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I have no excuse for my absence the last few days other than the fact that moving closer to family means you get to enjoy things with family, and in this case that was Mom’s Thanksgiving Dinner. Thanks Mom!
Anyways, I wanted to let you all know that I plan on taking a break from turkey sandwiches long enough to host a live chat for Sunday’s divisional matchup in Chicago (which will feature Jay Cutler, but not Percy Harvin) as the Vikings start their post-bye playoff chase.
Be here a few minutes before kickoff and enjoy the game with your VT friends.
I’ll bring the pumpkin pie!
Sorry for the lack of posts here lately, but every time I sit down to write during this bye week I come up empty handed, and I just can’t bring myself to write about the Draft yet since the Vikings are still in the playoff hunt.
Leave it to Tom Pelissero, however, to give me something to regurgitate and then opine about.
Pelissero recently got a chance to talk with G.M. Rick Spielman about his decision to woe tight end John Carlson away from Kansas City with big bucks and sign the unheralded veteran despite a recent lack of production and knack for being injured.
“I know what you see out in practice and how he works in practice and the types of catches that he does make in practice,” said Spielman of his veteran tight end. “That he got hurt and missed all that part of that training camp (with a knee injury) kind of set him back, especially when you’re trying to learn a new scheme. But sometimes, some of these veterans don’t work out as well until maybe their second year.”
“John looked healthy (on Sunday),” Spielman continued. “I know he caught that one (slide) route and you saw that burst that we have seen in the past when he sprinted up afterwards. The one thing that he’s done that he doesn’t get enough credit for is he’s done an incredible job blocking for us. I think that whole tight end group is the key to the way Adrian (Peterson)’s had so much success on the field as well, along with our offensive line. But just haven’t seemed to be able to get John going (as a receiver).”
“I think John Carlson has a lot of football (left) and is a very good football player for us and will be a good football player in the future,” Spielman reiterated.
Now, I have never been as down on Spielman’s decision to sign Carlson, as he has been a solid tight end in the past. I’ve always liked Carlson’s abilities, personally, when observing from afar.
What doesn’t sit well with me is that the money spent on Carlson completely ignored his tendency to get injured, and he has already been injured twice as a Viking, and also ignored a clear need at wide receiver.
Sure, when the Vikings signed Carlson they thought they would have Greg Childs at their disposal, but they also didn’t know they would have Jerome Simpson (who is another questionable signing as it is). Instead, the Vikings decided to get cheap when courting wide outs such as James Jones who has cured his drops, 42 catches, 485 yards, and eight touchdowns this season.
Spielman’s comment about not being able to get Carlson going as a receiver might indicate he thinks the problem lies more with Bill Musgrave’s offense than it does on Carlson himself. If Musgrave ends up being on his way out of Minnesota after this season, however, then Carlson won’t be the only tight end learning a new scheme in 2013.
Coming off of a big win, the Vikings bye week has not been completely quiet, and I have plenty of great reads to share with you:
A headline that utilizes both the word “bye” and the word “arrest” isn’t usually a good thing for our Vikings, but on Tuesday Adrian Peterson left a Houston court room victorious. Charges stemming from his offseason arrest for resisting arrest have been dismissed by a grand jury.
The best account of the proceedings can be read right here at PFT, for those interested in the details, and it is actually pretty interesting.
Not only does the settling of this legal matter make life easier for the NFL’s leading rusher, but it should also serve as a reminder to all of the other players on the roster during their off time to keep their wits about them and stay out of trouble.
We don’t want those words to appear in any more headlines this week.
“The People’s Stadium” is named as such simply because it will be constructed entirely of the nerves and patience of Vikings fans.
With nothing left to do but design and build the damned thing, Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton opened a can of worms on Tuesday by sending a scathing letter to the Vikings organization regarding the team’s intent to use Personal Seat Licenses as a funding avenue.
“I strongly oppose shifting any part of the team’s responsibility for those costs onto Minnesota Vikings fans,” Dayton said in the letter sent to the Wilfs. “This Private Contribution is your responsibility, not theirs.”
The legislation passed to build the stadium does include provisions allowing the team to levy PSL’s, as has been very well laid out here by 1500 ESPN, but Dayton appoints the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission and could potentially have enough pull to throw a big wrench into everything.
The truth is that this whole issue came about because the team sent out a survey seeking input on the new stadium, and one of these questions was about PSL’s, a commonly used fee around the nation. The Vikings were not very happy with this issue being the news of the day, and made a statement later on Tuesday.
“The Minnesota Vikings greatly appreciate Governor Mark Dayton’s support for the new multi-purpose stadium for the Vikings and the State of Minnesota. However, we are disappointed by his recent letter to the team, which does not recognize a key component of the stadium agreement struck by the Vikings, State and Local leaders this past spring.
The stadium bill, and the prior term sheet, that was negotiated with the Vikings over the last two legislative sessions by the Governor’s own representatives and legislative leaders, includes provisions that expressly authorize the sale of stadium builder’s licenses and include the proceeds of any sale in the project budget. Stadium builder’s licenses were vetted by the Legislature, testified to by Vikings and State of Minnesota negotiators, and most importantly, specifically reflected in the stadium legislation that was passed and signed by the Governor.
The Vikings look forward to discussing this issue and moving forward with the agreement that was completed after many long years of effort.”
I’m not sure what exactly Dayton is trying to accomplish here. If the Vikings now gouge extra dollars out of Minnesotans through the use of PSL’s, via the stadium legislation he endorsed, then he looks foolish.
However, if he now backs down after creating such a stir, then looks, umm… foolish.
Oh, and all of this has really only come up because he drew attention to it which makes him look… well, you get the point.
The truth is that I have yet to hear an NFL observer or Vikings fan that is really surprised by the fact that the team could utilize PSL’s. In the world of new NFL stadiums it is pretty much the norm.
Unfortunately for America in general, politicians opposing the very things they campaign for (or campaigning for the very things they oppose) has also become the norm.
It is too bad that more people don’t find red tape interesting, because then Dayton could sell PSL’s at the State Capitol to pay for the $60 million in improvements to the building that were approved around the same time as the stadium.
If he could, I’m willing to bet he would.
In five seasons with the Vikings, defensive end Ray Edwards recorded 29.5 sacks, including 16.5 in his last two seasons with the club. Following the 2010 season, the Vikings opted to use their franchise tag on linebacker Chad Greenway and let Ray Edwards walk in free agency.
The Falcons gave Edwards a five year deal worth up to $27.5 million with an $11 million guarantee, and a number of Vikings fans balked at the idea of turning over the reins to Brian Robison on a full time basis when Edwards ended up getting such a reasonable contract.
As it turns out, however, the Vikings knew what they were doing and Edwards’ contract no longer looks reasonable.
Over the last two seasons Edwards has played in 25 games and only netted 3.5 sacks for the Falcons with 42 tackles and three defended passes. Conversely, Robison has 13 sacks and eight batted passes with 71 tackles over the course of 26 games.
Robison’s current contract is a three year deal worth $14.1 million and included a $6.5 million signing bonus.
If the numbers and salaries aren’t enough evidence that the Vikings front office deserves credit for choosing Robison over Edwards, then the breaking news from Monday night will seal the deal.
The 8-1 Atlanta Falcons have waived the 27 year old Edwards.
Edwards, who has been hampered by knee problems of late, may get claimed via the waivers process and will certainly get a shot somewhere else even if he isn’t claimed. It will be interesting to see where he ends up and how successful he ends up being.