Today is our theme day across the SB Nation network of football blogs, and today we’re going to be taking a look back to the offseason. Specifically, if there was a move that the Minnesota Vikings made that they might want to take back in hindsight, what would that move be?
Now, if we review the bad moves that the Vikings made this offseason, the list is a pretty short one. The team said they were going to re-tool their offensive line, and they did that with the signings of Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, along with the drafting of Pat Elflein. Deciding on Case Keenum to be the team’s backup quarterback has obviously been a boon for this team so far as well.
However, if there was one move that Rick Spielman and company might rethink if they could get a do-over, it might be the signing of running back Latavius Murray.
Murray was signed in late March, and it was assumed that he was going to be the guy that the Vikings would use as their go-to back in the post-Adrian Peterson era. Of course, a couple of days after he signed, Murray had surgery on an ankle that he had injured the previous season, and the injury kept him out for most of Training Camp.
Fortunately, the Vikings had a backup plan. . .at least at the time. . .with the drafting of Dalvin Cook. Murray’s absence in camp gave Cook the opportunity to really take over as the running back of choice in Pat Shurmur’s offense, and he grabbed said opportunity with both hands. In the first three weeks of the season, Cook was second in the National Football League in rushing yardage. Of course, we all know what happened after that. Cook tore his ACL in the Vikings’ loss to the Detroit Lions, and was gone for the season.
That appeared to be the opening that Murray would have needed, but he stated in the week after that game that his ankle still wasn’t 100%. That gave the only running back remaining from the 2016 team, Jerick McKinnon, another opportunity to prove that he could handle the load in Cook’s absence. Through two games, at the very least, McKinnon has been pretty good both running the football and catching it out of the backfield, and it appears that Murray’s position has been usurped once again. Thus far, through six games, Murray has carried the ball 41 times and gained just 97 yards.
Murray’s deal with the Vikings was a three-year contract, but it’s structured in such as way that the Vikings could move on from the deal after one season with no damage to the team’s salary cap. If Rick Spielman and the rest of the Vikings’ front office had the chance to do it again, they might look in a different direction all together.
What offseason move do you think the Vikings would redo (or undo) if they had an opportunity? Do you think they would make a move that they didn’t make at the time?