Monday, January 22, 2018

Normally I try to do this feature on Wednesdays.  On Wednesday there wasn’t enough news floating around to make it worth.

Something changed.

I can’t remember what exactly that was.

But if you give me $10,000 I might suddenly be able to recall.

Well, shoot, here I thought the post below this one was me taking an unpopular and unique stance on the whole “bountygate” brouhaha.

Guess not.

In the hours since I penned that plenty of others have suggested the practice of bounty hunting in the NFL is no surprise, that the Saints simply got caught, and I have even seen suggestions elsewhere that the NFL should punish them by taking away their rights to a 2012 franchise tag.

Now, I know the Vikings aren’t the only team affected over the last two or three years by Gregg Williams and his unacceptable bounty program, but it is clear they are among the most affected.

Reports have emerged that prior to the 2009 NFC Championship game linebacker Jonathan Vilma threw ten grand on a table and said it would go the player that knocked quarterback Brett Favre out of the game.

As us Vikings fans remember well, that game featured plenty of cheap shots to Favre and it was quite a feat that he was able to finish the game (badly).  This scandal also brings up memories of Adrian Peterson indicating Jabari Greer excessively twisted his ankle on the bottom of a pile in 2011, which nearly caused him to lose his cool.

We know the Saints are going to get punished and I still think there is a case to be made that the team should have their franchise tag revoked this offseason, but is this a case in which the NFL’s punishment should include payment to the team(s) affected by the broken rules?

It wouldn’t be the first time the league did something like that.

In 2008, the NFL found that the 49ers had been tampering with Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs, talking contract with him before they had the right to do so, and San Francisco had to forfeit their fifth round draft pick as a result.  The two teams were also forced to swap third round picks, increasing Chicago’s draft position in that round.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that plenty of other factors didn’t play into the Vikings loss to the Saints that postseason (ahem, twelve men in the huddle), but there could be a slight chance that the team is in line to receive compensation of some sort for being on the receiving end of Williams’ tactics.

Let’s hear it Vikings Territory, do you think the Vikings should get something out of this?  If so, what should they get?

New Orleans is the center of the latest, greatest controversy in the NFL as it has been uncovered by an NFL investigation that the Saints, led by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, paid bounties out to players on defense for injuring opponents.  Brett Favre, not to anyone’s surprise, was obviously a target during the 2009 NFC Championship game.

Now, I’m really not that surprised, shocked, and quite honestly not all that upset.

Bounties have long been rumored to be a part of the NFL, and the Saints were just dumb enough to get caught.  I think bounties are likely an unspoken truth similar to taping opponents signals (spygate) and tampering just prior to free agency.

Still, being dumb enough to get caught partaking in such a barbaric practice means you must be punished.  Rumor has it that punishments could include cash fines, suspensions, and the loss of draft picks.

I have a better idea, but the league needs to act fast.

Take away their right to use a franchise tag this year.  If you do that, then Drew Brees might just hit the open market, which would surely doom the franchise to years of awful play at the quarterback position.

There, I said it.

It is pretty likely that the St. Louis Rams will end up selling the second pick of the 2012 NFL Draft to the highest bidder. There are multiple teams out there that are willing to pay for him… and I imagine they are willing to pay a lot. For this reason, over the past few days, there have been various articles claiming that the Vikings win over the Redskins in late December may have been the costliest in Vikings history because it moved the Rams up to the number 2 spot (as well as caused a major injury to Adrian Peterson). There have also been articles claiming that the Vikings won’t likely have many interested in trading with them at the third spot if RGIII is off the board.

While I would agree that if Griffin is taken with the #2 pick (which is very likely) there will be less interest in the third pick, I do believe that there is still opportunity for a trade to happen. And here’s a good reason/example:

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For the next 32 days (give or take) I want to take Vikings Territory on a journey through the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft by allowing you to vote on each pick on a day-by-day basis.  The picks will be decided by who gets the majority of the votes and the results will be posted here, updated daily.

In the “analysis” section of the grid I will pick a comment that I feel best describes the rationale behind the choice, so be sure to leave a comment stating your reasoning.

Today, we will start you off with an easy one, as the Colts are on the clock with the first overall pick.