Saturday, August 29, 2015

carl nicks

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The first day of free agency has come and gone and the Vikings (supposed) lack of activity has left many fans in an all-out panic. While a few teams around the league went on a spending spree and snatched up the big name players, the Vikings choose to pass and not sign anyone on the first day. Like many of you, I was a little disappointed. But it wasn’t disappointment caused by the fact that I feel the team messed up or is making the wrong decisions. Instead, it was more of a selfish disappointment. That feeling as a child when you wake up on Christmas morning and don’t necessarily have what you think you should have under the Christmas tree. When you didn’t get the monster truck you were dying for and, instead, received money bonds from your Great Aunt Betty. You don’t appreciate the bond…The bonds take time. You want the immediate  gratification of having that monster truck – of signing Vincent Jackson. You want something now.

And I understand it, I completely get it.

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Alright,  it’s day two and I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that the Vikings will be more active today.

The morning isn’t off to a good start though if you were a proponent of the Vikings bringing in stud guard Carl Nicks. Jason La Canfora is reporting that Nicks has already agreed to terms with the Buccaneers – who had tons of cap space.

While Nicks is off the board, there are still many cheaper, more economical options at guard and I can almost guarantee this position will be addressed. So be sure to check back often today as we keep you updated on all of day two’s happenings.

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In an effort to shave nearly $10 million from their salary cap commitment, the Vikings will reportedly release starting guards Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera.  The decision, which plays to the notion that they would like a younger roster, was finalized on Saturday according to multiple reports.

Both players have struggled with injuries and seen their production slip in recent seasons, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Hutchinson is welcomed back under a greatly reduced contract.  He has stated his desire to play one more NFL season.

The Vikings have in-house options to fill the guard position that include Joe Berger, Brandon Fusco, Charlie Johnson, and possibly Chris DeGeare.  Additionally, there is a lot of talent expected to be available via free agency and the draft.

These moves are sure to fuel speculation that the Vikings would like to sign Carl Nicks.

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For the past year, quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints have been attempting to negotiate a contract to keep their elite passer in New Orleans. Today, overshadowed by the revelation of the Saints dirty scheming which has absolutely infuriated me and opened old wounds I thought were stitched tightly, it was reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that Drew Brees was given the franchise tag and will remain in New Orleans (or, in other words, the two parties were unable to come to an agreement).

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Get this stupid news concerning this dirty team, which we all hate right now, off of my favorite Vikings blog!” Hold on a second, because in a roundabout way, this concerns the Vikings as well.

By franchising Brees, the Saints are in bad shape with their salary cap. I guess they’re in better shape than they would be had they actually worked out a contract, but it still isn’t looking good for them. The Saints will only have around 6 million left in cap room after using the franchise tag (maybe they can find some wiggle room in their bounty fund?). This shortage of funds will make it difficult (nearly impossible) for the Saints to retain some of their other big name free agents. More specifically, guard Carl Nicks and wide receiver Marques Colston will likely hit the open market and both players have been mentioned in various Vikings circles as players they could/should be targeting in free agency. Wide reciever Robert Meachem could become a free agent as well.

Carl Nicks would be a great addition and instant upgrade to the Vikings offensive line. If he were coupled with Matt Kalil, dare I say, we could almost overnight have one of the better offensive lines in the league.

Robert Meachem on the other hand is a little harder to gauge. Was he the product of less coverage due to the group of elite receivers around him? Did Drew Brees just make him look good? Could he really excel as a #1 receiver? These are all questions that would need to be addressed. But if the price is right, I imagine the Vikings could entertain picking up Colston.

Another issue, in light of the news of the Saints perverse bounty system, is whether or not the Vikings would want anyone from New Orleans. Granted, the potential free agents mentioned above are on offense and the Saints transgressions were by players and staff on defense (as far as we know). Still though, you have to consider that it could weigh into the team’s decision.

I wonder, if Colston or Nicks were to be Vikings when we play New Orleans again in the future, would the Saints put a bounty on them? Wouldn’t surprise me…

Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk managed to create a minor stir amongst Vikings fans on Monday when he tweeted a rumor he had heard at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

“Heard at Combine the Vikings are in mix for a few of biggest FA names,” read Rosenthal’s tweet.  “Ready to spend. Bucs as well.”

Fans should probably reign in their expectations a little as the Vikings don’t have a ton of spending power, especially when being compared to Tampa Bay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see quite a bit of action on March 13th.

So, I decided to dust off my old free agency rankings and make another list of who I think should be the Vikings top targets.  The list takes everything into consideration including salary range, age, talent level, scheme, likelihood of actually hitting the open market, and so on.

Read more after the jump.

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