It's almost comical watching the media have a knee jerk reaction to Mike Zimmer's comments in regard to Johnny Manzeil ... AKA Johnny Football. Then they think to themselves, does Zim-Zim mean this ... or does he mean that ... all the time anticipating the Cleveland Brown's next complete meltdown picking in slot #4?. What? What does Cleveland have to do with this? Then the media tries to pull it all together ... making assumptions ... feeding on comments ... then they assume they know what's going on. Then an image from Apollo 13 comes to mind ... "Let's solve the problem people ... Let's not make the problem worse by Guessin'! "
Here's the rub. What if old Zim-Zim was actually telling the truth? What if his greatest fear for this franchise is to see Johnny Football available at 8. Between Spielman, Turner and old Zim-Zim they are holding onto their belly-laughing-guts ... thinking to themselves ... "What we are going to do is lay out the truth for everyone to see ... and then watch the world around us meltdown." Naw!!! Spielman doesn't live for this sort of stuff. Sure ... keep telling yourself that. It's not like a playground out there.
Point #1. Cleveland had no choice having to move up one spot in the draft as Spielman told the truth. There was a trade on the table for draft slot #3, most likely by Tampa Bay, that melted down after the Cleveland trade with this franchise. Tampa clearly coveted Trent Richardson. Cleveland just couldn't let that trade happen. Really, it wasn't Cleveland's fault that Richardson chose to take the easy path destroying his reputation in the process ... To sell one's manhood cheap.
Point #2. Old Tark puts in his 2 cents and says Manziel is the real deal. The whole world melts down. May I remind you all that according to Sir Francis, Tim Tebow was the bomb ... in his opinion. How did that turn out? Not so good apparently. What we tend to forget is Tarkenton's direct quote when asked the question, "Why doesn't he stay (throw) from the pocket?" His response, "What pocket?" It is clear that he has a man crush for just about every scrambling quarterback that's ever come down the pike to prove that his style of play was superior. With no disrespect to Johnny Football's skill or future potential in the NFL, Sir Francis was the best of his era, having to dodge 240 pound lineman that ran a 6+ second 40 yard dash. Unfortunately, Tark's era may have effectively ended the moment Bill Walsh walked onto the field, directing Joe Montana in San Francisco, understanding that Walsh stole, and then perfected, Tark's the short passing game ... well at least a little.
Regardless of trades, the first 4 picks of the 2014 draft will be for the best available talent, regardless of position, especially so, if Houston selects a quarterback in the first slot. This puts Cleveland ... once again in slot #4 ... in a precarious position to covet ... once again. So you might be asking, why was Cleveland one of the only NFL franchises to blow off Johnny Football whereas they held a special workout for Derek Carr. The answer lies in focusing on pick #26 where Cleveland is expecting Derek Carr to drop right into their lap. Since the first four picks will be the best available talent, regardless of trade, why bother with Johnny Football. Unfortunately Derek Carr won't be available at pick #26 and that my friends will unhinge Cleveland once again. Why? The answer lies in watching Brian Hoyer wiping up the field up with the Vikings in one week and then finding himself on injured reserve almost in the next. Hoyer ... Cassel ... what's the link here Viking Fans?
So what does this have to do with truth telling? That's where Rick Speilman comes into play. Rick's made it very clear that he needs to secure at least 10 draft picks in the 2014 draft and both Zim-Zim and Speilman are telling everyone that they are willing to pass on a quarterback to secure those picks. Translation ... they are not looking to add 7th round picks. Sure, your asking ... how in the world can you believe this ... after all ... it's Rick Spielman? You can start with observing all those 1-year contracts. Then consider that your answer might be found if you allow yourself to focus on pick #13, which Rick is now visually drooling over ... but don't tell anyone about it. As he's reading this, Rick is probably looking around the room looking for a camera or a microphone. Believe me ... it isn't there Rick. It's the GHOST! Of course, pick #13 belongs to the St. Louis Rams. So what is the significance of that Ram's pick??? The answer lies with understanding the needs of both franchises. Lastly, how can pick #13 be good for one organization and very bad for another ... just ask the Rams ... and they'll tell you.
