Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vikes Free Agency Moves So Far

The Minnesota Vikings headed into Free Agency with many needs. Who will be the quarterback and what will the defensive line look like were two of the biggest. Minnesota re-signed Matt Cassel to come in and start for the 2014 season at quarterback and the Vikes shelled out big money to re-sign Everson Griffen at defensive end. 

The Vikes filled two other holes with the signings of defensive tackle, Linval Joseph of the Giants and Captain Munnerlyn, cornerback of the Panthers. Instant analysis of these two moves are huge “wins” for the Vikings. Joseph is a Pat Williams like defensive tackle and Munnerlyn fits the Antoine Winfield mold. Fat Pat and Toine are two of the best Free Agents the Vikings ever picked up so if Joseph and the Captain are anyone near that good then new Head Coach, Mike Zimmer, really is turning this team around. 

The Vikes made some other smaller moves, re-signing some of their own including Jerome Simpson (WR) and Fred Evans (DT). Minnesota also signed two role playing defensive players, Derek Cox (CB) and former Viking, Jasper Brinkely (LB).

Linebacker continues to be a huge need as the Vikes have Chad Greenway as a starter, but the other two spots are basically open. Some young options are currently on the Vikes roster, but it is unclear if any of them can be a solid NFL starter. Gerald Hodges, Audie Cole and Mike Mauti are all possible options.

Minnesota lost a couple of Free Agents as planned with Toby Gerhart (RB) to Jacksonville and Chris Cook (CB) to San Francisco. Jared Allen (DE) has not signed anywhere, but it appears clear he will NOT be back in Minnesota. Charlie Johnson (G) still remains a possibility for the Vikes to re-sign, but they are considering other options also. 

Although not the huge splash of Michael Johnson (DE) and Alterraun Verner (CB) that many fans were hoping for, the Vikes have had a solid first week of Free Agency. Incidentally, both Johnson and Verner signed with Tampa Bay and will be coached on defense by former Viking Head Coach, Les Frazier. 

Minnesota still has money to spend and holes to fill, so hopefully more to come!

Linval Joseph, DT, Giants
Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Panthers
Derek Cox, CB, Chargers
Jasper Brinkley, LB, Cardinals

Matt Cassel, QB
Everson Griffen, DE
Fred Evans, DT
Jerome Simpson, WR
Joe Berger, C/G
Matt Asiata, RB

Henry Melton, DT, Bears (visited Minnesota)
Jameel McClain, LB, Ravens (visited Minnesota)
Kevin Williams, DT, Vikings
Charlie Johnson, OG, Vikings
Vlad Ducasse, OG, Jets (visiting Minnesota)
Daryn Colledge, OG, Cardinals (rumored as a possibility)
Vincent Rey, LB, Bengals (rumored as a possibility)


Sunday, March 02, 2014

How to Fix the Vikes via Free Agency

Heading into NFL Free Agency, which begins on March 11, 2014, the Vikes have many needs. If I was General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, this is what I would do.

Sign Michael Johnson, Defensive End, Cincinnati Bengals
New Vikes Head Coach, Mike Zimmer, knows Johnson and his capabilities. Johnson would instantly be the best pass rusher on the Vikings. By signing Johnson, both Jared Allen and Everson Griffen would not be brought back to Minnesota.

Sign Alterraun Verner, Cornerback, Tennesse Titans
Verner would be paired up with Xavier Rhodes to form a solid team at cornerback. With Harrison Smith back and healthily at safety, the Vikes would have a nice backfield besides the other safety position. No more Chris Cook, ever. Other possible considerations would be Brent Grimes, CB, Dolphins, Vontae Davis, CB, Colts and Sam Shields, CB, Packers.

Sign Linval Joseph, Defensive Tackle, New York Giants
Lining up Joseph next to Sharrif Floyd would held solidify the Vikes defensive line. Joseph can be that run stopper the Vikes badly need. Kevin Williams is close to retiring and other options would be Henry Melton, DT, Bears, Jason Hatcher, DT, Cowboys or Pau Soliai, DT, Dolphins.

