Question Of The Week

Mistakes Could Cost the Vikings this Offseason

Until Rick Spielman’s press conference earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings news cycle was rather quiet. Sure, rumors and speculation dominated the Twitter landscape, but nothing concrete had yet to hit the Internet or the airwaves this offseason. And even with Spielman’s latest public comments, there isn’t much to glean from the general manager.

I tweeted earlier that most of Spielman’s comments were either “GM speak” or tidbits of info we’d been waiting to hear on record from the front office. Fifty-five minutes of media availability revealed little of Spielman’s current mindset, but here’s what we do know:

So, we got a peek into Spielman’s office, but the news won’t start flying out the door until free agency opens on March 6th. At Vikings Territory, we hope the news is of the positive variety; here are our takes on the moves—like letting Adam Thielen walk—that’d leave a sour taste in our mouths.

What is one mistake you’d like the Vikings to avoid this offseason?

Adam Warwas

I think the one thing I’d like to see the Vikings *not* do in free agency is to over-estimate an existing player to a point where they pass on a substantial upgrade. Sendejo is fine, yes. Peterson was once the best in the game. Kendricks looks very promising.

With these examples and others, lie potential pitfalls this offseason, as I see it. The Vikings need talent and depth, like every other team in the NFL, and I hate the idea of them ignoring some potential free agency steals just because of the current state of the roster.

If 2016 taught fans anything, it should be that rosters transform against your will once practices and games are played. A roster will look very different, “needs” will look very different, in March as they do in December.

Spend wisely. Accumulate talent. Corral some depth. Don’t panic and overspend on “needs” while deals pass you by; get the talent and let the coaches work them into the lineup.

Sam Neumann

I appreciate Rick Spielman’s approaches to the draft and free agency, so there isn’t a whole lot that concerns me going into the offseason. Mostly we can expect him to be shrewd and precise on the open market while avoiding overpaying on big-ticket contracts (which rarely work out), and focus on value more than need in the draft. The offensive line woes have been discussed ad nauseam, and I think it’s a virtual certainty the Vikings will commit to fixing the unit as much as they can before the 2017 season.

So coming from a lower level of concern, the mistake I’d most like to see the Vikings avoid is not signing Eddie Lacy. That’s right, I want Lacy, and I’m all in. Due to his history with injuries and the buffet line, I think Lacy can be had for a very reasonable price, and it’s highly unlikely the Packers bring him back. And after watching him demolish the Vikings’ defensive front over the years (737 total yards and six touchdowns in 7 games), it’s obvious what type of extra dimension he can add to an offense when healthy and relatively slim.

I think Eddie Lacy would be the perfect compliment to McKinnon in the backfield and an overall improvement to the team. It’s a risk, sure—Lacy could eat his way off the field yet another time—but if the market shakes out as I expect, the moderate risk will be worth the potential reward.


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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. You have available offensive lineman from denver, green bay and detriot. Grab 3 in free agency. Trade AP for 2 round dradt pick and 4th or even 5th rounder. That gives you 10 picks in this draft. You can trade 1 second and a 4th or 5th you just got for AP. Get into mid to late 1st round to grab a good offensive lineman. Now you still have your second round pick use that on defence ? Lineman or safty help ? Your offensive would be set now ?

    1. Hey Matthew, thanks for the comment. I think the Vikings will have a near impossible time trading Peterson. And I think it would be nothing short of a miracle if we could get a 2nd rounder for him. His price tag is just too high and other teams have to know that the Vikings are going to let him walk instead of bringing him back at that price tag.

      I generally agree with your other strategy though and think obviously the Vikings need to heavily invest in the o-line using both FA and the Draft.

