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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Future Plan 
Don't buy into these ideas that we need to change Teddy's throwing motion or that we are a couple players away from a championship ... as that is all a bunch of hog wash.  You'd be better off just replacing your place kicker with an expected level of excellence regardless of ability.  We should no longer accept levels of substandard play ... is that direct enough for you?

The Minnesota Vikings won the 2015 NFC North division title because of the plan put in place by Rick Speilman, Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner ... in no particular order of importance.  These three have found a way to trust themselves collectively ... and have long since shelved their egos for the greater good ... known as team.  We are all collectively very lucky to have found this  combination and we hope their bond grows and grows.  They have withstood incredible set backs, only to rely upon each aspect of their plan to survive.  This is clearly different from our sordid past.

In regard to the upcoming draft, the prime focus will be on our number 1 pick, selecting in the 23rd spot.  Knowing that Mr. football was selected at 22 and Bridgewater was selected at 32, the Vikings should seriously consider unloading this pick ... as some pure talent is sure to drop through the ranks like A. A. Ron Rodgers did ... meaning value to a high 2nd round pick franchise ... willing to deal additional picks. 
As this Vikings franchise is well aware ... hope, for another franchise ... is worth a great deal and many are now willing to replicate Spielman's success.  We need to continue to look at cards to upgrade over some of the lingering effects of the prior regime.

In regard to our offensive line, neither Sullivan or Loadholt can be counted on as part of our future.  Sullivan's back is a huge question mark and Loadholt has been unavailable for the better part of two years.  Joe Berger & Mike Harris played well enough but upgrade potential ... especially long term solutions ... is apparent.  Fusco, as a poster child for the prior regime ... does not look to be a long term solution.  Hot and cold Kalil is not a cost benefit ... especially long term ... due in part to his draft order.  Shepard, Easton, Kerin & Sirles provided much needed depth but were the bulk of these moves to be considered reactions, or long term solutions.      

What Stephon Diggs, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendrick & T. J. Clemmings represent is a fierce game of poker where Speilman & Zimmer took the opportunity of looking at additional cards to seriously upgrade their poker hands.  This methodology has paid off handsomely and there is absolutely nothing that should prevent them from continuing in this same aggressive manner ... as the benefits throughout other franchises are apparent by their moves.  Except for Cleveland ... everyone has prospered ... and no one will ever be allowed to forget the prime carrot that Emmitt Smith was a Viking draft pick.

We need fresh candidates at offensive tackle, guard and center that provide long term solutions.  We need to have Chad Greenway's replacement at line backer ... someone to pair with Kendrick's and Barr.  We can also use a dominate upgrade along the defensive line however great defensive ends are very hard to come by.  We need to seriously upgrade our competition at safety.  We need a new place kicker and we need to upgrade our depth everywhere to fill-in the needs of our departing free agents.  This is the reality.  

As for free agency, there is zero confidence in signing any high dollar athlete.  These contract only work out for the individual ... not the franchise.  This franchise now has the benefit of seeing what the draft can do and has become patient in regard to signing high dollar headaches.  This franchise also has serious long term investments on our own roster to consider first.  We need to balance the equation being very careful not to overpay for our own athletes versus shipping them out for future draft considerations.  The key is to identify these player/agent positions early ... well before the perspective due dates ... to key on internal value versus trade value.  Harrison Smith should now be under his long term deal ... and because his is not ...  he should be a prime candidate to be dealt for picks.  A one year investment only in his regard is a huge mistake.  If he wants out of this title ... we should give him his wish.

Priority Free agent signings include: Ellison, Line, Thielen, Bykowski.  The rest should only be considered if available as bargains only.

There are also several players under contract that want to be apart of a shot at this upcoming title.  Some will be willing to renegotiate a much more reasonable salary for a term beyond a non-guaranteed 1 year deal that could be yanked from under their feet.  This Vikings franchise is in the drivers seat ... a far cry from the past where players seemed to hold all the cards.  It sounds bad but it is in fact very good for the players as it is the franchises foundation that means everything ... not individual-agent-greed.

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: January 20, 2016