At this point, I hope you all realize that when I say "a thought", it's meant ironically. Like a big guy whose nickname is ‘Tiny'.
Anyways, somehow I'm still here... Chris is a gracious and kind boss, I tell you. Well, let's see if I can't say something so radical here that I don't finally break his boundless patience with me. (Although, in retrospect, if I survived the whole ‘Dr. Prometheus' fiasco, I think I pretty much can write anything.)
So, I wrote yesterday why I think trading Adrian Peterson and/or Jared Allen is a very bad idea. I did tease you that I do have a thought in regards to a big trade, however, one that might be the smart move for a team in the position we are in right now.
And I do thank Mark for biting his tongue in his comments, as he and I had previously discussed this and he is therefore privy to who I'm thinking about. I was biting my nails, however, when I saw people beginning to guess. Grunt.
Okeedokee, let's do this after the leap of faith. Oh, and this isn't nearly as long as part one. Lo prometo. (That's Spanish for ‘SUCKERS!'.)
Alright, I wanted to do a bit more of an intro, but hell you guys deserve it- let's just cut to the chase. Congratulations CanadianViking and Amrius for correctly guessing the player I'm thinking of is Kevin Williams. Granted, really the only two potential players I could have been thinking about were him and Percy Harvin, and trading Harvin would be 10x dumber than trading AP and/or Allen- Harvin may not be the guy you can truly build an offense around (although, from a certain perspective, one could actually argue indeed we are), but he's definitely the guy who takes your offense from ‘good' to ‘amazing'. Plus, he's still a very young player- I can't think of the last time a team traded away so talented and so young a player like that. (Yes, Hutch was thrown in there- but I don't think we would get much in a trade for him right now, if anything.)
Alrighty then. Kevin Williams. Trade him. Why? Why him and not Jared Allen? I'm getting to it, dammit. Be patient. There are a few key differences between KWill and JAllen, in particular their situations on the team. Now, KWill is without a doubt a leader, a great player, a hard worker, and someone who very much is a fan favorite- hell, he's one of my favorites.
That said, here are said key differences between KWill and JAllen- number one, age. Jared Allen is 29, Kevin Williams is 31. And as we all know, two years can be an eternity of a difference when it comes to football age. Furthermore, and mind you this is speaking for an ‘eyeball test', but it seems to me KWill hasn't held up quite as well. Has he truly lost a full step, per se? No, not really. And he's still performing at a high level. But perhaps it's just me, but KWill seems... different than he did a few years ago.
Now, let's dwell on that a bit. That said, KWill has also had a bit of a recent ‘renaissance' the last couple of games, registering two sacks and a forced fumble. His general disruptiveness the last couple of games, in fact, almost completely undoes exactly what I just said above. But wait, there's more, and it will explain the seeming hypocrisy.
See, unlike Allen, who I believe will remain at a very high level for some time, I think we're beginning to see a peak in KWill's later years. He's not going to suck next year, or probably even the year after. But, that said, we must also keep in mind that that's when you trade big time players- not when they're clearly done, but when they're nearing the twilight, and yet still have enough time and productivity in the tank to net something good for them.
To continue and finalize this thought, I believe it's entirely possible Allen will still be here when we've rebuilt, and will remain a productive player in that time. It could be in his final year, perhaps, as a productive player, but regardless- that should be enough to keep him around. KWill, on the other hand, I feel is not going to be in the same position.
A second key difference between KWill and Jared Allen is depth. Remi Ayodele will not- or at least, should not- be here next year. So yes, removing KWill would leave two holes. However, Christian Ballard, despite being a 'DE', has seen some work as a DT and has not been bad. Everson Griffen could be the same way. And Letroy Guion might deserve a stab at it. That's three potential players to replace two positions- not a terrible position to be in. Granted, we would be thin on depth chart after that, but FA might yield us a pickup or two for sheer depth/ spelling purposes. (Amobi Okoye. AMOBI OKOYE!!!!! Dude could be an outright starter, leaving only one hole to fill with three.)
Before we continue on, let's look at another reason why I think trading Kevin Williams could be a good idea- the New England Patriots. That team is in a constant ‘win now' mode. They also took a flyer on Albert Haynesworth- and come on, if both of those guys were on the market, how many teams would decide to bolster their D-line with Fat Albert over KWill? (Redskins?) Their defense is... not good. KWill could provide a much needed boost at the line, and the Pats have been more successful in recent years turning to FA to patch things up rather than the draft.
BUT- conversely- while the Pats haven't had the greatest draft record in recent memory, they also have that tendency to build up a huge load of picks. As a matter of fact, Ol' Billy Boy's got two first rounders in this upcoming draft. Hmmm...
A player like KWill could command even more than that, mind you. A first and a second? Probably not. But a first and a third? A first this year and a second next year? To me, that's not entirely out of the realm of possibilities- especially, of course, if we float KWill around and take other offers to increase the bids. (Mind you, if someone else offers more than the Pats, of course we take it... but I think the Pats would be a great place to start.)
The Patriots right now are slotted to select #29 and #30, not terribly high first rounders- but first rounders nonetheless. If so inclined, we could package another pick/s with the #29 and move up. Or, staying at #29, we would be looking right now at Chase Minniefield, according to www.WalterFootball.com. We do need help in the secondary.
Will this hurt the team some in the short run? Probably, yes. Kevin William is again a very good player. I'm not saying we could replace him and move along like nothing happened. But, it would be a short term hurt with a long term fix in mind- and again, that's where we're at right now. Like you can argue we have only won two with Jared Allen, we've also only won two with Kevin Williams. Yes, KWill draws darn near constant double-teaming, is again erupting back onto the stage, and is a fan favorite, a potential Hall of Famer, and, even if traded, should end up in the Vikings Ring of Honor one day. I love that we drafted him and that he has been a part of this team. Nobody will ever speak to me of the Vikings in the mid-2000s without me thinking of the Williams Wall, which of course Kevin was half of.
Sadly, we are now in a position where we cannot be emotional or sentimental about this. In time, should he wish to return just to retire with the team, I would embrace it wholeheartedly. I will miss him... but I think this is the gamble we need to take at this time, because again, I just don't think he will be a part of this team when we're ready to make that Super Bowl run again. And therefore, the smart move is to get what we can for him now, to (hopefully) make that day come quicker.