I missed this story when CBS Sports first did it, but it’s something that’s worth having a look at, I think.
The folks from CBS went through all 32 teams in the National Football League and put together what they call a “Franchise Five” for each one. It sounds like a simple enough premise on the surface, finding five men that represent the best of each NFL team, but there are some criteria involved. CBS specifically mentions that, of the five selections, one has to be a coach and one has to be a quarterback.
When you look at who they chose for the “Franchise Five” for our favorite team, I think we can all agree that there isn’t a whole lot of debate for the head coach and quarterback spots. Everyone knows that, as things stand right now, Bud Grant is the greatest coach in Vikings history and Fran Tarkenton is the greatest quarterback in Vikings history. So, let’s turn our focus to the other three selections.
CBS selected wide receiver Randy Moss, defensive tackle Alan Page, and running back Adrian Peterson as the Vikings’ three other representatives in the “Franchise Five.” So, did they get it right?
After giving it some thought, my answer is a solid. . .probably.
Randy Moss definitely belongs on the list, given the way he burst onto the scene and the level of play he showed throughout his time with the Vikings. If cheap-ass Red McCombs hadn’t traded him away, he would have eventually passed Cris Carter for every Vikings’ receiving record, I think.
Page definitely belongs on the list, too. When you’re one of two defensive players in the history of the league to be named NFL MVP and one of the most dominant players of your era, you get a spot. The CBS Sports article does, briefly, touch on his off-field accomplishments as well, but even absent those Page would get a spot on this list.
Which brings us to Peterson. I think that of the five selections that CBS Sports made for the Vikings. Peterson might be the most questionable. . .and, again, I’m not taking anything that happened off the field into account here. When it comes to just his performance on the field, Peterson is the best running back in Vikings history by a significant distance. I’m not saying that he doesn’t belong, but his spot on the team is the least solid.
If I were inclined to make a swap in this “Franchise Five” list. . .which is not to say that I am, necessarily. . .Peterson would be the one that I would take off the list, and I would replace him with Randall McDaniel. Honestly, McDaniel should be on the short list of the greatest offensive linemen not just in Vikings’ history, but in the history of the National Football League, given his level of dominance and how long he sustained it for.
There are some other names that could have, potentially, made the list, some of whom are in the “Honorable Mention” section (McDaniel, Cris Carter, Carl Eller, Paul Krause, and John Randle), but I think McDaniel would be the next man up if this list were to expand to six.
What do you think of the CBS Sports “Franchise Five” for the Minnesota Vikings? Is there anyone you’d swap out, keeping in mind that your selections have to include one head coach and one quarterback?