Defying Logic and Common Sense: Vikings Match Bengals' Offer Sheet to Tahi

We were so close.

Today was the deadline for the Beloved Purple to match the offer sheet that the Cincinnati Bengals had given to fullback Naufahu Tahi.  A week ago, the Bengals had offered a one-year, $1.4 million deal to a guy that's not a particularly good blocker, not particularly good with the ball in his hands. . .not particularly good at anything, really.  As the days went past, it appeared as though the Vikings weren't going to match the deal.

And then. . .sigh. . .

Naufahu Tahi woke up this morning not knowing if he would be a member of the Cincinnati Bengals or Minnesota Vikings by the end of the day. Then his phone rang. Rick Spielman, the Vikings vice president of player personnel, informed Tahi that Minnesota had elected to match the one-year, $1.4 million offer sheet the fullback signed with Cincinnati last Friday. Today was the final day for the Vikings to make that decision.

“It seemed like months,” Tahi said of the seven-day process. “I was trying to stay busy and not worry about it and not think about it so much. But it was always in the back of my mind, no matter what I was doing.”

Tahi, the relief evident in his voice, said that while he was pleased the Vikings elected to retain him, the opportunity in Cincinnati also would have been exciting. Tahi started his career with the Bengals, having signed as an undrafted free agent out of Brigham Young in 2006, but he was signed off Cincinnati’s practice squad in November of his rookie season by the Vikings.

I just don't get it.  Both of our primary running backs, from everything I've watched, run better out of a single-back set than they do with a fullback lined up in front of them.  I mean, it's one thing to shift Kleinsasser or Dugan into the backfield after they've already lined up at TE.  Putting Tahi out there is something different. . .if only because, as I've already mentioned, he's not as good a blocker as either of those two guys, and frankly he's not as good with the ball in his hands as they are, either.

But, Tahi is back. . .and, with that, it likely means the 1-yard swing pass on 3rd and 8 will be back in 2009, too.  Argh.

The Vikings were in the running for former Seahawks' fullback Leonard Weaver, but he wound up signing with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Andy Reid will no doubt get a lot of good use out of him.  I was really hoping that Weaver would land in Minnesota, but it just wasn't to be.

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