Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Six Days into free agency, we have seemingly entered “wave two” of the annual garage sale.  The Vikings have been, as you all know, very quiet thus far.  The re-signed three of their own:  Sage Rosenfels, Letroy Guion, and Fred Evans.  They also signed Nick Taylor, a former college point guard turned arena football defensive back.

Their biggest signing was tight end John Carlson, who received a five year deal worth up to $25 million.

For the most part, Rick Spielman sat back and watched this year’s top talents fly to new destinations and the Vikings stressed that a patient approach is the right approach to free agency.

Still, there are indications that the Vikings are not yet done with free agency and will now commence with bargain hunting.  Here are the top ten players that are still available and, in this hack blogger’s opinion, should be targeted by the Vikings this week.

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The VT community has spoken once again, and this time you all have decided that cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will join the Bills defense that has also just acquired defensive end Mario Williams.

Now, it is the Kansas City Chiefs that are on the clock.  Please cast a vote and leave your analysis in the comments section.

Leslie Frazier wants fans to know that a slow start to this free agency period does not mean the Vikings plan to bow out all together.  In fact, he specifically identifies some positions that the team is still looking to upgrade at.

“We still want to find a wide receiver that can really threaten the field vertically,” Frazier told Sid Hartman. “We also want to improve our secondary along with our linebackers, also.”

“We’re going to look to do that, we’re going to look to upgrade our team,” he continued.  “We may do it through free agency but we’re definitely going to do it through the draft, as well. But, yeah, we’re still looking at some players in free agency. … It’s not closed, we’re still looking.”

Hartman took Frazier through basically the whole roster and Frazier’s answers didn’t exactly reveal much.  The gist is that they want their young guys to step up, they may re-sign some of their own free agents still, they may look to the outside for added help, and they are looking forward to the Draft.

The conservative approach to free agency, however, does not have Frazier writing off this team in 2012.

“Not in our profession. Somebody else will be sitting in this seat if I look to the future,” Frazier said. “I have to get our guys ready to have a good season next year. We need to have a good year.”

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According to this NFL.com page (scroll way down), the Vikings will be playing host to safety O.J. Atogwe at some point.

Atogwe received interest from the Vikings when he was a free agent last year but said “God told him” that the Washington Redskins was the team to sign with.  Earlier this month, the Redskins cut Atogwe loose after a disappointing season.

In his first six NFL seasons with the Rams, Atogwe became known as one of the league’s best ballhawks.  In 2011, he had injuries to his hamstring and knee and toe that played a part in his lack of production.

Atogwe will also visit the Detroit Lions.

At age 30, signing Atogwe would be a curious choice as the Vikings try to rebuild, but the safety position lacks the most depth on the Vikings roster with Husain Abdullah and Tyrell Johnson currently being free agents.

If you visit our Tweet GRIDiron, you will quickly realize that free agent linebacker Erin Henderson is quickly growing unhappy with the Vikings attempts to retain him.

Henderson began the day by stating, “I wish I [could] speak freely on twitter…”

Then, probably against the wishes of his agent, Henderson proceeded to speak freely on Twitter.

Henderson went undrafted four seasons ago, but last year got a chance to start alongside his brother E.J. as the team’s weakside linebacker.  He also pulled some duties in the middle, when E.J. needed to be spelled due to injury.

“What’s crazy is I’m not even asking for big money,” Tweeted Henderson. “All I want is respectable money for what I’m asked to do…”

Henderson clearly plans on continuing to be a starter in the NFL, but it sounds like the toll it takes on his body is worth more to him than the $1.2 million he made in 2011.

“I got a taste of what it means to be a starting [linebacker]. [T]rust me if the money aint right it doesn’t make sense at all…” Henderson continued.

“In a nutshell… market value and franchise value aren’t always going to match,” Henderson said. “If someone can play [three] positions [for you], their value has to go up. … I watched every single [one] of my games from last [year] [ten times] over. I know what I’m worth.”

The Vikings have reportedly been in contact with Henderson’s agent at multiple points throughout the offseason, and they have expressed their desire to keep him on the roster, but there is currently no standing offer out there.

“Not to mention they [haven’t] even [given] me an offer….” Henderson lamented on Twitter.

Henderson’s choice to vent his frustrations in a public setting may not be a wise one, and will be even less wise for Rick Spielman to respond in a public setting.

The truth is probably less sinister than some of the conspiracy theories floating around out there at the moment.  The free agency period has been very slow for the linebacker position, and much of the top talent is still available.  By all appearances, Henderson has yet to receive substantial interest from any other teams, and it is hard to blame the Vikings front office for holding tight and waiting to see where the market sets Henderson’s value.

The risk with this approach, of course, is that Henderson will grow so frustrated that he decides to ignore the Vikings moving forward and turns his attention from moving on from Minnesota.  Henderson’s risk, on the other hand, is that team’s will be turned off by his public rants and decide to pursue other talent… of which plenty is available.

Henderson needs to realize he isn’t the team’s only option to fill his shoes.  The Vikings, however, need to realize that solid talent only 25 years old is exactly what this roster needs now, and in the future.

The needs and wants seem mutual, and now we just need to see how the process plays out.

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