The entire league for some time now has been trying to wedge Adrian Peterson, our franchise player, away from the Minnesota Vikings. The latest bit of fodder is to now point at the structure of his contract as an indication that he about to be jettisoned out of Minnesota. To which we say quite clearly ... that a whole lotta' Bunk!
The sum of their reasoning is outright comical, however its intended purpose is to damage Adrian Peterson relationship and work environment within this organization. It is also pressuring AD into capitulating in regard to bringing this franchise its first Super Bowl Championship.
Of course, they always first point out that this is a pass happy league where the running back has been destined for the trash heap. Really! So what's Eddie Lacey doing in Green Bay ... holding Aaron Rodgers jock strap. Really! Just take a look at all those running backs that are now in San Francisco. In fact Jermichael James just might end up being cut outright, just due impart to numbers, but there's hope for him as a special teamer, but that demotion will be hard to swallow rather than being outright released. It's as if Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are the model of the league. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the pass happy Peyton Manning that won last years Super Bowl .... NOT!!! Hasn't anyone notice that the Patriot's lost their last two Super Bowls in a row to the Giants. Hasn't anyone noticed that the teams that couldn't run in the playoffs were the teams with early exits.
Then they point to the export of Chris Johnson as the key indicator that the running back is no longer relevant in this league. Hey this guy recorded a 2000+ yard season just like Adrian Peterson and he was shipped off on a rail. So it just makes sense to do the same with AD. With that reasoning we are all wondering if the Giants are about to cut Eli Manning due in part to Christian Ponders play. This reasoning is ludicrous ... but still, it's given relevance because the target is to attack AD's foundation within this organization and there's nothing like an unfounded rumor to get the ball rolling.
There are 31 other franchises that are begging the commissioner to intervene directly to get AD away from the Minnesota Vikings franchise. They point to Barry Sanders as he floundered in Detroit. Hey People ... this isn't Detroit and sure we had a boat party but we're not dysfunctional. Then the hoards come out crying that we need to get Adrian Peterson shipped off to some other franchise ... you know, the ones that count ... you know, like the Steelers or Cowboys, or the Patriots. After all, these franchises have no hope of winning another championship without pilfering what could be argued to be the best player in the league.
Let the entire Viking Nation be as direct as possible for all the hoards of idiots out there ... The Minnesota Vikings region ... is not Detroit!
So now let's look at that contract that the media is now drooling over. Mind you that we are not presently paying a franchise quarterback 10+ million dollars per year which gives us the luxury of paying AD his due ... and that's just pissing off a whole bunch of jealous franchises and their cohorts. AD is guaranteed $2.45M in 2014 paying him $11.75M in total. Since he's 100% certain to be an opening day starter then he's virtually guaranteed that $11.75M. In future years he's slated to be paid $12.75M, $14.75M and $15.75M respectively which well exceeds a franchise player numbers, without using the franchise tag, if the Vikings choose to have him on their opening day roster in respective years. Sure nothing in 2015-16-17 is guaranteed which most certainly bodes well for both parties as that gives both parties options ... and a lot of them.
So what does history tell us. If you were to peer at 2013 you'd notice that none of Jared Allen's money was guaranteed last year until he made the opening day roster and our owner and this franchise decided to pay him in full. He even had an off year in 2012 and they still paid him hoping that he could return to prior glory. Jared Allen is now in Chicago because his contract played out to its very end and some could argue that he did not return to his prior level of play. Although Jared was productive, he was allowed to move on where this franchise had the option of investing its resources into other areas.
There's only one way to view what AD's contract states quite clearly. If there is some other franchise that wants to guarantee their ticket to a Super Bowl by adding that final piece to their puzzle ... namely a running game ... then they are going to have to pay a kings ransom to get him. So you might be thinking that there is no other franchise that will ever pay that ransom ... right? Not so fast Hondo! You need to look no further than Marshawn Lynch hoisting that Super Bowl trophy for Seattle last year as he's a poor mans version or a clone of Adrian Peterson ... and that my friends make the 30 other franchises absolutely ravenous for AD. Hey, we might have had some 60 and 75 watt bulbs out there in a 100 watt society, where we might be dumb ... but we aren't stupid.
