Bringing this up from the FanPosts section because it has some interesting food for thought.
Let me begin this post with a guilty admission here- I spent last weekend on a bachelor party with my three bestest friends... in enemy territory. And while I was tempted to scream "SKOL FAVRE YOU DIRTY SONSUVBIT...", particularly upon passing the Superdome...
Well, N'Orleans was AWESOME!!!!
So perhaps that might be tempering my following post, but I'd like to believe that I do still have the best interests of my beloved Vikes in heart and mind here, and am not still punch-drunk on 48 straight hours of Mardi Gras drinks up and down Bourbon Street and beyond.
OK, we've done the full disclosure bit, now let's get to the meat and potatoes. Shockey, if you haven't heard elsewhere/ somehow failed to figure out from this FanPosts' headline, was recently released by the Saints. He was released because of any particular drop in production or a serious injury, rather, he was released because he was due to make over 4 million next season, and the Saints have Jimmy Graham, a second year TE who's own production and youth make Shockey expendable. Oh, and it's very much worth mentioning that all involved sources, including of course Graham himself, have credited Shockey with his great development. You have to admit, it says a lot about a player who's willing to mentor a younger guy, well aware that the rookie may, in fact, replace him for his own job one day. (That wasn't a slam against Favre, BTW.)
So what have we got here? An aging vet who still has a year or two of solid production, a TE who can block and catch, and an all around good guy/ team player. The caveat here is that he was released due to his upcoming salary... but of course, we don't have to pay him 4 million, and depending on the competition for his services, we may well get him for considerably under that (perhaps 5 mil over 2 years- let's not kid ourselves, aging or not, Shockey will unlikely come cheap).
Of course, I'm not just saying this because I like Shockey (actually, being a Saint, I really didn't like him very much since the 2009 playoffs). The Vikings have good ol' Kleinsasser, who's primarily a blocking TE- a good thing to have with our O-line, but not someone who's particularly great at the receiving bit (not terrible either though). We also have Shiancoe, who's great with the receiving bit but not very good (IMO, not very good at all...) on the blocking bit. Past that we've got Jeff Dugan, who's... well, Jeff Dugan.
Assuming we do resign Sidney Rice, I'd place TE on our lists of to-do's behind O-line, QB, safety, and corner. So it's not obviously very high on that list, but it is #5. And with less draft picks than usual (friggin' Pats hosin' us...), I'm not a fan of us drafting a TE until the much later rounds, and we won't be able to count much on whoever we get then. Pick up Shockey and we give ourselves a year or two to patch the higher priorities before working on TE.
Furthermore, we're going to have someone young behind center- Webb or rookie, most likely. (Perhaps of course Bomar or Ramsey as I've suggested elsewhere, but I have a hard time believing, particularly if we have the joy of a full season, that Webb/ rookie/ both won't get SOME playing time, particularly later in the season.) The more weapons we give them, the better. Again, presuming (and it's admittedly a bit of a big presumption) that Rice is a Vike next year, we've got a good WR corps and a solid run game. With Shiancoe and Shockey providing additional receiver options at TE, we would have the nice benefit of giving our QB several threats to spread the ball around to. Add onto our run game to keep opposing LBs and secondary honest, and (praying) we get a much, much needed upgrade SOMEWHERE on our O-line, we could be making things relatively easy for the transitional phase of a young QB. And Shockey's a pretty solid blocking TE, as I said before- it's often overshadowed because he's primarily used as a recieving threat. But again, just like with Kleinsasser, it's not a terrible thing to give our O-line an occasional boost in the blocking department.
Of course, there are the downsides. Shockey is again aging, I wouldn't sign him to anything more than a two, three year contract tops. And he won't come very cheap, either. If another team is willing to pay him what he would have made in N'Orleans, we'll probably be best off just passing. BUT- should the opportunity arise, I think Shockey would make for a nice addition to the Vike's offensive threats.
What say you, my faithful Purple and Gold brethren? Would you like to see Shockey as a Viking this coming season?