Like most Vikings fans, I have already turned about 87% of my gaze towards the offseason, and thus I thought I would have some fun tonight and identify five pending free agents that I think the Vikings could benefit from pursing this offseason.
Of course, a lot will change between now and when free agency begins and some, if not all, of these guys are likely to be locked up by their current teams. I will have more well-researched and detailed free agency opinions as the time draws nearer, but in the meantime I thought I’d get the conversation started by identifying five guys (on the offensive side of the ball) that jumped out to me at first glance and may actually have a chance of landing on the open market. I’ll follow up soon with a similar list of defensive players.
Saturday was a tough day for Vikings fans everywhere. Despite getting a win over the Washington Redskins, about the worst possible thing that could have happened to this team happened. As you all know, Adrian Peterson, our star running back, the pride of Minnesota, was injured on the first play of the second half. (Eric Sugarman, the Vikings Head Athletic Trainer officially announced today that Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL).
Instantly, I was furious. It’s hard for me to describe exactly how angry I was. As Peterson lay on the ground, kicking and screaming, I knew that singular hit could have derailed AP’s hall of fame talent – could have derailed any championship hopes we had in the immediate future. It’s strange, caring so much about someone you’ve never met in your life. But watching AP pour his heart and soul onto the field week after week kind of makes you feel like you know the guy somehow. You want nothing but the best for him. While he’s on the ground writhing, screaming in pain, your soul hurts with him. So, what’s the first thought you have after such a heartbreaking injury?
Someone’s got to pay.
The Vikings continue to shut down injured veterans with less than a week remaining in their season.
Guard Steve Hutchinson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after missing last week’s game against the Redskins due to a concussion.
His roster spot has been filled by running back Jordan Todman, whom was signed away from the Chargers practice squad after they selected him in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Todman replaced Donald Brown as Connecticut’s primary runner in 2010 and performed quite well. At 5’ 9” and 203 pounds he ran a 4.44 at the Combine and showed solid hands during his college years.
With Adrian Peterson indefinitely sidelined the Vikings now have Toby Gerhart, Lorenzo Booker, Caleb King, and Todman rounding out their depth chart.
As far as Hutchinson goes, he may never suit up as a Vikings again, as sad as it is to say. He is owed $6.95 million for 2012, has had injury troubles the last few seasons, is almost 35 years old, and has seen his production decline pretty rapidly of late.
Hutchinson is the only Vikings that is known to have a no-trade clause in his contract.
I personally find it a bit odd that the Pro Bowl roster is determined when there is one full week of football left to be played, but never-the-less it is done that way, and today the results were announced.
With Adrian Peterson’s various injuries derailing the second half of his season, Jared Allen is the lone Viking to make the Pro Bowl roster this season.
Jared Allen bested himself this season and enters the final week with a league high 18.5 sacks. Allen also has 61 tackles, a safety, three defended passes, an interception, and four forced fumbles to his name this season. This is his fourth Pro Bowl selection in eight NFL seasons.
It is possible that more Vikings end up playing in the game as alternates, but at this point I can’t think of anyone besides Percy Harvin that may be worthy of being named an alternate.
You can see the entire Pro Bowl roster by clicking here.