First off, I want to say thanks to the readers of this site, and to those of you that follow either the DN official Twitter account, my Twitter account, or both. We had a very positive response to the first mailbag last week, so much so that we couldn't get to all the questions. Stuff like this really depends on reader interaction, and holy bad Trump haircut did you guys interact.
So we're back! Whether you view this as a good thing or bad thing, I leave to you. Anyways, now that the NFL Combine is over and teams have designated franchise or transition tags to players, we're in kind of a dead period until free agency starts. There's still a lot to talk about, though, so let's get to it.
Oh, before I forget. If there's a question you want to ask, be it about football or life in general, find me on Twitter (@purplebuckeye) and use the hashtag #DNMailbag. Please include the hashtag to ensure I see the question. Or, if you're a social media Neanderthal, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to answer your question that way. Good? Good. Okay, NOW let's get to it.
Our first question comes via email from Kenneth in Mississippi, (HEY KEN DO YOU KNOW BRETT FAVRE????) and he wants to know about uniforms:
"Since next year the Color Rush gimmick will be mandatory for all 32 teams, what do you think Minnesota will unveil? Our regular all purple uniform with matching socks and shoes (similar to what the Titans did), a throwback of some kind, or something crazy like Gold or Black alternates? I'm curious as to what you think our favorite team will do, as well as what you would want them to do if you were in charge."
Thanks, Kenneth. Man, I hated those Color Rush uniforms. They were all hideous, every one. If they can go with a throwback uniform, I would LOVE to see them come out of the tunnel wearing these:
The Greatest Viking Of Them All, Wearing The Greatest Uniform Of Them All
That is a seriously badass uniform, and the best one the Vikings have ever worn. Heck, I'd even be good with the late '90's uniforms, those were pretty sweet as well. Anything other than a heinous, eye blinding, convulsion inducing Color Rush uniform. Please, I beg you.
Next up, resident draft guru and staff writer Mark:
I honestly think $7-8 million/yr is the floor, not the ceiling. I talked a little bit about Iloka's projected salary here, and if we're using the Earl Thomas contract as a guideline, combined with the madness of free agency, combined with the new Harrison Smith deal...George Iloka is about to get paid, yo. Also, Mark, just add #DNMailbag into the tweet.
Seriously man, let's get on the technology train, brother.
Oh hey, it's another front page writer, our own Di Murphy. And oh hey, it's another front page writer that doesn't know how to use hashtags. I have a pretty good idea what our next training meeting at DN World Headquarters will cover, but I digress. Di wants to know:
Hmmm...I would normally avoid politics, but since you bashed both the major party nominees, I'll allow it. Becoming an expatriate is a tough choice, and one you should not take lightly. Personally, if I were to do it, I'd go to Northwest Ontario. If the cold weather isn't your thing, I'd look into Belize. If you don't want to learn another language, I hear New Zealand is nice.
But in all my travels, the most foreign place I've ever been to is New Jersey. Left turns off of major roads aren't allowed, everyone speaks with a weird accent, you can't pump your own gas, and near as I can tell they all worship a God named Wawa Bon Springsteen. New Jersey does accept American currency, but it takes 45-90 minutes to go anywhere. Seriously, you have a supermarket one block down the road from where you live? 45 minutes, one way.
On second thought, New Jersey sucks. Don't go there. Go to Antarctica. They have penguins and no sales tax. Penguins are nice. No sales tax is nicer.
Next up, a beer question from Alex Goble:
Man, a good red ale is tough to beat. Not sure if it classifies as a red ale or not, but Third Shift Brewery out of Ft. Worth, TX, makes an amber ale that cures what ails you, and New Belgium Fat Tire is another great, great amber ale. Amber ales are a little bit lighter, and I think that makes it an almost perfect beer for the Spring. Really hits the spot on those spring days when the temperature stats rising and you've spent an afternoon in the yard, and now it's time to grill. You can't go wrong with a Killian's in that scenario, either, if you're tying me to just red ales. But Killian's is a little bit heavier than a Third Shift, at least for me, and in the scenario I just described above, I'm not stopping at one beer. Now, I'm not gonna piss pound a case (well okay, I might) but I'm probably having 3-4. And 3-4 Third Shift Amber Ales sit on the belly a lot better than 3-4 Killian's Red.
As far as lagers...I'm just not much of a lager guy. There's some good ones out there, like Stella Artois, but my beer palate got spoiled when I was stationed in Germany back in the 90's when I was in the Army. In America, lagers are a dime a dozen, and until the micro brew scene really started taking off 10-15 years ago, there wasn't much alternative to a mass produced lager or pilsner for the American beer consumer. So if I have my choice, I'm going to try and find a good hefeweizen or a red/amber ale from a local/small business micro brew before I go to a lager. But look, that's just me, and I'm not saying that to denigrate lagers. Just drank them my whole adult life, until I got exposed to some of the best beer in the world over in Germany, and I'd like to try other stuff over lagers.
Alex Bigott is next, and by the tone of his question, I have Alex pegged as a founding member of the Taliban. Or, more likely, a Michigan fan:
Alex, Alex, Alex...you ask this like it's a bad thing. Okay, let me try and put my OSU homerism off to the side, and be as objective as I can in answering your question.