So what is the view from AD's perspective? If he's able to perform at this leagues highest levels, which this contract certainly has in mind, he stands to secure this franchises first Super Bowl Championship, he stands a clear shot at obtaining a very important NFL record, and he stands to secure a whole bunch of elite level money. If his production falls off, it doesn't matter where he ends up because no one ... and I mean no one ... is going to lay out the guaranteed money for which he might be searching. In Minnesota, he will most certainly be given an opportunity to excel after an off year, which may not be granted elsewhere ... especially on an elite level team like the 49ers, or the Cowboys, etc. Tell me, where would you put your eggs, especially when your coaches #1 concern is to extend your career by threatening to take the ball out of your hands. Here's the ultimate question. Mr. Peterson are you looking to lead this team into history or are you looking to join a team for a piece of hardware? Sounds allot like 30 pieces of silver versus immortality to go along with that infectious smile. So let me guess which one do we remember? The name Achilles or do we remember his sandals. Even though he was brought down by an arrow, he lives for all time tracing through the heavens. How much is that worth?
Everyone knows that AD was selected during the Chilly administration, which was two administrations ago. Since that time, AD was expected to be fed the ball to tally yards on the ground, which resulted in a very unfortunate outcome. The box was always stacked and the offense never evolved as a pure NFL passing threat. Then steps in Norv Turner & company and the media instinctively goes immediately into the attack mode. Let's take this opportunity of torquing AD's nuts ... just a bit more ... by stating that the new regime is going to use him more in the passing game. Of course this is both a complete misquote and misunderstanding that serves the ultimate purpose of attacking AD's foundation within this franchise. In the past, AD would be used as a safety valve being about 3 yards out from the line of scrimmage, just standing there to receive a pass with two or more defenders safely surrounding him. My guess is that old Norv said, we are no longer going to set up AD to fail in the passing game. We no longer need to nurse maid Christian Ponder by making AD an easy reachable target for both Ponder and the defense. What Norv was stating unequivocally is that the league didn't and doesn't respect AD in the passing game ... which is a fatal mistake if we change things around here. The prior flawed concept allowed defenses to bunch up defenders around the line of scrimmage. Of course this didn't bode well for either quarterbacks or receivers which needed that precious time to run their routes because those bunched up defenders are being sent in to head hunt the quarterback when Adrian wasn't carrying the ball. It became a virtual continual run blitz . What if old Norv was stating that we'd rather use AD as a threat in the mold of Marshal Faulk, and the greatest show on turf, where AD's not going to be bleeding energy on pass routes making him an easy target but rather to be use him to slice through defenses on the fly. You see, AD is not here to just run the ball. He's here to score touchdowns and shred your lovely defense. As his coach, it not my responsibility to make it harder for him to score, it's to make it easier for the entire team to score. Between the 20's, if the defense is forced to follow this new mobile threat, the defenders are not going to be able to crowd the box and this will by its very nature is going to open up the field for his team mates. After all ... AD can catch the ball, can't he?
It's clear that the entire league now has Adrian Peterson in it's sights and they've declared it an open season to take any and all pot shots at him.
Hey, it wouldn't surprise me if they even drag out Randy Moss. Hey, they traded Moss, didn't they? Problem is that even though this is true, Randy was a discipline problem where he used up just about every chance that any player could be extended. Moss was also sold for cash when the franchise was sold to the new owner. It's not the same.
Is there a guarantee in that AD will be apart of this Viking franchise in 2015 ... the clear and concise answer is that no one in the NFL is guaranteed of anything short of money but if this were true in any way why would Theodore "Teddy" Bridgewater - AKA GUMP sit idly by and capitulate as this teams opening day starter.
Which bodes the question. Exactly what is the quarterbacks situation in Minnesota. Well there are three (3) starters in Minnesota. One was given his shot as a starter and is being held in reserve as a back-up to cover this organization in case of catastrophe if Matt Cassel either gets injured or is unable to continue as this teams starter. Now I hope that you are all paying attention here because the next bit is important. Not one of our three quarterbacks hold the cards over this franchise and every one of them is invaluable to us in the role that each is about to play for us. The Rams had their chance at Ponder and they screwed it all up.
