Sunday, November 29, 2015

Monthly Archives: February 2012

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Following a 3-13 season, many wondered if it was wise to promote Rick Spielman to General Manager without exploring outside options.  Once again, the Wilf family has opened up their wallets, however, to keep the staff they have in place.

Director of Player Personnel George Paton has been one of many candidates interviewed for the General Manager position in St. Louis.  According to some reports the Rams had narrowed their search down to two guys and Paton was one of them.  Some other reports suggest that Paton actually got offered the position, but instead he opted to stay with Minnesota.

Deciding to stay with the Vikings was probably made easier by their willingness to promote him to Assistant General Manager. 

Rick Spielman has worked with Paton not only with the Vikings, but also in their time spent in Miami and Chicago.

“George has been an integral part of our personnel department since he arrived in 2007,” Spielman said. “His work ethic, leadership, professionalism and keen eye for identifying talented football players will continue to be a major asset for our organization as we take on the challenges of competing in the NFC North and winning the Super Bowl.”

Les Snead, from Atlanta, is now going to assume the role of General Manager in St. Louis.

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A few posts down, I previewed the Vikings current status at the defensive end position, including a section about contracts.

I was purposely non-descript about Brian Robison’s cap hit in 2012 and 2013 because I knew that his signing bonus and incentives would come into play, but I wasn’t sure how.

As it turns out, that answer came quickly.

Tom Pelissero reports that Robison triggered incentives in his contract with his performance in 2011.

As a result, his salary for 2012 will jump from $726,000 to $1.712 million, which still isn’t too bad for a serviceable starting defensive lineman.

In 2013, however, Robison’s salary of $864,000 will skyrocket all the way to $4.4 million.

Prior to the 2011 lockout, the Vikings signed Robison to a three year deal worth a maximum of $14.1 million and it included a $6.5 million signing bonus.  In reaching certain incentives, Robison is close to realizing the full amount of that contract.

I haven’t got the cornerback position yet in my ongoing “Offseason Preview” segment, but the gist of what is going to be said is that the Vikings must be aggressive in upgrading the talent they have.

This week, the Raiders decided to avoid paying out ridiculous amounts of money to cornerback Stanford Routt and cut him loose.  This means he is an unrestricted free agent, but does not have to wait until March to sign with a new team.

According to the Pioneer Press, Routt will be visiting Buffalo and Tennessee in the near future, but his agent has listed the Vikings as another team to express interest.

According the article, Routt held his assignments to only a 47.4% completion rate in 2011.  However, he gave up eight touchdowns, was flagged an astonishing 17 times, and was consistently picked on by opposing offenses.

The bottom line is Routt is a talented cornerback, but he should not be considered a true #1 cornerback in the NFL and certainly should not be getting paid like one.

There would be one small side benefit to signing Routt to keep in mind.  He is not a true unrestricted free agent since his contract didn’t expire, but rather he cut, so the team that signs him will not be any less likely to receive compensatory draft picks as a result in 2013.

Routt is currently 28 years old and has played seven NFL seasons.  He is durable, and has played every game in the last three seasons, and had a career high four interceptions in 2011.

We will be sure to keep you updated on the rumors surrounding the Vikings interest in Routt.

[NOTE FROM ADAM:  This is another installation of my position-by-position breakdown of the Vikings offseason.  You can click the links to view previous installments:  The Passers, The Runners, The Wide Outs, The Tight Ends, The Offensive Line, and The Defensive Tackles.]

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Minnesota Vikings in 2011 was their ability to get to opposing quarterbacks.  The team was tied with the Eagles for the most sacks with an even 50, and Jared Allen came within mere inches of breaking the all time sack record.

There is no doubt that the Vikings defense needs some serious work, but the defensive end position is fairly solidified.  Still, there are options the Vikings have, and evaluations to take place.

Let’s take a closer look.

One of the greatest mysteries surrounding this offseason is how things will shake out one year following the new Collective Bargaining Agreement being put into place.

Kevin Seifert over at ESPN has just about figured it all out… or at least seems close.

The NFL salary cap is not expected to grow much from where it was last year, which was $120 million, and the highest number I have seen is $125 million.

According to Seifert, the Vikings currently have a cap total of $115.3 million, which doesn’t give them a whole lot of spending cash considering they are expected to have a large class of rookies in need of a contract.

The top tier free agents of 2012, such as Vincent Jackson or Carl Nicks, will not get the kind of money they are looking for from Minnesota unless the team figures out a way to clear up significant cap space.  This could happen via releasing expensive veterans and/or restructuring contracts.

Either way, if the Vikings are going to make moves like that, we should start hearing about them pretty soon.  Keep an eye on Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Williams.

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