receiving ability is probably key considering Norv Turner’s approach.

At 5-7, Stephens-Howling certainly looks the part of the scatback. He can also give you return ability in a pinch.

If Stephens-Howling does land a job, in Minnesota or anywhere else, his versatility will be what makes it happen for him. He could be a nice pick up for the Vikings and we’ll see if anything develops.

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  • holymomentumbatman#84

    C’MON MAN! A 5’7″ running back, that’s a 5 year veteran, and has rushed for a little over 600 yards in his ENTIRE CAREER?? Jeeeeezzus! What happened, Spielman?? Did you fall and hit your head??? That’s like Carolina letting Captain Munnerlyn go, and, just coming off the wire, signing 31 year old Roman Harper, giving him a 1.5 million signing bonus, and letting 26 year old FS Mike Mitchell go, after having a real BREAKOUT season in 2013. Mitchell was a Raider for 4 seasons, and didn’t excel, but last year with the Panthers showed his potential, and now, he’s a Steeler, and Pittsburgh will reap the rewards. Down in Carolina, former New York Giant “Senior Pro Personnel Analyst”, now Panther GM, Dave Gettleman, is COMPLETELY DISMANTLING the team, so far having let go of Steve Smith,(Panther fans, I FEEL YOUR PAIN, AND YOUR DISGUST), and Ted Ginn, Jr., who was a human highlight reel for Carolina in 2013.

    The Vikings…I mean Rick Spielman, have picked up a couple or so pretty good free agents so far, and I have to say that I am not 100% dissatisfied. But, hey…I mean LaRod Stephens-Howling??? C’MON MAN!!! HEY, SPIELMAN, you need to WAKE UP and SET THE BAR HIGHER!!! SKOL

    • Alika Launiu

      Calm your ass down buddy…This is all speculation….nothing is said in stone so relax and stay off the juice….

      • holymomentumbatman#84

        Hey, Alika, my ass IS CALM, (see post above). When I talk “Vikings”, my posts sometimes look like I’ve got a bullhorn up against someone’s ear. That’s just ’cause I’m LIFE-LONG, HARDCORE PURPLE, and like most every other Viking fan, win or lose, I’ll stay that way. So, it ain’t “juice”, dude, it’s adrenalin and heart!! And, for the record, it’s SET in stone, not “said”. No harm intended, just sayin’. SKOL

    • Spencer Davis

      Dude, you don’t understand your football. It’s not like we’d be asking Stephen-Howling to come in and start. He would be a situational back on third down/passing downs. And he also wouldn’t command a high salary. And saying Ted Ginn Jr. was a human highlight reel? He had 36 receptions for 556 yards. Get real & check your stats!

      • holymomentumbatman#84

        Who said anything about ONLY receptions and reception yardage. Ginn didn’t start every game. He wasn’t brought in to be a starter. Figure the average of the numbers you posted. I’ll save you the trouble. it’s a 15.4 yard average. That ain’t so bad for a non-starter. Ginn was also brought in to not only be a receiver. He complemented the punt and kickoff teams very well, and had plenty of average per return yardage there, as well. As a matter of fact, there were several instances where his speed would allow some beautiful returns for 30, 40, even 50 or more yards on punts and kickoffs. There were also a few kickoff returns that went for 70, 80 yards. Are you a Panther or a Ginn hater, something like that? I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve been watching the game for probably more years than you’ve been alive, and I’ve likely forgotten more than you’ll ever know. I’ve been a coach before, and not for a week or two. I saw a lot of Ted Ginn last year, and his speed ALONE made him a human highlight reel, at least, to a boatload of Panther fans, myself included. We were dumbfounded and disgusted when the media knew BEFORE he did, and they gave Steve Smith his walking papers, only to learn HOURS later that Ginn was a 49′er. The new “pseudo GM” Gettleman and his “entourage” were full speed ahead, turning Carolina from legitimate into future cellar dwellers.

        As far as Stephens-Howling, 58 catches, 545 yards for his entire 5 year career. 58 games played /career; ONE reception per game average. Ginn wasn’t far off of those receptions and yardage numbers LAST YEAR. Highest reception total in a season, (17) in 2012 while still in Arizona, and last season, with Pittsburgh, TWO receptions. I don’t give a **** HOW LOW HIS salary might be, with those numbers, (which #28 can get by himself, and still carry the team), L S-H is not worth it, and it would only take away $$ that could be well used elsewhere. We don’t need no stinkin’ running back. Get real, and check your stats!

