Friday, December 15, 2017

Monthly Archives: November 2011

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As the Vikings remaining games painfully play out in front of us, there are a few things to keep an eye on that will keep the diehards among us tuned in to every game.

One of those things is the progression of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder.  Coming off of his worst game last week, and with Adrian Peterson out with injury, the Vikings offense will have to rely on Ponder’s arm to keep them in competition against the formidable defense of the Atlanta Falcons.

Courtesy of Kevin Seifert, here is a “Sports Science” special featuring Minnesota’s latest hope at quarterback:


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Here is who will be inactive for today’s game against Atlanta:

Vikings:  TE Kyle Rudolph, HB Adrian Peterson, CB Chris Cook, S Husain Abdullah, G Anthony Herrera, OT DeMarcus Love, and DE D’Aundre Reed.  For those of you keeping track at home, four of those guys were starters for this team at the beginning of the season.

Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and Percy Harvin (ribs) are both active for Sunday’s matchup.

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The Vikings impotent offense will be even shorter on firepower against the Falcons on Sunday.

Both running back Adrian Peterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph are expected to miss the game.  Rudolph has a quadriceps injury and Peterson has a high ankle sprain.

To account for Rudolph’s absence, the Vikings promoted tight end Allen Reisner to the 53 man roster from the practice squad.  They made room for Reisner by waiving rookie wide receiver Stephen Burton.   

These injuries are just one of many reasons the Vikings are expected to lose to Atlanta.

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On Tuesday, the Denver Broncos inexplicably cut quarterback Kyle Orton, despite the fact that they could be in playoff contention and have no suitable replacement in mind for the veteran signal caller.

Today, there will likely be a number of teams placing a claim on Orton (at 3:00 p.m. Central Lutefisk Time) and I think that the Vikings should be one of them.

According to PFT, the Vikings have $4.1 million in cap space.  Orton was paid a $1.5 million roster bonus by the Broncos and had a base salary of $7.379 for this year.  The team that claims Orton and his contract would be on the hook for roughly $2.4 million.

So the Vikings can afford it, does that mean they should do it?  I think so.

I think in evaluating a move like this one always has to consider the worst case scenario.  In this case, that scenario would be spending $2.4 million of Zygi Wilf’s cash for a few weeks of having Orton on the roster and then letting him leave in free agency, giving the team a chance at a compensatory pick in 2013.  Not too bad in my book, the Vikings have certainly made dumber choices.

The upside here is that they could better get to know a 29 year old quarterback that has been successful in the NFL and might be worth signing as potential competition for the young Christian Ponder.  After all, Donovan McNabb didn’t work out and when he leaves the Vikings will probably be in the market for a veteran quarterback anyways.

Additionally, this would prevent the suddenly quarterback needy Bears from obtaining the guy they threw away in the Cutler trade to try and limp into the playoffs.

According to PFT, the Vikings are fourth in the waiver order behind the Colts, Panthers, and Rams.  There is a chance that either the Colts (quarterback issues) or the Rams (Josh McDaniels connection) claim Orton, but I would call that an outside chance.

Plus, the reality is that the Vikings are really only carrying 2.5 quarterbacks on the roster anyways, with Joe Webb being tossed around like an old T-shirt doubling as a grease towel.  In a lost season, and with plenty of dead weight on the roster to cut, I don’t see the harm in carrying four quarterbacks into the offseason.

It wasn’t long ago that the Vikings were connected to Denver in trade rumors centering around Orton, so why not make the move now and see if the guy is a good fit or not?  I would.

UPDATE:  The Vikings didn’t subscribe to my train of thought and passed on the chance to claim Orton.  He is headed to Kansas City.  Chicago and Dallas reportedly were the other teams to submit waiver claims.

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