Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monthly Archives: February 2013

[NOTE:  Click the links to see our free agency rankings for quarterbacksrunning backsfullbacks,tight endscentersguardsoffensive tackles, and wide receivers.  We’ll continue our way through all of the positions this week.]

The Vikings operated under the whole “safeties don’t really have a huge impact in our defensive scheme” mentality for a long time, but Harrison Smith blew the lid off that theory in his rookie year.  Seeing what Smith could do has Vikings fans salivating for another top notch safety to play next to him.

Mistral Raymond and Robert Blanton would provide some decent depth at the position if the Vikings decided to bring in a new starting safety, and it is still possible that they could re-sign Jamarca Sanford to compete and provide added depth.

Here is who might be available next month:

Top Tier

I really only put one player in this category, and that player is Jairus Byrd from the Bills, who might hit the open market with the Bills having a lot of offseason issues to attend to.  Of all the free agents in all of the positions, Byrd has to be in my top three favorite targets for Minnesota.  With decent run support skills, some of the best coverage skills in the league, and a nose for the football it is no wonder that Byrd grades out as an elite safety in this league.

Did you know that Percy Harvin is unpredictable and seems to be unhappy?  Did you know he would like to get a contract extension?  Did you know he would like to make a lot more money than he makes right now?  Did you know he might be traded?  Did you know he could end up holding out?

For some odd reason, these possibilities are once again being regurgitated by almost every major news outlet around, and it is starting to get very annoying because nobody is really adding anything to the conversation that we didn’t already know two months ago.

So, consider this a sort of public service announcement I guess: Try not to sweat all the “reports” coming out, as they are simply being written to create a sense of imminent drama that won’t come to fruition for about another month at the earliest.

Still, let’s review the different ways this could possibly play out:

TRADE:  Yes, the Vikings trading Percy Harvin seems like a very good possibility, if they can someone to meet their demands.  Vikings fans should temper their expectations, however, as Miami only received two third round picks in return for Brandon Marshall.  I’m not saying the Vikings won’t get more for Harvin, but the trade package is likely to underwhelm a good portion of the fan base.

PAY:  Harvin is a game changer, without a doubt, and likely wants to be paid like the MVP candidate that he was in the first half of 2012.  His agent, Joel Segal, managed to get five years and $42.5 million for Pierre Garcon during last year’s free agency spending spree.  The Vikings have more leverage with Harvin, because he has one more year on his contract and two years of franchise tag eligibility, but he is also a far superior talent to Garcon.  I would expect him to sign a deal in excess of $55 million (5 years) with at least $25 million guaranteed.

Dig In:  The Vikings may have actually gained some leverage when Harvin recently received a pay bump for next season, because he stands to lose more money if he holds out.  Harvin could hold out until week 10 without seeing his contract year toll, but the Vikings may not mind that so much.  Harvin is the type of player that you almost expect to only play a partial season anyways, and they could have him for the second half of the season this year, and possibly a playoff run, by letting him lose as many game checks as he wants through the first half.  Don’t underestimate the leverage the Vikings have.  They could simply franchise him in 2014 and deal him away at that point.

UPDATE:  As some of our great Twitter followers have pointed out, Harvin’s first name is actually “William.”  So… The situation regarding our smart ass headlines is fluid.

It was only a matter of time, with no NFL team really wanting to have their head coach become a lame duck, before word would emerge that Leslie Frazier received an extension from the Vikings.

Frazier took a 3-13 football team and helped transform them into a 10-6 playoff team in the span of just one year.  He received votes for the Coach of the Year Award and has been praised for his calm demeanor when facing some very tough issues.

Tuesday, word of his extension did indeed hit the internet, and some that doubt Frazier’s ability to lead a team to a Super Bowl will be relieved to hear that his contract only runs through 2014.  However, Frazier’s advocates amongst the fan base might feel like the team didn’t give him a big enough vote of confidence.

The Associated Press erroneously reported that Frazier received a multi-year extension, but the truth is that the team simply picked up an option contained within his current deal that tacks on one more year.

The Vikings announced the move Tuesday evening.

“Coach Frazier has done a remarkable job in building a strong foundation for the Minnesota Vikings and creating a very positive future,” Vikings president Mark Wilf said in the statement.  “We value his leadership and look forward to working with him for many years to come.”

Financial terms are not known, but since there is no impact on the salary cap in regards to coaching salaries, most fans will not care at all what the Vikings are paying Frazier.

Unless another deal is reached between Frazier and the Vikings, we can plan on being right back in this same position at this time next year, with Frazier once again approaching a lame duck season.

[NOTE:  Click the links to see our free agency rankings for quarterbacksrunning backsfullbacks,tight ends, centers, guards, and offensive tackles.  We’ll continue our way through all of the positions this week.]

The media is currently in the middle of regurgitating old Percy Harvin storylines, but the truth is that nobody has any idea how that whole situation is going to shake out.  What we do know is that the Vikings need to arm their offense with pass catching weapons, and losing a guy like Harvin would be one huge step backwards, which is not a direction they can really afford to go in.

The Vikings need so much help at receiver, in fact, I would consider almost every option to be viable and would fully expect to see some fireworks during free agency.  Here are some of the options:

Top Tier

1.  Dwayne Bowe, KC

There is no doubt that Bowe’s career has been plagued by inconsistencies and a knucklehead attitude.  With that being said, the guy is very talented and has produced at a high level despite poor quarterbacks filtering through Kansas City over the years, and that offense misses him greatly when he isn’t there.  He would immediately provide some legitimacy to the Vikings offense.

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Ray Edwards has had quite the downward spiral lately when it comes to his NFL career.  Still, Edwards has once again fallen back on his true love for boxing.

Normally I wouldn’t give a former Viking’s extracurricular activities much thought on these pages, but the video evidence of Edwards’ most recent fight is just far too great to pass up.

In the video you will see Edwards squaring off against what appears to be one of Willy Wonka’s slave laborers with self-esteem issues.  I don’t know why anyone would have bet against Edwards, or why anyone would have bet against anything other than a first round TKO, but something tells me there was some gambling involved in this little stunt.

Jeff Warner is Edwards’ boxing manager and he has quite the history on him.  Various stories have been reported over the years of Warner fixing matches.  Also, the State’s of Minnesota and Iowa have banned him from producing a fighter unless they get to pick the opponent, according to one of those stories.  He has also received plenty of flak over the years for pulling men out of homeless shelters to fight against his boxers.

This latest fight Edwards took part in took place in North Dakota.

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