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.