As for Mr. Bridgewater, he's failed to convince this organization or the coaches that he's prepared to step in as this teams starter and that evaluation can only be changed based upon his progression and development which is clearly not an immediate priority with this franchise. "If I don't wield results ... bench me. I'm a man ... I can take it." Outwardly, the franchise is indicating a half-hearted approach toward Mr. Bridgewater as there is no overt sign that he will be this teams opening day starter. It is clear that Mr. Bridgewater doesn't posses any NFL experience that would properly motivate him to learn the game or better said, to change the slope of his learning curve into the level of urgency that is necessary to be an elite NFL quarterback. The opening scheduled opponents are clearly too difficult for him to face. We'll have to do the same for him next year too. His coaches have given no indication that they would be willing to immediately throw his feet into the fire, even though they do clearly have two (2) present fall back positions with two (2) more-than-capable starters that have deep personal vested interests in indicating that they are league starters. These guys are almost like having Adrian Peterson to hand the ball off to ... you know a safety net. Neither of these two (2) proven starters can afford to under perform in any way jeopardizing both their potential future earnings and opportunities. There are only so many opportunities granted in the NFL. Neither have been projected as long term solutions for this franchise and neither have been given an indication that they will be this teams long term answer at quarterback although Matt Cassel may in time, indicate differently, as Mr. Bridgewater accepts his projected crippling path to failure.
Isn't it rather odd that this franchise is continuing in its history to heavily invest its resources into players that clearly have at best only a short term return on investment for this franchise. Like a minor league system for the NFL. Some might construe this into nothing more than the continual procession of covering their diminutive donkey. Maybe one day, instead of worrying about covering for yourself the organization will make the hard decisions. Maybe it just might show up on the field and on tape immediately.
It wasn't so long ago that this organization had the opportunity of testing Tarvaris Jackson but instead played Brad Johnson with dubious results. An earlier indicator would have exposed that Tarvaris was not the answer as this teams long term starter but instead invested this organizations resources into a player that had no chance of paying any sort of long term dividends.
If this organization doesn't change its approach and quickly its only a matter of time before this coaching staff finds itself in the unemployment line.
It wasn't so long ago, that an obvious failure was put into play. In the 1971 season, the Dallas Cowboys decided to rotate starters between Rodger Staubach and Craig Morton with dubious results. This put the team in absolute turmoil until Rodger Staubach earned the starting role in game 8 of that season. Dubious results ... right. Staubach followed by recording 10 consecutive victories and then won Super Bowl V. Funny thing as that resulted in the Dallas Cowboys first Super Bowl championship where up to that point they were never the bride. Wow! Does this sound familiar to anyone out there. Hello! Hello!
The very definition of insane is to repeat the same processes over and over again expecting a different results. Isn't that exactly what we are doing.
If you're an old Viking salt, some might say that we've never succeeded due to our coaches being one step to late, one step under prepared, one step out of sync with absolute harmony. If you would talk to each of them, they'd probably admit that none were perfect and that it were in fact a true statement.
Well ... what if God were to be the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings franchise in 2014. What would he say? What would he do? Knowing a little bit about the history of this league my guess is that he'd say, Mr. Theodore "Teddy" Bridgewater - AKA GUMP is our opening day starter and I'm planning on benching him almost immediately. He's not ready but the kid won't learn a thing until he plays with a bit of fire. There is no other way in the NFL. In fact, to be direct, we expect that we are going to have to bench him over and over again. It's like training a mule. To get that mules attention you have to hit him right between the eyes with a 2x4, as hard as you can, and only then can you gain his attention. At that point he'll be ready to really learn this game. Not everyone can be an elite quarterback in this league. Some are physically incapable. Some are incapable of understanding and learning at the speed defined by the NFL however there are several things that Mr. Bridgewater is not going to be: Lazy, Complacent and/or flippant. The so called starter, at quarterback, should be so obvious to the world that if I were to even try to bench him they'd be coming to put me into a straight jacket.
Now tell me. Who's the crazy one. We are going to achieve a different result. We shouldn't be in the business of covering anything.
One more funny bit of trivia. Both Rodger Staubach and Craig Morton were so pissed off over what transpired in that 1971 season that they both went head to head in Super Bowl XII. Staubach won it 27-10. An obvious failure ... maybe ... not so much.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: May 14, 2014