We need more of this
The Vikings defense needed a bit of toughness last season. Especially the linebackers. They seemed to take the punch from opposing offenses and not retaliate. The Vikings linebackers, besides E.J. Henderson and his titanium leg, ddin't make plays last year. Enter Mike Singletary. The Bear's Hall of Fame linebacker's rash style and willingness to get into his players' faces was exactly what the Viking's coaching staff needed. I think he is the perfect complement to Leslie Frazier's laid back style. He's going to add a mean streak to our linebackers which can only be a good thing for the Viking's defense. Unfortunately for Singletary, we don't even know who the Vikings linebackers will be in 2010. Let's look at the Vikings situation at linebacker.
Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, the Viking's two starting OLBs last season are free agents. Leber is getting up there in age and should be let go in my opinion. Greenway on the other hand will be given a monster contract by someone this offseason, hopefully the Vikings. Greenway led the NFC in tackles last season and is becoming one of the top 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL. Here's the contract I'd offer Greenway and why:
Contract: 5 years, 54 million
Guaranteed Money: 35 million
2011: 9 million
2012: 9 million
2013: 11 million
2014: 12 million
2015: 13 million
The franchise tag for linebackers last year sat at $9,680,000. Now the franchise tag amount is the average of the salaries of the 5 biggest contracts given to linebackers around the league. Greenway isn't quite top 5 yet but he will be eventually. Almost 11 million a year seems right.
Now we need someone to replace Ben Leber. I think the Vikings should draft UCLA's top linebacker, Akeem Ayers, in the first round. The guy is just a playmaker, something the Viking's defense really needs. The Viking's defense forced only 13 fumbles, 2 of which by wide receiver Greg Camarillo, and only intercepted 15 passes. They're sack totals dropped from 48 last year to 31 this year. Now I fully expect the Vikings defense to make more plays next season as Cedric Griffin will come back from injury and I think Jared Allen and Kevin Williams will have bounceback seasons. Nevertheless, the Viking's could use one more playmaker. Ayers hits hard, can drop back in coverage, and can rush the passer. He just a great talent and he'd fit well in the Viking's 4-3 Tampa 2 defense.
Now one more thing before I end this blog post, the Viking's organization is extremely high on Jasper Brinkley and believe he can be a stud in the NFL. If there is anyone who can develop Brinkley, it's Mike Singletary. It looks like the Viking's linebackers have a pretty bright future.