Sign Vincent Rey, Linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals
Another player that Zimmer knows and would instantly start on the Vikes. Minnesota has some serious issues at linebacker and Rey would help fill one of those holes. Other options could be Brandon Spikes, LB, Patriots, Karlos Dansby, LB, Cardinals or Daryl Smith, LB, Ravens. 

Sign Josh McCown, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
I honestly prefer Matt Cassel, but it appears that ship has sailed. Minnesota badly needs to get a veteran quarterback as well as draft one in the first three rounds. McCown would be a solid backup and if needed could start at the beginning of the season. Other interesting options include possible trades for quarterbacks like Ryan Mallett, QB, Patriots or Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins.

Signing these five players would help fix many of the holes the Minnesota Vikings currently have. The NFL Draft is in May and will be another opportunity for the Vikes to make a big splash. 

Skol Vikes!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Savior?

As expected, the Minnesota Vikings fired Head Coach Leslie Frazier. After an extensive search, Rick Spielman decided that Bengals Defensive Coordinator, Mike Zimmer should take over as the Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Zimmer was the Defensive Coordinator in Cincinnati for the last five years. He is the polar opposite of Frazier. Zimmer is a tough, fiery coach who loves to swear. Those traits alone make me love this hire. Zimmer becomes the 9th Head Coach in Minnesota Viking history. Look at him in the photo above, does he look like a guy who takes any shit? The answer is no.

With Frazier gone, the next part of the cleaning house project was to get rid of Offensive Coordinator, Bill Musgrave and Defensive Coordinator, Alan Williams. In my opinion, both of them seemed utterly clueless, especially Williams.

Zimmer quickly found replacements for Musgrave and Williams. Longtime NFL coach, Norv Turner will be the man calling plays in 2014 for the Vikes. Turner and Zimmer coached together under Bill Parcells with the Dallas Cowboys.

Dolphins linebacker coach, George Edwards will be taking over the Vikes defense. Edwards worked with Zimmer in Dallas. Edwards served as the DC for the Washington Redskins in 2003 and was the Buffalo Bills DC in 2010 and 2011.

I absoultely LOVE the Zimmer hire and think Turner is a great choice for OC. I'm not totally sold on Edwards per his defenses with him at the helm were less than stellar, but I assume Zimmer will have heavy influence on the defense and Coach Zimmer knows how to coach defense.

I'm already stoked for the Vikes season to start and we don't even know who our starting quarterback will be!

Minnesota Vikings Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
Offensive Coordinator: Norv Turner
Defensive Coordinator: George Edwards

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft

Round 1: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Round 2: AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama 
Round 3: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida 
Round 3: Hakeem Smith, SS, Louisville 
Round 4: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh 
Round 5: Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame 
Round 6: James Wilder, RB, Florida St.
Round 7: Ricardo Allen, CB Purdue

Vikes Draft Summary: 

With the Vikes selecting eighth overall, many of the top quarterbacks will be gone before they pick so I went BPA (Best Player Available) and also a huge need area with the selection of Barr. Barr instantly will become a starting linebacker for the Vikes. 

McCarron is a winner and is the best quarterback available in the second round. I’m not overly thrilled with this selection, but after passing on a quarterback in the first round, Minnesota has to go quarterback in the second.

Thanks to trading Percy Harvin, Minnesota has two selections in the third round. Both picks are used to help sure up a shaky secondary. Roberson will be expected to start opposite Xavier Rhodes and Hakeem Smith will team up and start with Harrison Smith as our safeties. 

Rounds four and five are used selecting good players in positions of need. Donald would be a steal in the fourth round at defensive tackle and Watt could hopefully develop into a starter on the offensive line.

Wilder is selected in the sixth round to be Adrian Peterson’s backup. Toby Gerhart will depart via free agency so a backup running back will be a need. 

In round seven Minnesota goes with the BPA in a need area and selects another cornerback in Allen. You can never have too many quality corners, especially playing in the NFC North.

