The surprise team of 2012 is none other than our beloved Minnesota Vikings franchise. The league is dumbfounded as to our success as they've missed the heart of the story. Since opening day in 2011, thirty-four (34) players have been released from our 53 man active roster. They include:
Husain Abdullah, Xavier Adibi, Asher Allen, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Adrian Awasom, Remi Ayodele, Bernard Berrian, Lorenzo Booker, Zach Bowman, Patrick Brown, Greg Camarillo, Jon Cooper, Chris DeGeare, Ryan D'Imperio, Eric Frampton, Cedric Griffin, E.J. Henderson, Anthony Herrera, Steve Hutchinson, Tyrell Johnson, Matt Katula, Caleb King, Jim Kleinsasser, Scott Kooistra, Ryan Longwell, DeMarcus Love, Donovan McNabb, Seth Olson, Kenny Onatolu, Jarrad Page, Sage Rosenfels, Benny Sapp, Viscanthe Shiancoe & Mickey Shuler.
Some have retired & will be missed forever. Some were integral favorites for a good stretch. Others, as free agents, have moved on to what they thought would be greener pastures ... in many cases ... not so much. Others were just given an opportunity to be apart of our active roster, where the swinging door eventually found its mark.
These thirty-four (34) players represent an enormous amount of work and investment into our future. This clearly represents a departure, or better said, a clean break from business as usual. Added up, there is a great deal of money represented in these departures, although the bulk of these players were on the low end of the wage scale. Regardless of whether these players are still apart of our pay role or not, the future indicates true financial opportunity for our up & coming athletes. There is nothing like hunger that can bring out the very best in what these athletes have to offer. My only hope is that any future money ends up in the right pocket ... which is no small task.
Every move hasn't been a glaring success, where is some cases, money & production haven't aligned ... at least not yet, however the never ending struggle to improve this team at every juncture ... at every turn ... is certainly apparent.
Even though Rick Speilman was not named General Manager until January 3, 2012, with absolute control over both personnel & roster decisions, Spielman will be seen as the clear benefactor of this accomplishment. Regardless of whether the accolades should be showered upon Rick Spielman or not, what this clearly indicates is that an enormous amount of work was required to get to this point. To be successful it required having very good people that could not only evaluate talent but could evaluate the individual within the scope of the team. It also meant that once a player on the active roster was waived, to be immediately successful in this league, you required a solid coaching staff to get these player at the level of Viking football. There was also one other very important factor ... the planets needed to align perfectly in your favor, or in other words ... sometimes it's nice to have the sunshine actually find us from time to time. Good old fashioned horse trading sense didn't hurt either.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: October 24, 2012