If you can't beat them, join them.
I'm going to write one of these articles for every position on the Vikings. This one is about the halfbacks and fullbacks.
Let's start with running back. Well, Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson. He's the best running back in the league. Who's better? Arian Foster may have had a great year but that was because teams didn't gameplan to stop him, at least not until midseason, and because teams couldn't stack 8 in the box against him because they had to double cover Andre Johnson. Chris Johnson is way too feast and famine. He had two games this season in which he rushed for under 20 yards. The guy has a good offensive line, don't show me how many times he was stuffed in the backfield because that's because he dances around back there like he's Barry Sanders. So now that we've got that out of the way, let's get to Peterson's contract extension.
Putting the franchise tag on a player gives them the salary of the top five highest paid players at the position averaged out. Putting the franchise tag on running backs this year would mean shelling out $8,156,000. Due to raising market value and Peterson's talent level, I would give him 10 million a year. Now we have to decide how long the contract will be. When (if) the NFL season starts next year, Peterson will be 26 years old. Running backs usually drop off in production at age 30 but Peterson is a physical freak. I'd extend him till he's 31 with a five year deal. Here's how I'd structure it.
Contract : 5 years, 52 million
Guaranteed : 40 million
2010 : 8 million
2011: 9 million
2012: 10 million
2013: 12 million
2014: 13 million
Now as for depth, we already have Toby Gerhart and Albert Young. Gerhart was disappointing as it seemed that Peterson passed the fumbling bug to him. He had 3 fumbles in limited touches. Albery Young is your typical 3rd string running back. Really the Vikings don't need to sign any free agents or draft any players for the position. One guy I'd like the Vikings to check out is Vai Taua, the starting running back for Nevada this past season. He is a powerful, bruising back that people figure will go undrafted. He would be a low risk, high reward pick up in the 7th round or as an undrafted free agent.
Now let's get tot the full backs. Peterson has said before that he prefers to run without a fullback. This could be because he really doesn't like to run with fullbacks or because the only fullback he's ever known is the inept Naufahu Tahi. Tahi's role in the offense is so miniscule, the Viking's might as well release him. In fact, there are three players that I think are no-brainers for the Vikings to release: Bernard Berrian, Madieu Williams, and Naufahu Tahi. Everson Griffen could join that list too after his misadventures in Hollywood this past week. Now who can replace Tahi's production? My grandmother could but she's too old to play in the NFL so the Vikings might have to go with Jeff Dugan or a free agent. The Texan's Vonta Leach and the Raven's Le'Ron McClain will probably prove to be too expensive for the Viking's tastes but the Packer's John Kuhn could fit in quite well. Just in case you didn't know, people in Wisconsin are so stupid, they root for the Green Bay Packers. So don't give them more credit than they deserve when you hear them booing their own team on occasions. They are actually screaming KUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHN!!!!! Now imagine Viking's fans chanting KUUUUUUUUUUUHN in the NFL's loudest stadium, the Metrodome.
8 months later...........
Vikings Stadium Collapses
The Minnesota Vikings were playing a home game against the Detroit Lions when John Kuhn took the field. Whenever the former Green Bay RB appears on the field, fans chant KUUUUUHN!!!! Unfortunately, the powerful sonic waves created by the chant made the Metrodome roof collapse for the 2nd time in a year. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured. Later Vikings DE, Everson Griffen, was heard screaming " HELL YEAH, WE'RE GOING TO L.A. BABY!".
We really need a stadium..................