Friday, December 06, 2013

15 Free Agents the Vikes Should Look At

After the Vikes fire Les Frazier and his entire coaching staff and name a new Head Coach, the Vikes new leader will have some serious work to do to improve the roster. In addition to finding a new quarterback (my preference is though the NFL Draft), defense should be a HEAVY focus for the Vikings in 2014.

Here is a list of 15 Unrestricted Free Agents that the Minnesota Vikings should take a long look at. In reality, I would guess that the most you could have out of this list is two players. Which two do you want?

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears – personally I do not want Cutler, but he likely will be the top quarterback available and in reality is an option for the Vikes.

Alex Mack, C, Browns – he is the best center available. With the decline in play from John Sullivan, will the Vikes look to repairing their offensive line?

Kevin Boothe, G, Giants – we need to tweak the offensive line some. A solid guard would be a welcome fit on the Vikes line. Assuming Kalil rededicates himself and Loadholt decides to play better, a good guard could make a huge difference.

Brandon Spikes, MLB, Patriots – how bad do the Vikes need a middle linebacker? Answer – really, really bad. Spikes is a tough nosed ball player who I love. Only downside is his price tag will be high.

Wesley Woodyard, LB, Broncos – another solid option at linebacker. Doesn’t excite me tons, but a HUGE upgrade over what we put out there in 2013.
Sean Lee, LB, Cowboys – like Woodyard, another solid option at linebacker. Lee would instantly become our best linebacker.

Brian Orakpo, LB, Redskins – a big name that will likely garner big money. He is a playmaker, but already seems to have peeked. Still would be a welcome addition to the Vikes.

Sam Shields, CB, Packers – a young corner who appears to have figured out the NFL. Would be fun to pair him with Xavier Rhodes.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Broncos – another solid corner who has become a solid NFL starter. Something the Minnesota Vikings desperately need.

Brent Grimes, CB, Dolphins – a grizzled veteran who can still play. Although no longer a shutdown corner, Grimes would be worth offering a contact too assuming the Vikes don’t break the bank and for a 2-3 year deal.

Alterraun Venner, CB, Titans – young and upcoming corner who is not well known. Solid player.

Walter Thurmond, CB, Seahawks – some injury concerns and suspended four games in 2013 for substance abuse. Minnesota should steer clear of him, but he is a free agent corner.

Vontae Davis, CB, Colts – a somewhat troubled past, but appears to have turned the corner (no pun intended). Side note: Vonte is the brother of Vernon Davis.

Jarius Bryd, S, Bills – one of the premier safeties in the NFL. Would love to pair him with Harrison Smith.

TJ Ward, S, Browns – another solid safety stuck on a bad team. Ward would be a huge upgrade for the Vikes at safety and would also be great to pair with Harrison Smith.

Again, assuming in a BEST case scenario the Vikes could land two of these players, if I’m the Vikes I’d focus on Brandon Spikes to be the new leader of the defense and play middle linebacker. I’d also look to one of the corners, per seems like the new area with the biggest need. I’d love to see either Shields or Rodgers-Cromartie on the Vikings.

Just think if the Vikes had a stud MLB and another good corner plus the NFL Draft. With the right moves, Minnesota could quickly be atop the NFC once again.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Unrestricted Free Agents 2014

I’m still not totally sure what happened this season. We have no quarterback, no offensive line and no defense whatsoever. The Vikes are 1-5 and with no hope in sight, it is time to focus on next season.

A fair amount of notables on this current roster will be Free Agents after the season. Here are some of the biggest names:

Jared Allen, DE
Matt Cassel QB
Josh Freeman, QB
Desmond Bishop, LB
Chris Cook, CB
Toby Gerhart, RB
Everson Griffen, DE
Charlie Johnson, G
Marcus Sherels, S
Jerome Simpson, WR
Joe Webb, WR
Kevin Williams, DT

Now here is my thoughts on what the Vikings should do about the above players.

Assuming Christian Ponder has been cut (which he will be after we have a new Head Coach), keep Matt Cassel around as backup quarterback and start whoever we draft in the First Round of the NFL Draft. This would also mean letting Josh Freeman go.

