For today's entry into the 30 Day Challenge, it's time to take a look around the league a little bit. I present you with the following scenario.
You are given the job of General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings. (Don't worry, Rick Spielman isn't losing his job or anything.) For whatever reason, you are given the power to take one player. . .any player. . .off of any other roster in the National Football League. No compensation, no trades, nothing like that. You simply say "I want this player in Minnesota" and he ends up there.
Out of all the players in the league, which one do you bring to Minnesota?
There are a lot of worthy candidates out there, to be sure. However, after looking at Minnesota's roster and where they need the most help, I think there's one particular player that would truly help the Vikings' defense become everything that we're hoping it can be. With that. . .
Welcome to Minnesota, Earl Thomas.
Yes, I know that the Vikings already have one of the NFL's best safeties in Harrison Smith. But Thomas, at this point, is probably the best safety in the league (and if he's not, he's on a very short list), and pairing him with Smith would allow Mike Zimmer, George Edwards and company to get all kinds of creative with the front seven and the cornerbacks on defense to put pressure on opposing teams. A tandem of Smith and Thomas would give the Vikings two safeties with very good range that can step up against the run and lay the proverbial wood to people in the secondary.
As a side effect of that, it would help to weaken a team that the Vikings would have to deal with down the track. Thomas might be the biggest catalyst of the "Legion of Boom," and any team that has playoff or championship aspirations is going to have to deal with the Seattle Seahawks at some point. While the Seattle defense would likely still be very good without Thomas, losing him would still be a tremendous blow.
Adding a player the caliber of Earl Thomas to an already young, talented, and rising defense would make the Minnesota Vikings a big-time contender in the NFC while weakening the top dog in the conference. That's why, out of all of the talented players across the NFL, Earl Thomas is who I would go with if I could add any of them to the current Vikings roster.
How about you, ladies and gentlemen?