Friday, February 27, 2015
Blog Page 194

[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.

Back when mid-season reports broke that the Vikings were in talks with right tackle Phil Loadholt I opined that they need not rush into a blockbuster deal with a simply above-average option that played better during his contract year, especially with a whole lot of options existing in free agency and the Draft.

A Pro Football Talk article recently confirmed that this notion exists in NFL front offices.  With so many tackle options, especially right tackle options, set to be available to teams there seems to be little reason to shell out the big money.

Loadholt is not a bad option moving forward, especially with continuity always acting as an added bonus, but he is far from the only option.

Left tackle isn’t going to be a priority this offseason, with Matt Kalil looking like the real deal, but things are unsettled on the right side and towards the bottom of the depth chart.  Lets take a look at what options exist:

Top Tier

1.  Sebastian Vollmer, NE

You are going to see most rankings have Jake Long or Ryan Clady in this spot, but they will demand left tackle money, and the Vikings are set on the left side with Kalil holding down the post.  It isn’t that Kalil or one of these guys couldn’t play on the right side, it’s that the Vikings probably don’t want to pay them to.  Vollmer is arguably the best right tackle in the NFL and will demand a fair amount of money, but in my mind would present a clear upgrade over Loadholt.

Well, it has been a while since we have done our “links” segment, but we have some stories to direct you towards on this football-less Sunday.

  • Adrian Peterson isn’t the only Vikings to ever be named the NFL’s MVP.  Here is a look at the other two Vikings to win the honor.
  • It is no secret that Jerome Felton is someone we would all like to see sign a new contract in the very near future.  Here is why.
  • It seems to be a trending prediction to put Greg Jennings in purple next season.
  • Whether or not the Vikings have a sixth round pick this year, or not, has become somewhat of a mystery.
  • Another series of questions about Percy Harvin leaves us without any concrete answers.
  • Mike Singletary is still trying to find a way out of Minnesota.
  • Think the Vikings have a good shot at a 2013 Super Bowl?  Place your bet now.
  • “Sources” say that Percy Harvin was not placed on injured reserve because of injury, but because of his attitude, and that the team plans to move on.
  • Former Vikings great Matt Birk hasn’t yet decided if his career will end with Super Bowl win.
  • Minnesota and the Vikings are hoping to host the Super Bowl in 2018.
  • One of the best analytical sites on the internet gives us the Vikings top three needs.  I’d like to tell you there is a shocking surprise, but…
  • The Giants have cast off a few defenders already, and they might be a good fit in Minnesota.
  • A free agent wide receiver like Donald Jones makes plenty of sense for the receiver-needy Vikings.
  • A claim that local beat writers for the Vikings are too often being cheerleaders for the team, and for Christian Ponder.
  • The NFL Scouting Combine is fast approaching and here is a complete list of the 333 prospects that have been invited.
  • Now that Cris Carter is in Canton, which Vikings greats should we champion next?
  • And, here it is, your moment of Zen:

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

With neither Charlie Johnson or Brandon Fusco leaving an overly great impression as starters last season, the Vikings would be foolish to not explore options that might exist to upgrade either the left or right side of the offensive line.

Or both.

In fact, after pouring through offensive free agent rankings that are unlikely to be real relevant to the Vikings, we have finally found a position that could be of interest.  The Vikings could obviously do better than what they have and this group of free agents has some really solid options to consider.

Johnson and Fusco are still under contract next season, and the Vikings gave Troy Kropog a raise to keep him on their roster and will be a restricted free agent, but none of these guys are above being unseated.

Top Tier

1.  Andy Levitre, BUF

Poor Bills.  They just never seem to get any better, and this year they stand to lose some serious young talent to free agency.  With only one franchise tag at their disposal, it seems highly unlikely that both Levitre and safety Jairus Byrd stay put.  If Levitre hits the market he will command some big money, but that shouldn’t deter the Vikings from giving his agent a call to set up a visit.

2.  Louis Vasquez, SD

Unlike Levitre, I don’t really see Vasquez making it to the free agent market.  The Chargers are still wincing as a result of letting Vincent Jackson get away, and they can’t afford any more downgrades on offense.  At only 26 years old, the Chargers need to be willing to pay the man, because plenty others won’t hesitate.

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