To be honest, I have NEVER been a fan of Toby Gerhart. He is not a third down running back, he is like a poor, poor, poor man’s version of Adrian Peterson. It is time to let Gerhart go. The Vikes need a legit third down back.

Both Jerome Simpson and Joe Webb will be free agent wide receivers. They are completely different players. Webb should be cut right now, but he won’t be since this coaching staff apparently loves him. It’s time to let Webb walk.

Now Simpson is a different story. He was a little banged up and was underwhelming last season, but this year he has look much different. He appears to be pretty decent if anyone could get him the ball. The downside for Simpson is that Cordarrelle Patterson appears ready to take his spot. Personally I’d start Patterson and Greg Jennings next season and let Simpson walk, but I am a little torn saying that. I love the potential Patterson shows, but I also think Simpson has some talent. Likely Simpson’s price tag will be too high and that money should be spent on the defensive side of the football.
Charlie Johnson is huge, but he is not very good. He has started on the Vikings offensive line as both a tackle and now a guard, but it is time to let him walk. The Minnesota Vikings offensive line is a disaster and he is part of the problem. Bye Charlie!

Jared Allen has been awesome to have on the team and he is a fan favorite for sure, but unless he is willing to take a massive pay cut, let him walk. He’s just not as dominant as he once was. Although you have gotta admit that sack he had grabbing Eli’s jersey while Allen was still being blocked was awesome!

With JA gone, it seemed obvious that Everson Griffen would be resigned, but he sure has looked flat to me this year. I assume the Vikes will work something out with Griffen and he and Brian Robison will be the starters at defensive end in 2014.

Kevin Williams has been a rock for the Vikings. He is one of the greatest defensive tackles to ever play for the Minnesota Vikings. However, the end is near. The Vikes draft Sharrif Floyd to take over Kevin’s spot and he will likely do that next year. Hopefully Williams retires and then we can enshrine him into the Vikings Ring of Fame.

Desmond Bishop seemed like a great signing this offseason. He wasn’t able to be our MLB, but finally showed some toughness and made some plays to earn a starting OLB spot and then he tore his ACL again. I assume his NFL career is over. Let Bishop walk or limp away from the Vikes.

Chris Cook has shown flashes of being a shutdown corner, but he also has shown flashes of not only being a horrible human being, but also being a horrible cornerback. Cook has been burned many, MANY times for touchdowns and to date, still does NOT have a single interception. Not one. It is time to let the Chris Cook experiment end in Minnesota. Goodbye Chris, don’t choke anyone on your way out of town.

Marcus Sherels is an interesting one. He barely made the team this year, but appears to be one of the better defensive backs the Vikings have currently on the roster (not that that means much though). Sherels also has been our punt returner the past couple season and although he has scored on a couple of punts, he never seems to do much with the punts. I feel like he is always just fair catching them. Taking all that into consideration, I would keep Sherels around for a likely low price and would use primarily on defense as a dime back type player. We need a new punt returner in 2014.

The Minnesota Vikings should re-sign: Matt Cassel (backup quarterback), Everson Griffen (starting defensive end) and Marcus Sherels (nickel/dime defensive back).

It is time for the Vikings to cut ties with: Josh Freeman (QB), Toby Gerhart (RB), Jerome Simpson (WR), Joe Webb (WR/QB), Charlie Johnson (G), Jared Allen (DE), Kevin Williams (DT), Desmond Bishop (LB) and Chris Cook (CB).

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Minnesota Vikings are a Disaster

Over 24 hours later, I still can’t believe that garbage of a game played by the Minnesota Vikings. Coming off of a bye, the Vikes got BLASTED by the Carolina Panthers 35-10. The Vikes lone touchdown was a junk touchdown as the game was WAY over by then.

