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All (Still) Quiet On the Northern Front

Hello, darkness, my old friend. . .
I've come to talk with you again

Yes, as the off-season presses on, the Vikings continue to take no significant action towards patching any holes they might have going into the 2009 season, and seem to be relying almost solely on the draft in order to build their team for next season.  In a way, I suppose that's understandable.  They've got, at worst, 18 out of 22 starters returning from last year's division championship squad (19 if you think Ryan Cook is still going to be the starter at RT, and 20 if you think Tarvaris Jackson is still going to be the starting QB), and we're now entering the phase of free agency where a player signed is expected to be more of a depth type of roster piece as opposed to an immediate impact player.

However, there have been two recent veteran releases. . .both coming from the St. Louis Rams. . .of players that would be immediate impact guys for the Beloved Purple, and guys that I'm sincerely hoping that Minnesota is at least considering taking a look at.

One of those releases came today, when the Rams released Torry Holt, their long-time stalwart at wide receiver.  Holt has missed a total of two games in his 10-year NFL career, and managed to put up decent numbers in the disaster that was the St. Louis offense last season.

Receiving Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG Lng TD KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
16 64 796 49.8 12.4 45 3 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Yes, it was one of Torry Holt's worst seasons, but with what happened in St. Louis last year, what could anybody have reasonably expected?  Marc Bulger was getting himself killed on a regular basis, Steven Jackson didn't perform terribly well and missed four games because of injury, and the Rams fired "offensive genius" Scott Linehan during the season.

Make no mistake, Torry Holt is still a damn good NFL wide receiver.  If he was released at 3 PM Central time today, the Vikings should have been on the phone with his agent no later than 3:15.  He would certainly step right into the starting lineup across from Bernard Berrian, and would give this offense the legit pair of reliable hands that they need.

The Rams released future Hall of Fame OT Orlando Pace earlier on in the week as well.  Now, Pace struggled a bit this year, as did the entire St. Louis offensive line, and I certainly don't want him coming in and replacing Bryant McKinnie at left tackle.  What I WANT is for Pace to come in and immediately take Ryan Cook's RT spot.  Pace has slowed down a bit, and doesn't quite have the ability that he used to, but he'd be a HUGE upgrade for this team at right tackle, and the consensus from things that I've read is that he would benefit from a switch to the right side, anyway.

Bringing in Pace and Holt would allow the Vikings to do what I feel teams should generally do in the NFL Draft. . .select the best available player every round, regardless of position, unless you have insane depth at a particular spot.  The Vikings' two biggest needs right now, in my opinion, are WR and RT.  Enter Pace, enter Holt, and enter the ability for the Vikings to take any player in the draft at any position they want when their names are called.

I'm sure these guys won't come cheap, although I thiink Pace could demand a slightly lower price than Holt.  But the Vikings have plenty of cap room and a need to win, and Orlando Pace and Torry Holt would definitely help them accomplish that sooner rather than later.

What does everyone else think?  Should the Vikings be bringing these two in to at least kick their tires a little bit?