Okay so I have decided to throw my hat in the ring and give yet another perspective on our proposed dream off season. I am no expert like some of you Norse Gods on this forum but I have a fairly reasonable understanding on the majority of things relating to the Vikings as well as who I feel could make a good impact in our team. Don’t persecute me over cap numbers as I was just cross referencing sites/other posts/my own imagination to make the figures work.
PLEASE BE NICE
Re-signings (not to be confused with people quitting)
Everson Griffen: Give the man his chance to finally start and see what he can do. I’m thinking something like $18m over 4 years should get it done.
Marcus Sherels: Decent depth at CB, bit of a feel good story and a handy little special teamer. $2m over 2 years.
Chris Cook: Flaming out in a contract year helps us, he is a talented player and under someone like Zimmer could develop him into a decent corner who might even catch the illusive interception before I turn 30. Cheap 2 year prove it deal, $1.5m per year.
Desmond Bishop: Similar to Cook, injuries derailed his season but grabbing him on another bargain deal for depth doesn’t hurt. $1m 1 year.
Joe Webb: Could be obtained for peanuts I would imagine, I still hope he gets on the field and wows us more regularly with that freakish talent of his.
Joe Berger: Depth at guard. Plain and simple.
Ja’Marcus Webb: See Joe Berger.
Jared Allen: Would like to keep him but he’s off to a contender to chase that ring.
Kevin Williams: If he takes a hometown discount I would love to re-sign him and let him start at nose, he was surprisingly effective when he subbed in there this season. If not all the best KWill.
Charlie Johnson: Goodbye and good riddance.
Marvin Mitchell: Still baffled how he earned so many reps.
Jerome Simpson: Will probably want more than I am willing to offer, either that or he ends up in jail with Henderson.
Erin Henderson: Let him find another source of income to fund his drinking habits.
John Carlson: Came on strong when Rudolph went down but he is overpriced and Ellson and Ford are more than capable replacements.
Letroy Guion: $4 million in savings. Nuff said.
Free Agent Signings
Here’s where things get fun. My ideal wish list is to grab some big time help in the secondary and possibly dip into the linebacker pool as well.
Alteraun Verner (CB): Came on strong this year, showed elite shutdown potential. Probably the prize in the CB crop but well worth it at only 25. Pair him up with Rhodes and relax. Thinking a 4 year $32m year would potentially get us the other half to our shutdown tandem.
Michael Johnson (DE): Had a down year based on sack numbers but was up on pressures, forced fumbles and tackles for loss. Zimmer has been working with him the past few years and turned him into a very good DE I think he will follow his coach to the land of purple. This signing could also alter our chances of re-signing Griffen. I still like a 3 DE rotation of Robison, Griffen and Johnson. $26m over 4 years.
Jason Worilds (LB): Still in his mid 20s and has just finished a very solid season with Pittsburgh. 60+ tackles and 8 sacks will have him generating interest in FA. Depending on what we do with Greenway (a possible cut victim) Worilds would have us saying Chad who in no time. I imagine somewhere around $5m per year.
Geoff Schwartz (G): Welcome back to Minnesota good sir!! Still can’t understand why we didn’t resign him last season. He can slot right into Charlie Johnson’s vacant LG position. $2m per year sound fair?
Probably my favourite part of the year (well behind steak and BJ day) and unless Teddy or Johnny are somehow there at 8 I’m going BPA. I would also be pretty happy to trade back to around 18 and grab another 2nd rounder if the opportunity arises.
Rd 1. Sammy Watkins (WR): Sure this isn’t a pick based upon need but he is clearly BPA by a long way. He has been a beast at Clemson and has similar YAC abilities as our very own Flash Patterson. He has speed to burn, excellent size at 6’1 and hands safer than a bank vault. Gives us a legit number 1 WR who is polished and can run the route tree while also allowing us to move Jennings to the slot to create mismatches all over the field.
Rd 2. Kyle Van Noy (LB): Have been very high on him for a year or two now, he could be a day one starter and has excellent play recognition. He can do it all and is excellent at stopping both the run and pass. Ideal size and speed for the position.
Rd 3. Jimmy Garoppolo (QB): The current conductor of the hype train amongst scouts and forums, his small hands seem to be an afterthought compared to his talent. He makes good reads and can hit all the throws, has a quick release and dominated the competition this season. 53 TDs at a 66% clip is nothing to frown at.
Rd 3. Daniel McCullers (DT): Extremely raw but oozing with potential. This kid is the size of a house full of lamb legs, would be a homage to Phat Pat and I believe under Zimmer he could become something special. You can’t teach that kind of size.
Rd 4. Antone Exum (CB): If he didn’t go down with an ACL injury he probably would’ve gone second round. 3 year starter with excellent size and some good man coverage skills. Can never have too much secondary depth…ask Seattle about that if you doubt me. Another option here is Stanley Jean-Baptiste who is a huge corner with some big play ability. Could flip between them after the combine.
Rd 5. De’Anthony Thomas (RB/WR/SwissArmyKnife/Bonehead): Talent alone he deserves to be a 2nd/3rd rounder but I think due to his attitude he will be a late round pick. Grabbing him gives us a true change of pace back and also our own Darren Sproles clone to create havoc on passing downs. Thomas and Patterson on kick returns would give opposing coaches nightmares.
If we traded back from 8 with our additional 2nd I’d be targeting:
Rd 2A. Lamarcus Joyner (CB/S): A little undersized (I will try avoid the Winfield comparisons) but has a real eye for the ball. He hits like a truck and has experience playing with Rhodes due to their FSU days. Let he and Robinson fight it out for the rights to play slot corner.
QB: Matt Cassel, Jimmy Garoppolo
RB: Adrian Peterson, De’Anthony Thomas
FB: Jerome Felton, Zach Line
WR: Sammy Watkins, Greg Jennings, Cordarelle Patterson, Jarius Wright, Joe Webb, Greg Childs
TE: Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellson, Chase Ford
LT: Matt Kalil
LG: Geoff Schwartz
C: John Sullivan, Joe Berger
RG: Brandon Fusco
RT: Phil Loadholt, Ja’Marcus Webb
LE: Brian Robison, Michael Johnson
DT: Shariff Floyd, Fred Evans
NT: Daniel McCullers
RE: Everson Griffen
WLB: Chad Greenway, Audie Cole
ILB: Jason Worilds, Mike Mauti
SLB: Kyle Van Noy, Gerald Hodges, Desmond Bishop
LCB: Alteraun Verner, Shaun Prater
RCB : Xavier Rhodes, Antone Exum
NCB: Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels
FS: Harrison Smith
SS: Andrew Sendejo
K: Blair Walsh
P: Jeff Locke
KR: Cordarelle Patterson, De'Anthony Thomas
PR: Marcus Sherels
So there you have it, my first ever mock off season all the way from Australia. No doubt there will be a lot of minor signings and cuts but I just wanted to try focus on the main guys.