I’m not trying to be mean, but Josh Robinson is the absolute WORST NFL Player in the league right now. He couldn’t start on my son’s flag football team. He got beat for at least two, maybe three touchdowns on Sunday alone. As if that wasn’t bad enough, our clueless coach, Leslie Frazier had the gall to say and I quote – “
Josh (Robinson) actually did a pretty good job for us yesterday.” For him to say this is beyond mind boggling. It is flat out embarrassing.

Robinson should be cut today. He should have been cut at halftime yesterday actually.

Les Frazier had an extra week to prepare for the Panthers as the Vikes were coming off a bye. The Vikings played uninspired, terrible football.

The defense on the Minnesota Vikings is absolutely pathetic. It is time to trade Jared Allen. He won’t be back next year and if you can get anything for him. Trade him.

Besides Chad Greenway, who is having a bit of an off year himself, the linebackers are downright embarrassing. Erin Henderson isn’t cutting it and Desmond Bishop finally got a start and he tore his ACL ending his season and likely his NFL career. Linebackers are needed almost as badly as defensive backs are.

Speaking of dbs, of course Robinson should be gone. Chris Cook is so-so, but he still does not have an NFL interception. Not one. He was drafted in 2010. Not ONE interception.

Xavier Rhodes, one of our First Round picks this past April, has shown flashes, but somehow is behind Robinson on the depth chart. It is time for him to start and get some reps.

Harrison Smith is solid and our best defensive player by far right now. Every other safety and defensive back on our team is completely worthless. I guess I’d keep Marcus Sherels around. He at least plays hard.

Clearly our defense is a disaster, but I haven’t even started on the offense which is a total mess too. How in the world with the BEST running back to ever play football that you can’t have a functional offense is amazing!

After two and a half year experimenting with Christian Ponder we FINALLY gave up on his bum ass. Matt Cassel proved sufficient for one game, but showed his true colors. He is a backup NFL quarterback. Nothing more.

Monday Night the Vikes will march out their third quarterback in six games this season, Josh Freeman. Freeman signed a one year deal with Minnesota and Ponder and Cassel aren’t the answer so we might as well find out if in 11 games if Freeman is worth keeping around for 2014.

The Vikings offensive line is absolutely atrocious. I’m fairly certain I could get past them. Somehow Matt Kalil is terrible a year after looking like one of the best tackles in the league. Kalil is BY FAR our best lineman. We have serious needs on the offensive line. Mainly guard.

Our receivers are actually semi decent. Greg Jennings is still good, but can’t get the ball and Cordarelle Patterson appears to be the real deal, but Frazier and company don’t like to have him on the field. Instead they give Joe Webb reps. Seriously. It is time to give up on Joe Webb. I understand being loyal, but if these players flat out can’t play then get them outta there.

The Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is a bum also. As soon as Frazier is gone so will be Musgrave. He can’t run an offense with the BEST running back to EVER play. If Sean Payton called our plays, we would score 40 a game. Even with Ponder at quarterback. It is amazing how bad and pathetic the Minnesota Vikings are.

The future is not bright either. Minnesota keeps burning up Adrian’s prime by surrounding him with pathetic players. In my mind Frazier should have been fired today. Zygi can’t do it because he has no one to take his spot.

We have to watch this joke of a team with absolutely no heart play 11 more pathetic games. Honestly it will be a miracle if this team wins 5 total games. It might be a miracle to win another one.

So after the last game of the season, Frazier, Musgrave and company will all be fired. Ponder will FINALLY be cut. Jared Allen will be done as a Vike. Kevin Williams will be done as a Vike.

Best case scenario is that Freeman looks good and can be the answer for the next 3-4 years although we still better draft a qb no matter what Freeman does.

We will have an offensive line in shambles, maybe you could say that Kalil and Phil Loadholt can get their shit together again and be respectable so maybe only guard is a need.

Greenway will be another year older and we will still need TWO new starters at linebacker.

Besides Smith, Rhodes and Sherels, none of our defensive backs will be back or at least they shouldn’t be.

So our needs will be head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, quarterback, guard, linebacker, cornerback and safety. Amazing. What a total disaster the Vikings are.

At least we have the Blair Walsh Project.

Skol Vikes!