  2. Let Peterson walk, pick up in free agency 2 offensive lineman and draft 3 offensive lineman and put together a solid line on offense which is your weakest link at this time. Then pick up a free agency running back and draft a running back. Draft a Qb corner back and a old. No one is worth 18 million at 32 and Adria has to realize that

    1. First and foremost – stop assuming that the only way the Vikings can keep AP is we have to pay out 18M. No one is going to pay AP 18M…and AP knows that…he isn’t going to expect that kind of $$; work a structured contract for AP, put in some bonus’/incentives. One thing we ALL should know by now about AP, don’t bet against him! Just don’t do it. Keep him on the team for a 1/3 of that price tag with bonus/incentive options…plus give him some guaranteed money.

      Shore up the OL!! Keeping Peterson with a much better OL and a whole off-season with Pat Shurmur will provide so many options. We can hang onto AP at a bargain price and provided we fix most of the OL issues, the possibilities for this team are endless.

      Just my shade tree analysis.

  3. Eddie Lacy? absolutely no way. i don’t want that lazy fat guy. different FA or draft RB later in draft

    1. Though he’s a Packer and I despise him, I’ don’t think I could call him lazy considering he probably has more athleticism in his big toe than I have right now…

      Anyway, it is an odd move but, ironically, I think it’s the type of thing that I could see panning out… I wouldn’t hate it if the price was right. However, I think there are much, much more pressing needs.

      Thanks for the comment Zach

        1. Demarco Murray is another FA RB that just might be available if TN decides to go all in on Henry. But he would likely be much more expensive than Lacy or Blount.

  4. I’m not giving our Admin a pass for their drafting skills, not when I think about the “best blocking receiver” we took last year.

    1. Give Treadwell some time.

      However, I’m with you on not giving them a pass. But that’s because of the huge problem they’ve had finding valuable players for the offensive line.

      1. Totally agree…Coach Zimmer is not big on expediting the role playing time of rookies, regardless whether or not they were 1st round picks. All things considered, we were decimated on that OL, it was amazing we got as much production on offense as we did considering the issues we had.

        If, and I repeat, IF we can stay relatively healthy on the OL – build on continuity/chemistry, we can be a very dangerous offense. Some players need a bit more time to grow and blossom…look at Patterson, aka “Flash” , he was really starting to put together a decent year…I think he can easily be a 1,000 yard receiver. I am so glad the Vikes didn’t release him…there is more potential with him.

        Look at “undrafted” Thielen – almost a 1,000 yards this year. Who saw that coming?
        Look at Pro Bowler Rhodes, most folks had left him as a wasted 1st round pick…it just took him a couple of years…now he is one of the best CBs in the league.

        Same to be said with Treadwell…he has the potential, just have some patience.

  5. Don’t pass on a QB early in the draft if there’s a guy there they like. They would probably get killed by most fans if they took a QB with their first pick, but if they scout a guy and think he could be a franchise signal caller they should pull the trigger. Frankly I feel this way about every draft once you get out of the first round, but people should be open minded if this were to happen come April. I don’t have much faith Teddy is ever coming back and while I’m actually fine with Bradford, I’m worried about the type of money he’s going to be looking for on his next contract. They presently have 0 QB’s under contract for 2018, it’s a similar situation to when they took Rudolph with 3 solid TE’s on the roster but only on one year deals. Backlash be damned, take a QB if you think he’s the real deal.
    Don’t be scared off by Whitworth’s age. I’m not a believer in short term rentals for a football team, but when you’ve let your offensive line turn into a complete dumpster fire you need to deal with it. Spielman’s admission on how long it takes lineman to mature would lead me to believe they realize they aren’t going to magically find 2 instant starters late in this years draft. They are going to need to spend some money and I would almost prefer they go with a high dollar short term deal on the guy that has stayed relatively healthy and played well the last couple years than give Kalil or any of the other often injured LT’s on the market a shot. They need reliable and that’s what this guy has been.
    I also completely agree with Adam on not overestimating your current talent. CB in particular is a spot they should be looking hard for bargains to compete with the younger guys who haven’t proven anything yet.