Rick Spielman confirmed on Thursday that the Vikings are not going to use their franchise tag on any of their pending free agents this offseason.
Considering the talent, or lack thereof, of the players set to possibly become unrestricted free agents the decision should come as no surprise to anyone.
I feel like I have been pretty supportive of outside linebacker Erin Henderson over the years, but Pro Football Focus’s high rating of Henderson’s 2011 performance has led to some outlandish speculation that the Vikings should use the tag on him.
In the end, however, Henderson was an average player on a horrible team. He is in no way worth the money he would get from a franchise tag, but a contract extension should be in the works as long as Henderson hasn’t overvalued himself like PFF has.
Spielman also made clear that decisions on the Henderson brothers would be handled individually, and their relation would have no bearing on the front office’s evaluation of their value.
“That’s tough business decisions,” Spielman said. “But that’s the hardest part, is trying to take the human element out of it and just trying to do the best business decision you can make.”
It also sounds like the Vikings will finalize decisions on their roster and pending free agents by the end of next week, which means one very important thing: I need to finish up my “Offseason Preview” segments real quick like.
Free agency starts on March 13th and the Vikings are expected to be active prior to that date releasing, re-signing, and restructuring their existing contracts to solidify positions and clear cap space. That process is getting underway this week in Indy, as nearly everybody is there, including agents for the players in question.
“We’re talking to everyone’s agent, those guys, and (finding out) if they’re interested in that or not interested in that,” Spielman said. “We might not be interested in restructuring. We may be just be ready to move on, too.”
Steve Hutchinson, Cedric Griffin, and Anthony Herrera continue to be hot topics as these decisions loom.