Spielman Admits Ayodele Was A Mistake

I always think it takes a big man to admit his mistakes.

On Sunday, Rick Spielman earned a point or two in my book by admitting that it was his mistake to sign defensive tackle Remi Ayodele following the NFL Lockout last offseason.

“That’s something where we made a mistake,” Spielman said, “and I’ll put that on me making a mistake, as far as making sure that the players that we sign fit the scheme that we’re trying to run.”

Ayodele was cut by the Vikings on March 21st, only hours after the NFL announced its plan to punish the New Orleans Saints and management involved in the “BountyGate” scandal.  Ayodele, of course, was a member of the Saints during the time under scrutiny, placed a very questionable hit on Brett Favre during the 2009 NFC Championship Game, and may face a suspension as a result.

Spielman, however, says that “BountyGate” had nothing to do with the decision to release him and instead was a result of him not fitting the scheme.

“It had nothing to do with the other circumstances,” Spielman said of Ayodele’s release.  “This was purely based on a decision that didn’t live up to the billing and how he would fit into the scheme like we thought he would. Then, when we were able to sign Letroy back and Fred Evans back, we felt those guys were a better fit in what we were trying to do defensively than what Remi was for us last year.”

It was reported last season that it was Spielman’s decision to bring in Ayodele while Head Coach Leslie Frazier preferred to see long-time Viking Pat Williams return.  Ayodele was ultimately signed to a three year deal worth up to $9 million.

Just prior to Ayodele’s release, the Vikings re-signed Letroy Guion and Fred Evans and hope to see them take command of the nose tackle position moving forward.

It is inevitable that an NFL General Manager is going to make mistakes.  It is a rarity to hear one actually admit to it.  The best thing Spielman can do, however, is to learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.