Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from www.purplePTSD writer and editor of purplePTSD and VikingsTerritory, Joe Oberle.
That’s right—Yay! and Nay!—as it is (and has been) decision time for the Minnesota Vikings. A lot of decisions, in fact. The offseason breeds the potential for many decisions for the Vikings (for Minnesotans, however, it is whether to plow and shovel this latest white blessing from above or stubbornly and defiantly let it melt—but that’s another story). For the Vikings, there have been plenty of decisions made and there are plenty of questions still out there to ponder (and no Ponder to further question—sorry), so let’s take a look.
Nick Easton has decided to sign his free agent tender. That is a Yay! for the Vikings, as the offensive line took a hit this offseason with the defection of Jeremiah Sirles and retirement of Joe Berger. That left the guard position depleted (and we hope the Vikings make the decision to fill it back in the first round of the coming draft with another guard—that would be a Yay!), so the return of Easton at left guard is huge. There was never a huge question as to whether this would happen, but there is always a chance. We just home that Easton will come back healthy and strong form his late season broken ankle.
Say Nay! to acquiring free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant. Although the Vikings have been looking for some depth at the position behind starters Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, they have already made some free agent moves in the signings of Kendall Wright and Tavarres King and don’t need the instant attitude of Bryant. Things did not end well for Bryant in Dallas, and they haven’t gone too well previously on the field for him. He would want too much money and the ball far too often to do anything but divide a locker room that is pretty tight right now.
One of my biggest offseason concerns was the Vikings solidifying that No. 1 defense. And locking up linebacker Eric Kendricks with a five-year extension is a huge start in the right direction. There are other things to do in this regard in the near future (re-signing Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, for example, and not to mention Stefon Diggs on offense), but getting the man in the middle, who has lead the team in tackles several times in his young career, is great news and a definite Yay! for the defense.
“The hype is real,” Kendricks said about his team. “Everybody is super excited. We’re always excited to play football here. The locker room is one of the best, I think it’s the best locker room I’ve ever been in. We’ve got the best defense I’ve ever been on. I’m just excited to play for this team. With the addition of Kirk Cousins, it’s not going to hurt us by any means at all. I’m just excited to see how he can sling the rock. I’m excited to practice against him especially.”
General manager Rick Spielman loves to make draft day deals—and they have served him well in the past. But this year I am saying Nay! to trading down to compile more picks for “more bites at the apple.” The Vikings currently have eight picks in the draft, and their first pick comes at the end of the first round—No. 30. They can get a decent offensive lineman at that spot and trading down for more picks could dilute the opportunity.
Too often, Spielman is amassing late-round picks with all his dealing and while the picks rise in quantity, they often decrease in quality. This team has few holes in the starting lineup, although plenty of openings for depth. So, I say stand pat at 30 (unless you can move up somehow) and grab another starter for the offensive line. They did pick up Pat Elflein in the third-round last year, but it would be nice to grab one of the best guards in the reportedly guard-heavy draft. Even though trading out of the first round would make purplePTSD.com’s Day 2 Draft Party at Townhall Brewery even better, just say “nay” Rick!
Along those lines, I would say the Vikings should say Nay! To the best player available, regardless of position, if they do stay at No. 30. They don’t need a great running back (as the French castle guard says in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “We’ve already got one!” in Dalvin Cook), they don’t need to spend a first-round pick on a wide-receiver (been there, done that), and they don’t need another developmental quarterback who will do the practice squad dance all season—they are pretty good at the position. If an incredible find at defensive end or cornerback should still be sitting there and he has not dropped for off-field issues, well, then, I would reconsider my stance. But an offensive lineman (preferably one with size, speed and versatility) is the way to go, in my opinion. A relatively boring but solid pick. Just what the quarterback ordered.
And speaking of the quarterback (who the Vikings definitely said “Yay! to), I am wondering, on this that day that marked Kirk Cousins’ first workouts with the new team, whether or not there was any hardy Minnesotans who were lining up to plow out his driveway (if in fact he bought a house yet) as they did for departed QB Case Keenum? It is the Minnesota nice thing to do.
But it would have been a tall order to fill after digging yourself out from this record-breaking April snowfall, but hey, we want him to feel welcome right? We want him to win the Super Bowl and start fulfilling the incentives of that new contract, so need to pull muscles shoveling mounds of wet snow.
Speaking of the contract, I am thinking Cousins can afford to hire a plowing service, if and when he needs one. So, I am going to say Nay! to the idea of shoveling him out of the driveway, this time. Perhaps just stop by with some homemade cookies or something. No offense meant, Kirk.