        • Spencer Davis

          Hahaha you argue as well as a freezer trying to cook some bacon! First off, a “human highlight reel” should be someone that is ripping it up every week in and out. Just because someone is fast doesn’t make them a “human highlight reel”. You don’t see me saying Troy Williamson was a “human highlight reel”! And for being such a great returner, ha! You once again don’t know how to research information. You say he eclipsed 50 yards last year returning punts? His longest punt return last year was 41 yards averaging a hair over 12 yards a return. Nothing spectacular there. And kickoffs? You say 70 and 80? His longest kickoff return was 38 yards for an average of 23.8 yards! Once again, nothing close to spectacular.
          You are hopeless to think the Vikings shouldn’t acquire another running back to complement AP. He is great, hands down. But everyone needs a change of pace, especially since he is hitting the age of 29 and shouldn’t be responsible for every carry on the team.
          And you’re a coach you say? Well, experience doesn’t count when you stand on the sidelines of your 8 year olds flag football team at recess. I wasn’t even comparing LSH to Ginn at all, I was simply saying he wouldn’t be a bad acquisition to give a shot at training camp for a team in need of a #2 running back and or scat back. I just commented on Ginn because you are grossly mistaken by overrating his value.
          So as you advised, I checked my stats. I suggest you do the same before you try to argue.

          • holymomentumbatman#84

            I wasn’t necessarily trying to argue with you. I was thinking of it more like a friendly banter between enthusiastic fans. I guess I came off sounding a little heady. I tend to do that semi-frequently, and inadvertently. My wife says I do, too, so “no harm, no foul”? I end up getting hot-headed without realizing it. Sorry. I also hadn’t “checked my stats” concerning Ginn, but it really and truly “feels” like he had a better season than his numbers indicate. I looked ‘em up, and your numbers match up. Good eye. I’m a life long hard core purple bleeder, (40+ years), but I live down here in Panther country, so I get behind them as well…except when they get the Vikings! LOL Ginn was a good pickup for Carolina, nonetheless. He was a scary outside threat, mainly because no other wideout on the team had his speed, (he’s one of those chosen few who can VISIBLY change gears…Robert Smith was one of those,too). I’m certain you can remember that. Ginn was also clutch more than a few times. After actually seeing his 2013 stats, it’s hard to believe. And for the record, as if you didn’t know already, I’s just spoutin’ those numbers off the top of my head, because, like I said, it seemed so much like he’d had a better year than that. So, what say we put that subject to rest, OK?

            Since we’re on the subject of yours truly being humiliated,and giving the matter more thought, I guess perhaps within certain schemes, and Norv Turner drawing them up, LSH could probably be a plus. I’m curious, though…I’m gonna have to CHECK MY STATS, and see if I can find out how quick and fast he is, so I can better envision what the results could possibly be. I also have no idea what kind of $$ he might want, but, if it’s not a lot, then I’m sure Minnesota will be interested.

            So, that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!! Finally, I would hope that, in the future, we might be able to discuss matters of mutual interest as civilized adults, and I will make a conscious effort to watch my yap, and we MAY be able to become actual friends. What’d ya think? Oh, yeah…I didn’t coach 8 year olds at recess. It was a high school team on which I had played years before. And I wasn’t the head coach, I was defensive coordinator during a four year stretch when our teams’ D was UNSTOPPABLE. SKOL VIKINGS!!

          • Spencer Davis

            Hey thanks for that comment, I appreciate your honesty. I must admit that I may get out of line myself once in a while (as my coaching comment represents). I have no hard feelings, it’s good to see fans out there that can be as adamant as myself. I’ve bleed purple since I came out of the womb.
            I’m not really crossing my finger for LSH, I just wouldn’t be opposed to give him a shot. I’m more looking forward to drafting someone in the middle rounds to fill that role. If we could get someone like a Bishop Sankey in the back of the 3rd round, I think it would be a promising pick. I was really praying we would get Sproles but that didn’t happen. No matter what though, I don’t believe Asiata is the answer at our scat/passing back. I trust Rick will make a good pick and pick up someone promising out there. Or maybe Knowshawn Moreno if we can get him for cheap, he’s still floating around in free agency. SKOLLLL!!!!!

        • Spencer Davis

          Ginn’s “Human-Highlight Reel” Rankings

          Receiving Yards- 80th
          Receptions- 124th
          Touchdowns- Tied at 41st
          Average- 64th
          I am not a Tedd Ginn Jr. hater nor am I Panthers hater. I just don’t like fools who don’t know football and talk like they’re something special. :) Have a great day and enjoy the misery of knowing you got thwarted by someone with more football knowledge than yourself. :)