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Vikings Free Agency: Rick Spielman Is The Greatest And Also The Worst

A look at what’s transpired with the Vikings in free agency thus far.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Depending upon where you’re getting your information from, the Minnesota Vikings have either done exactly what they set out to do in free agency, or they’ve completely wasted the first four days of the free agency period and Rick Spielman should be fired.

Happy New League Year, ladies and gentlemen.

Yes, the Vikings have seen many more departures than additions thus far. The two additions they’ve made, Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, addressed the biggest need that the purple have right now. Granted, there were no spots along the offensive line that were really positive last season (with the possible exception of center Joe Berger), but the tackle situation was a tire fire that was inside of a dumpster, and the dumpster was also on fire.

Are the Reiff and Remmers signings huge splashes? Probably not in comparison to what some teams have done, no. Sure, it would have been nice to sign Ricky Wagner and Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler and Ronald Leary and whoever else. But the offensive line problem for the Vikings is going to be a multi-year fix, and not only does attempting to sign all of those players not work with the reality of the salary cap, it doesn’t begin to take in all of the other factors that go into free agency.

This isn’t Madden NFL where a free agent signs with a team simply because they throw the most money at him. If it was, we’d be talking about Alshon Jeffery as the Vikings’ new #1 wide receiver, as he reportedly turned down a multi-year contract with more security from the Vikings to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Why would he do that?

I don’t know. Ask Alshon Jeffery.

Reiff and Remmers are an upgrade at both tackle spots from what the Minnesota Vikings had at those positions last year. Yes, they probably paid more than they needed to, but overpaying for players is what happens in free agency. Honestly, would anyone be less angry if the Vikings would have re-signed Matt Kalil for the deal he got with the Panthers? I mean, Reiff and Remmers aren’t the best combo in the league or anything, but Kalil has had one good NFL season. . .which occurred five calendar years ago. . .and the Panthers gave him a deal similar to the one the Vikings gave to Reiff, who is a better player at this point. Is this going to make the Vikings’ offensive line one of the best in the NFL? Probably not. . .but it should help prevent them from being an offensive line that would probably get destroyed by half the defensive lines in the Big Ten Conference.

I just don’t get the anger or the impression that the Vikings’ front office is just sitting around Winter Park with their feet up on the table playing paddleball or something. The moves that the Vikings have made thus far might not be the moves that everyone wanted them to make, but it’s hard to argue that they haven’t made the team better than it was four days ago. They’re not done yet, either, as they have running back Eddie Lacy in for a visit today, and as they still have a bunch of salary cap space left, there are still moves to be made, I would imagine.

Concerning the players who have left thus far. . .who are the Vikings really going to miss? Sure, it would have been nice to have Captain Munnerlyn back as the slot corner, but again, who knows if he ever really considered re-signing with the Vikings to be an option for him?

Here are the other losses thus far:

Audie Cole
Rhett Ellison
Charles Johnson
Matt Kalil
Jeff Locke

We’re going to freak out over this? Really? Seriously?

Rick Spielman’s job as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings is to make this team as good and as talented as possible. He has added to this team’s talent over the past couple of days, and has addressed the Vikings’ biggest position of need. With the weakness of the offensive tackle class in both free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft (according to scouts), he did what he needed to do to attempt to improve this team at that position. Given that the strength and depth of the interior line class in the draft is far superior to the tackle position, my guess is that Spielman and company are going to attack that deficiency hard in April. In the meantime, there will probably be plenty of less-heralded signings for us to chew on between now and then.

If people want to be angry at Rick Spielman and pretend that they’re better at his job than he is, that’s their right. But after the moves that have been made and what other teams have done, I’m not sure what, exactly, anyone else would have (or could have) done differently.