The question that no one seems to be asking is why would Zim-Zim need to pass on Johnny Football? The answer lies in peering into what he built in Cincinnati. Johnny Football, with all that talent ... is nothing more than a Prima Donna. It's nothing personal ... "it is what it is". Zim-Zim believes in individuals however that individuals goals and aspirations must be aligned with the both the team and the franchise. You need to look no further than Jared Allen donning a Bears uniform as your litmus test. In the short term, Manziel may tear up the league ... but are his long term prospects more similar to Aaron Rodgers or DeSean Jackson. There, in part, is your answer. As a result, it's easy to talk about a player that you don't really want. Said another way, you don't bad mouth someone that's going to be a major part of your future. Hello! Are you getting this?
Of course, everyone and their brother has ignored the Ram's. Just ask yourself a question ... who is backing up Sam Bradford ... and although this franchise has openly stated that it is firmly in Bradford's corner ... there is no way that they can ignore that they need to cover their bets ... or best their returns on investments. They have to ensure a product ... and that product is entertainment. Can you think of a better prospect to compete against Sam Bradford other than Christian Ponder? Of all 31 other franchises that you can you think of ... is there a better landing spot for Christian Ponder than in St. Louis? For Ponder, his ego firmly believes that he can out perform Bradford and for St. Louis, there may be no better prospect to carry a clip board other than Christian Ponder. In other words, if Bradford is actually on the cusp, could you think of any better player to compete against. As for Ponder, he has earned his due in that he just might be the best back-up quarterback in the league. In short, Ponder needs to be in the best situation for Ponder as doors in St. Louis can open at any time. Keep in mind that Matt Cassel has a job. As for the Vikings, having Ponder as part of a trade with the Ram's might be in this franchises best interest as declaring Ponder a starter sometime in the future may be tantamount to dropping a nuclear bomb.
So your thinking that we'd have a shot at the 2nd pick in the draft by trading Ponder. Well ... you'd be wrong. The 2nd pick will be without doubt an impact player and there is no way St. Louis will trade that pick to the Vikings for Ponder. The 13th pick in the 2014 draft however is another story, especially if the Vikings provide what is called a sweetheart deal that just can't be ignored to secure Spielman's coveted 2014 draft picks. A Ponder trade could turn 3rd and 4th round picks into additional picks in the 2nd & 3rd rounds, and better, where Jeff Fisher ends up looking like a genius in St. Louis. A ready made fix for Sam Bradford where St. Louis gains the 8th pick to go along with the 2nd pick in the 2014 draft. Pick 2 and 8 in 2014 means they will be the unquestioned winners in 2014 with two (2) major impact players, and with additional insurance, as the final cog for Bradford and that my friends is just about impossible to ignore. Think that won't happen ... think again! Could someone else pull off an offer like that ... hardly!!!!
So what's the backlash? Well, to be direct, it once again unhinges Cleveland as their coveted quarterback is not going to be available at the 26th pick, which means they will be forced to consider once again a quarterback ... Johnny Football ... or stay the plan with the best available positional player. Sure, they'll claim their genius by not attending Manziel's pro-day ... to throw off the scent ... but all the time they'll be seething over the possibility of having to make a rash decision once again. Where this proverbial dung hits the fan is with the picks follow what will be St. Louis 8th pick in the 2014 draft as all the positional players that the Bill's, Lion's, Titan's and Giant's had planned to pick now will get shaken up irrevocably.
For example ... sure the Lions hit on MEGATRON ... but what's their history in regard to drafting wide receivers in round #1. Now, the Lions may not have a choice. The Lions drafting wide receivers looks allot like the Viking selecting first round defensive ends. What if Johnny Football were to land in Buffalo after Cleveland passed on him at 4. It's a good thing Cleveland and Buffalo are not like neighbors ... you know ... like right next to each other ... to remind the Browns of the monumental mistake that they made. As Peter Boyle repeatedly said ... Holy Crap! Well, then what happens to the Titan's and Giants that follow? You'll just have to wait and see. Hello! Are you getting this?
So what do we get to learn from all this stuff? Well ... if you're in the media ... you don't get to decide who is telling the truth and who is lying to misdirect the draft order. You know like slandering Warren Sapp by slandering his reputation so that he'd drop into your lap. Instead of guessing ... maybe we should be listening ... as a man will betray himself every time in his own words. Hey, that's not me ... it's biblical.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: April 2, 2014