Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
Every team, whether it's in the sporting arena or on the battlefield or in the board room, has those members that they absolutely, positively need to get the job done. Those individuals that are so vital to getting the job completed in a timely and correct manner that, without them, mission accomplishment is a pipe dream at best.
This post. . .is not about those people.
No, this post is about those folks that are completely expendable. . .individuals that have hardly been missed by our favorite football team as they attempt to get the job done. In the case of the Minnesota Vikings, there are two people that come to mind. . .players that much was expected from coming into the 2012 NFL season, but have left Vikings fans wanting, for the most part.
The Vikings didn't do much in the free agency market during the 2012 off-season, but the two biggest names that they did sign were wide receiver Jerome Simpson and tight end John Carlson. Simpson signed a one-year deal for about $2 million, while Carlson signed a much ballyhooed (and ridiculed) five-year deal worth a reported $25 million (of which about $11 million is guaranteed). To say that they have underperformed would be a generous assessment, yet the Vikings have continued to surprise everyone en route to a 6-4 record in their first ten games.
Simpson, thanks to a three-game suspension and a couple of injury issues, is currently tied for sixth on the team in receptions with 11 (as many as Devin Aromashodu currently has). While he was brought in to be a deep threat and to stretch the field for the Minnesota offense, his 12.5 yards/catch is only slightly better than rookie tight end Rhett Ellison, who won't be confused with Usain Bolt in the speed department any time soon. He has drawn a couple of big pass interference penalties, but he has really underwhelmed this season.
Simpson's 11 catches for 137 yards is absolutely prolific compared to Carlson, however. Carlson has also had some injury issues. . .something that the Vikings knew to be wary of when they signed him. . .but he really hasn't done much this year, catching just four passes and averaging a full yard less per catch (4.8) than Adrian Peterson averages every time he carries the ball (5.8).
The Minnesota Vikings currently have an offense that is averaging 23.8 points per game, despite a pass offense that is just 30th in the National Football League in terms of yardage. If the Vikings can get something. . .anything. . .out of Simpson and Carlson over the rest of the season, they could increase their scoring output even further. However, to this point of the season, with other players having stepped up in their stead, Simpson and Carlson have shown themselves to be completely expendable.