The season has progressed as many of us expected in the preseason; our team has continued to prove that it can string us along with elite talent, but continually leave us devastated with heart breaking losses. We have watched huge first half leads fizzle like McNabb's limp arm due to several reasons that have ranged from: 1. a new coach 2. A new scheme 3. Lack of training camp 4. Some bad breaks 5. Um...another excuse...ah....I will go with the popular vote: McNabb and B-Twice/Bobble Bobble/Big Baby.
The truth of course lies somewhere in-between these theories, but I believe the #1 reason is solely related to not having enough steady talent. By steady talent I mean guys who are not just explosive in the short term (play-makers), but the guys who have the steady hand to make the timely and routine play. The Cris Carter's and Scott Studwell's of the world (The solid players if you will).
Yes, Adrian Peterson works ALL DAY, and I have a belief that if Percy Harvin got the touches; we would find ourselves with a few more wins (he is that good). But what I think this team lacks (besides heart from some of the key areas) is a knowlegdable and experianced player at a few key positions. These positions are the ones that we need to start the re-building process and are (in no particular order): WR, QB, OL, and DB.
To do this I have talked to the Norse Gods and formed what is to be decreed as the "Hybrid Semi-Rebuild" (say it fast three times, then drink a beer, hate a Packer and kick a kitten), and after the jump I will start with my idea and talk specifically about WR's
(I would have pic's of Wayne and Lloyd here but I can't figure out which ones are permissable. Just use your imagination.)
This idea requires some background information.
When I looked at our roster situation before the season, I knew that this would be an interesting year because we really did not add many pieces to improve instantly. The truth was, and is that the FO could not make any big splashes due to our really, really, really go-for-broke-in-2010 roster. We didn’t have the cap space. The only real option was to submit to the likes of MarkSP18, and Danny Lloyd to begin the re-building process; which would require our beloved Purple and Gold to part ways with some of our key players while their stock was still high. Some to be considered were AP, Jared Allen, and Kevin Williams.
Now, I was the first to stand up and shout "Hell NO!!!" AP is the best RB in the NFL (Gollum Voice "We needs our precious!"), and you cannot replace JA or KWill, and we don’t even know what we have coming from previous drafts yet to replace these players! At that point, Everson Griffen was a thug who didn’t play, Letroy Guion was a project, and Christian Ballard was a pot head who had slipped to the late rounds.
It turns out that there may have been wisdom in this. As our team has floundered and exposed our true lack of depth at the above named positions. This year, our beloved Vikings are truly feast or famine as it comes to talent, and this has led to the aforementioned crushing losses.
Now before you get your Nordic Axes out…and make Axes of yourselves…let me Axe you a question. Do you want this team to have a chance to start winning as soon as next season?
If your answer is a resounding YES, then read on.
The plan is formed with the following paradigm. The structure of this starts by taking a look at every position and the production at that position thus far. Following this, we need to examine the players age, contract situation, and future probability of (for lack of a better term) studliness. Then we need to look to future drafts and see what parts can be fixed with college players. There-after, what is left over is the long view of potential trades/FA’s. This whole equation relies on then deciding if the we can assure a better player at an individual position thru the draft (and at the respective draft positions we have), or do we need to turn our aging players into gold with other established players who are/or will be better than anyone we could have drafted.
And now to the meat of this post, which is only focused on WR’s.
The first question of the "Hybrid Semi-Rebuild" focuses on whether or not either of these players is better than what we currently have on the roster. Hmmm, let me think…Big Baby or Aromashadu vs. Reggie Wayne (32) or Brandon Lloyd (30)…yep, better on both accounts.
Second question is: Is the bounty to attain one of these players too high, and will it compromise our future? Well, both receivers have been fairly durable, but productive NFL receivers who are leaders in the locker room and generally good all-around people. On top of that, they have proven big-play making skills. So again, I would say yes, they pass the Hybrid Semi-Rebuild test on that level.
Third question is: Can we get better talent with the 4th or 5th round pick we have? This is the tough question, but I do think that either of these proven players have a higher probability of being a key productive component of this Vikings team for at least 3-5 more years.
There-in lies the rub. I think we could poach some very good and productive talent for very little from our stock of picks for this year, or next year’s draft. We may even be able to get rid of a cancerous, non-producing, whiny, tiny legged, no heart, Veteran belittler (is that a word?), Big Baby (who in my estimation is peeved about the confrontation with the State Senator, and the Coach telling him to apologize, whilst the reason for his lack of appearance at team meetings before the last game….Yeah….BIG BABY). In the Heartland, call it a "WIN-WIN" where-in we get a solid player, at the loss of a suckie player (I know, rocket science). The beauty of this method is that we are taking the guessing game out of the draft for the pick we gave up to acquire said solid player.
I’m standing on a limb here, but I really think Reggie Wayne and Brandon Lloyd are more a sure thing than any WR we pick up in the 4th or 5th.
Using this same theory, it’s time to consider that KWill should be moved for a 1st if possible. I know that some of the contenders could use a big DT of his caliber for the stretch run, and we now KNOW that Guion can be good, and that Ballard has serious potential. The long and short of this is that we would survive just fine with what we have in our younger players (since we aren’t going to win much this year) and put the pieces in place to contend for next year.
Just consider for a minute this for 2012:
2. AP, Toby and Booker
3. A better D’imperio and possibly a studly college FB
4. Percy, Reggie Wayne, and a studly WR picked in the Second round
5. A better Rudolph (blocking skills please), and a highly discounted Shank/Sauce. Maybe a practice team surprise in Reisner.
6. 1st round LT, Hutch, Sully/Fusco, Herrera/Loadholt, Love/3rd round RT
1. JA, Guion, Ballard, FA, Robison, 6th round DE
2. Henderson, Henderson, Brinkley, Greenway, Filler, Filler
3. Winfield, (A better) Cook, Griffin, (A better) Burton, A. Allen, M. Sherels
4. (A better) Sanford, (A better) Mistral Raymond, (A better) Abdullah, draft filler, draft filler.
5. The beginning of a newly developed 12th man (Yeah baby, let’s get this new stadium)
Obviously this is not a full 53-man roster, but you can fill in the blanks with whomever because this starting roster is an improvement.
Now take out your skewers, poke at my writing skills and thoughts, and discuss amongst yourselves.
Know this, we are the best fans, and I want to discuss options that will help us contend soon…SKOL VIKES!!!!