After hanging out in the open threads this evening, it's pretty clear there were basically 2 running thoughts to the Vikings relative lack of movement during the first 7 hours (that constitutes the first day) of free agency. Prevailing thought #1: FIRE SPIELMAN, OMGOMGOMGIAMSOPISSEDATTHEVIKINGSFOOURTEAMSUCKSWENEEDFA!!!!! And then there is the the alternate view: let other teams blow all their free agent budgets during the first wave, and we'll swoop in with decent offers for the 2nd and 3rd Tier guys. After all, we have so many holes that we can't possibly fill them all this year. We'll build quality depth by signing young free agents with potential, and then making solid picks through the draft. Then we'll make a bigger splash next year when we have a solid foundation in place (hence we deferred the cap space bonus to next year).
At the end of the day, only 12 of the "Top 100" free agents on Pro Football Talk were signed during the first day of free agency. Here's a recap of them all with estimated cap hits for 2012:
1. WR Vincent Jackson signed with Tampa Bay - 5 year $55 Million ($11 Million cap hit!)
2. CB Cortland Finegan signed with St. Louis - 5 year $50 Million ($10 Million cap hit!)
3. CB Carlos Rogers re-signed with San Francisco - 4 year $29.3 Million ($7.3 Million cap hit!)
4. CB Terell thomas re-signed with the Giants - multi-year $24 Million (unknown cap hit)
5. WR Marques Colston re-signed with the Taints - 5 year $40 Million ($8 Million cap hit!)
6. S Dwight Lowery re-signed with Jacksonville - 4 year unknown
7. WR Reggie Wayne re-signed with Indianapolis - 3 year $17.5 Million ($5.8 Million cap hit)
8. DE Red Bryant re-signed with Seattle - 5 year $35 Million ($7 Million cap hit!)
9. WR Pierre Garcon signs with Washington - 5 year $42.5 Million ($8.5 Million cap hit!)
10. WR Josh Morgan signs with Washington - 2 year $12 Million ($6 Million cap hit)
11. Jason Campbell signs with Chicago - 1 year deal unknown
12. Tim Jennings re-signs with Chicago - 2 year deal unknown
So, of the known contracts, the average cap hit per player for the first day signings is about $8 Million per year. At that rate, we could have signed exactly 3 players with our cap space. All of these players were overpaid IMO, and the Vikings are not in a position to be overpaying. Yeah, it's disappointing that the only bit of news involving the Vikings today was that we were "interested" in Seattle TE John Carlson...and we re-signed Sage Rosenfels yesterday and Letroy Guion today. But there isn't a player on the list above that I had on my free agent wishlist. So, I'm optimistic that things will look pretty good for us by the end of the week.