Since Urban Meyer became the Ohio State coach, he's had one of the best recruiting classes, year in and year out, come to Columbus, and he's gone a ridiculously insane 50-4 as the OSU head coach. You don't win that much without NFL level talent, and Meyer and staff have done a great job developing these guys into potential NFL players, to the tune of about a dozen guys, give or take.
And OSU has guys with NFL potential coming out at every position group, which is nuts if you stop and think about it. They have:
WR's--Braxton Miller, Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall
OL-- Taylor Decker, Jacoby Boren
DL--Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington
DB's: Eli Apple, Vonn Bell
Other than QB, you can argue that the Vikings have a need at every one of those positions, and more than half of those guys (Bosa, Elliott, Miller, Thomas, Decker, Bosa, Washington, Lee, Apple) graded out as a first round talent. And if I wake up Monday morning after the draft to find out they took Cardale Jones in the 5th or 6th round, I wouldn't be terribly surprised.
So when you see a mock draft that has Minnesota tied to an OSU guy, it's because that guy is pretty good, maybe even the top ranked player at his respective position group, and it's a position the Vikings need, depending on what they do in free agency. Hope that didn't come off a too homerish, it's just a really good year for Ohio State players in the draft.
Vod KaKnockers is next up. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's not the name on Vod's birth certificate:
Yeah, I do. I would think in that case they'd go o-line, maybe safety. I still think they get a WR fairly early, though, like the third round, if not the second. But if Wallace is back, there are more pressing needs that the Vikings need to address at the top of the draft.
Admiral Big Gun is up next. The Admiral wants to know:
Interesting question. Oh, for those of you that aren't up on Twitter handles, @ceeflashpee84 is Cordarrelle Patterson. I think everyone would concede that in a 40, the Road Runner would beat Patterson...or anyone for that matter...handily. But have you ever seen the Road Runner make a stop and go cutback, and then accelerate to full speed while going against the grain and flow of the play? I haven't, but I've seen Patterson do that, a lot more than once. As a matter of fact, I've never seen the Road Runner carry a football, come to think of it. So if I want to win a footrace, I'll call the Road Runner. If I want someone to house it from 107 yards deep while making two or three guys miss, give me The Flash. Also, Mike McCarthy is dumber than the Coyote.
Justin Redfern is up next, and he uses his daughter as a human shield in asking this next question. Way to go, Justin:
#DNMailbag my daughter asks...Will the Vikes trade AD? & (my follow-up) if so what do you think Rick can get for him?— Justin Redfern (@Jmredfern78) March 2, 2016
Nope, they're not trading him. I pretty much came to that realization when they re-negotiated his contract, giving him more guaranteed money over two years. Adrian Peterson will be a member of the Vikings in 2016, unless Rick Spielman gets blown away by a trade offer. Which he won't, because Peterson is over 30 years old, and has more years behind him than in front of him as an NFL player.
But okay, let's say they do trade him, you want to know the compensation they'll get back. That's so tough to predict, but I think a first round pick isn't gonna happen. Second or third round? Depending on how bad the other team wanted him, maybe. I would think a 3rd or 4th, and maybe a couple later picks would do it, but yeah...tough to say. The market for running backs over 30 years old isn't really a seller's market, even for a first ballot Hall of Famer like Peterson.
Judd Zulgad's Hoodie is next, and he has a question about the Combine and how can something that is a piece of cloth be a sentient being?
This is an event that must happen. Off the top of my head, I see a words typed per minute drill leading things off...although not as important as the 40, because let's face it, we write when we want to write. There would have to be a 'joke per sentence capita' category, followed by a cone drill that measures how many Internet and Twitter rumors one turns into a clickbait post. Finally, there would be an alcohol and cigar relay event, but one can't leave a barstool or patio chair while competing, or you'll be disqualified.
Bonus points are scored for writing a post about another human being who is far superior to you athletically that you call 'slow', 'stiff', 'has weak hips', or some such nonsense.
Sam Schreier is next, wanting to know something about helicopters:
It's tough to put into words that part of my life now that I look back on it some 10 to 20 years after the fact. I don't want to do a disservice to the crews I flew with or the great Americans I served with, because I flew with some of the absolute greatest people this country has produced. The camaraderie, that's what I miss the most, to be honest. I miss going into the squadron or company every day, shooting the shit with guys I loved like my own brothers, and then strapping on a 50,000 pound beast of an aircraft to go do great things for America.
My favorite missions were the most dangerous ones, because I was young, incredibly stupid, quite certain I was immortal, and hooked on adrenaline--the tougher the mission, the more I wanted to be lead aircraft.
I refer you back to the 'I was incredibly stupid' statement above.
Flying a blacked out helicopter full of fellow badass American special operators full of bad intentions and bandoleers of frontier justice, into the heart of enemy territory to literally their front door in the middle of the night, less than 200 feet off the ground, using night vision goggles and going 120-130 knots until you were on the objective?
Yeah, that was pretty goddamn fun. At least I thought it was at the time.
Being a grandpa is a lot cooler, truth be told. A lot safer, too. War is a dirty fucking business. A guy could get killed doing that shit.