Friday, February 29, 2008

Let the Games begin

Free Agency is like Christmas in March. Ziggy spends a bunch of money to improve the team and we reap all the benefits.

Day 1

** We solved our Safety needs for the next 6 years and it only cost us $33 million. I'd be lying if I told you I have an extensive knowledge of last season's Bengal secondary, so before free agency talk I had never heard of Madieu Williams. But he is clearly the missing piece in the secondary. On the right you will see a pick of William's picking off Kyle Orton, but that is nothing to brag about.

From what I've read Williams is a solid pick up. He is good in coverage which is kind of important in a secondary that has never been too concerned with covering anybody. listed him as the 3rd best available safety (behind Bob Sanders and Ken Hamlin). And ESPN's Hashmarks Blog says, "he has excellent cover skills for a safety."

** PKA is your FB, Free Agency Expert - I know both of my loyal readers will remember that I predicted the Vikings would sign the former Gopher and now former Philadelphia Eagle, Thomas Tapeh. And on day one of free agency that is exactly what they did.

Tony Richardson and his Pro Bowl season has moved on, but I don't know if this is a huge loss. Tapeh is talented and incredibly strong IF he can stay healthy. ESPN Insider believes that Richardson is on the backside of his career. "(Richardson) is more in the mold of a guy who can catch out of the backfield or run with it, but his best days have long passed."

I don't know now vital the FB is in our system anyway, I'm sure he'll get plenty of snaps but it isn't a high position of need.

** Jacksonville Loves Troy - OK, I kind of made that up, but the Jaguars are racking up mediocre crappy WRs for their roster as they signed Jerry Porter today. But that isn't the story here. has quotes from former Viking head coach Mike Tice who talked about drafting Williamson.

“We came down to (Shawne) Merriman and Williamson and we had just lost Moss. Unfortunately, I got fired and never got to see (Williamson’s) development,” Tice said. “The guy can run. I saw a humble kid who was bigger than I thought and could blow the top off any defense. He was starting to learn.”
Are you kidding me? We could have landed Merriman? Maybe he wouldn't have fit into Brad's "culture of accountability", but he may have been slightly more productive than Williamson. And then the trickle down effect of that is we don't draft Greenway (nothing against Chad, but c'mon) and maybe draft a CB, WR or DE in the 06 draft who is contributing now. But it was solid decisions like that, which led Tice on his journey to Jacksonville.

Free Agent Wish List - Here are remaining players that I'd love to see end up in purple...
  1. DE - Jason Taylor - not a free agent, but there has been talk that Miami might trade the dominant DE. This is HIGHLY unlikely but Dr. Phil has taught me that you have to express your desires or they will never come true.
  2. DE - Justin Smith - most reports have the Vikings on his list but not at the top. The hope here is that his ties to Leslie Frazier will at least get him on a plane to Winter Park where we can throw a ton of money at him. Since James is good for about 2 games a year and Udeze is sick (truly sad and I'm not making light of it), we need someone who has actually sacked a QB in the past. Last season's 2 sacks was his weakest production as a pro, but he averaged 7 per season over the rest of his career.
  3. WR - Bernard Berrian - Berrian is in town and hopefully he will sign a contract before he leaves. BB isn't exactly Randy Moss but his 71 catches, 950 yds and 5 TDs all would have been tops for Minnesota (by a lot). Bernard is used to a crappy QB so if he can put up those numbers in purple next season that will be a monster upgrade.
  4. QB - Donovan McNabb - another player still under contract but the obvious ties to Brad the Red Hot Childress Pepper, keep this a story worth keeping an eye on. If McNabb comes in and Jackson earns the starting job then great, he rose above the competition and has taken a step forward in his career. If not, then you know what you have in McNabb and the QB position is at least stable/reliable.
  5. WR - Bryant Johnson - production could increase if not in the shadow of Fitzgerald and Boldin. This is just a personal fav of mine. Johnson would be a cheaper option who would be an upgrade in my opinion. Johnson has great size.
  6. OL Help - I don't know who to target but let's get a RT to help protect Jackson.
The Vikings have talked about making a splash. Should Berrian agree to a contract before he leaves town that would make for a major splash on Day 1 to get Williams, Berrian and Tapeh. I love the NFL offseason and today is fun.

Friday, February 22, 2008

(Purple) Combine Thoughts...

( I know it is a tractor in the pic, but it is close enough)

Let's get serious about the Vikings offseason needs...

** Rick Speilman gave us good news today when he said the Vikings may make a plunge in the free agent market this year! We did finish 8-8 last year and showed improvement over the last 10 games.

"We have a little bit of a window here with some of our veterans," Spielman said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We may be more aggressive if we feel there is a blue-chip guy out there that we go out and take a swing at."
That is what we like to hear. Who will be the blue-chip targets? That is yet to be determined, the list of free agents out there doesn't have very many names to get all giddy about.

** Everybody wants Troy Williamson. The picture on the right is rare footage of him actually catching a pass (and it was worth 6 points). Troy's agent has release that 8-10 teams are interested in acquiring the talented reliable speedy WR. I'm sure after much deliberation and angst, the Vikings are allowing Williamson and his agent to pursue a trade.
“Troy couldn’t be more excited. We have a tremendous amount of interest as you probably would expect. It’s very rare that a young guy like Troy, who is only three years in, who is a top-10 pick comes free. Obviously, the Vikings and I - Rick Spielman, Rob Brzezinski and I - have been in discussions already with about eight to 10 teams. There already have been offers exchanged, there have been discussions with me, there have been discussions with them.”
You can't make it up. Maybe the Patriots are one of those teams and we can work out a sign and trade deal to bring back Moss. Um, that may not be enough, Moss is older and was barely a top 20 pick, Williamson clearly has more value.

If we get anything for Williamson, Speilman should be your front-runner for Exec of the Year.

** My Dream Big Splash! PKA would love nothing more than for the Vikings to take Jason Taylor off the hands of the Big Tuna. A dominant DE would help this team more than anything (including a WR). This from the Miami Herald, obviously agrees that Taylor would be a perfect fit in Minnesota...
It feels like it is time to liberate Taylor like that -- like Thomas and/or like Crowder at the crime scene, if need be. Would you blame Taylor if he went public with wanting to flee this wreck? If he became trade-me loud like Kobe Bryant or Jason Kidd or any of the others in sports who haven't suffered as many management betrayals as Taylor has over a decade of his wasted prime?
I can already imagine reading Sid's column telling us how Taylor's time on Dancing With the Stars will help him with his footwork on the field.

But in all seriousness adding Taylor would be incredible. HEY, the Dolphins need a WR! Maybe they could use a young guy, who is only three years in and a top-10 pick!

** We Have NEEDS.

1. Bryant Johnson
2. Bernard Berrian
3. Draft - Mario Manningham, Limas Sweed, Malcolm Kelly would all be fine picks (not DeSean Jackson as he will be a reincarnate of Williamson)

1. Draft - we need a S now and Sharper ain't a spring chicken
2. Free Agent - I don't know who is good out there

1. Justin Smith - um J.Smith = Big Splash
2. Trade - Tayolor
3. Draft - Vernon Gholston or Derrick Harvey would look good in purple

1. like I can evaluate offensive line talent, but this will be needed to give TJax some life after football.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Bowl XLIII - here we come

Book your hotels for Tampa now. Feb 1st, 2009.

Check the poll on the right for who will be next year's Super Bowl MVP.

Kool Aid Drinkers