Until Rick Spielman’s press conference earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings news cycle was rather quiet. Sure, rumors and speculation dominated the Twitter landscape, but nothing concrete had yet to hit the Internet or the airwaves this offseason. And even with Spielman’s latest public comments, there isn’t much to glean from the general manager.
I tweeted earlier that most of Spielman’s comments were either “GM speak” or tidbits of info we’d been waiting to hear on record from the front office. Fifty-five minutes of media availability revealed little of Spielman’s current mindset, but here’s what we do know:
- Adrian Peterson could very well be done in Minnesota. You don’t say someone will “always be a Minnesota Viking” unless they’re on the way out of Winter Park.
- Sam Bradford isn’t guaranteed an extension, but Spielman’s a vocal fan of his starting quarterback.
- Teddy Bridgewater is nowhere near ready to return to the field. Thus, there is currently no Teddy vs. Sam debate.
- The offensive line is clearly Minnesota’s greatest priority; Spielman is even willing to give Matt Kalil another shot at left tackle.
So, we got a peek into Spielman’s office, but the news won’t start flying out the door until free agency opens on March 6th. At Vikings Territory, we hope the news is of the positive variety; here are our takes on the moves—like letting Adam Thielen walk—that’d leave a sour taste in our mouths.
What is one mistake you’d like the Vikings to avoid this offseason?
I think the one thing I’d like to see the Vikings *not* do in free agency is to over-estimate an existing player to a point where they pass on a substantial upgrade. Sendejo is fine, yes. Peterson was once the best in the game. Kendricks looks very promising.
With these examples and others, lie potential pitfalls this offseason, as I see it. The Vikings need talent and depth, like every other team in the NFL, and I hate the idea of them ignoring some potential free agency steals just because of the current state of the roster.
If 2016 taught fans anything, it should be that rosters transform against your will once practices and games are played. A roster will look very different, “needs” will look very different, in March as they do in December.
Spend wisely. Accumulate talent. Corral some depth. Don’t panic and overspend on “needs” while deals pass you by; get the talent and let the coaches work them into the lineup.
I appreciate Rick Spielman’s approaches to the draft and free agency, so there isn’t a whole lot that concerns me going into the offseason. Mostly we can expect him to be shrewd and precise on the open market while avoiding overpaying on big-ticket contracts (which rarely work out), and focus on value more than need in the draft. The offensive line woes have been discussed ad nauseam, and I think it’s a virtual certainty the Vikings will commit to fixing the unit as much as they can before the 2017 season.
So coming from a lower level of concern, the mistake I’d most like to see the Vikings avoid is not signing Eddie Lacy. That’s right, I want Lacy, and I’m all in. Due to his history with injuries and the buffet line, I think Lacy can be had for a very reasonable price, and it’s highly unlikely the Packers bring him back. And after watching him demolish the Vikings’ defensive front over the years (737 total yards and six touchdowns in 7 games), it’s obvious what type of extra dimension he can add to an offense when healthy and relatively slim.
I think Eddie Lacy would be the perfect compliment to McKinnon in the backfield and an overall improvement to the team. It’s a risk, sure—Lacy could eat his way off the field yet another time—but if the market shakes out as I expect, the moderate risk will be worth the potential reward.