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The Daily Norseman Mailbag, November 18th, 2021

The better late than never mailbag

Washington Redskins Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Good Morning!

For salary cap questions I’ll continue using overthecap.com so I’m consistent with the numbers I throw out there.

Any trades involving draft picks I’m using the updated NFL Trade Value Chart developed by Rich Hill available at https://www.drafttek.com/NFL-Trade-Value-Chart-Rich-Hill.asp

For evaluating or looking up draft prospects or rookies my go to is thedraftnetwork.com

If I can’t come up with what I think is a legitimate answer, I’ll ask someone who I think can provide one.

Enough from me, let’s see what was on everyone’s mind.

benjaman posted a soliloquy:
If the Vikings miss the playoffs yes I think they clean house. If they make the playoffs only to get embarrassed again in a one and done fashion I think they probably fire Zimmer but not sure where that leaves Rick. The issues with coaching have not suddenly gone away because they actually won Sunday. They’re still a losing football team at this time. Maybe they become not a losing team at some point this year. My question is, after 15 total years of Rick Spielman including 9 as GM and 8 years of Mike Zimmer have you seen enough? Would you like to continue to see the team slog through the season with 10 wins the ceiling every year and 8 losses likely worst case scenario? Is it good enough to see the team make the playoffs less than half the time under this dynamic duo? Funny thing about the team under the two of them, after the thrashing by Philly in the NFCCG they were allegedly a QB away from a legit contender but they have only gotten worse since then so who is responsible for that? I don’t have all the answers but the Vikings era since that long ago NFCCG has been an abject failure and ambivalence is setting in, at least for me.

I run hot and cold about whether I want Zimmer/Rick fired at the end of the season, mostly depending on whether the Vikings won their most recent game and if it was a loss, did coaching play a part (poor clock management, defense giving up a TD with less than two minutes to go in the half, etc).
The Wilfs have be looking at the overall product for the last seven years and wondering if it’s time to go in another direction.

NorthwoodsVF asked:
I think “...only a QB away from being a legit contender.....” must have been a fallacy started by Zimmer because he never liked Keenum.
Think about it - we were IN the NFCCG. One win away from playing in the Owl. That’s not a contender?

I think the “only a QB away” narrative started when the Vikings decided not to re-sign Bridgewater or Keenum, and was pushed by the Vikings to get the fans onboard with the Kirk signing.
The miscalculation by the front office and coaching staff was the defense was due for a regression and the schedule got harder, plus another change at offensive coordinator.

Mn-Fan-OutWest pondered:
Question for you: Would you trade Kirk no matter what, only trade him with a top offer, or ride out the contract adding void years to navigate the cap hit ?
also: Forgot to add... JJ & Kendricks for MVP’s. I think Rick & Co are gone unless they have a big run to finish the season & pull a few upsets in the play-offs.

Trade Kirk, let him ride out his contract or extend him...really that’s the 35M question for the offseason.
The Vikings can trade Kirk after this year with a dead money hit of 10M but a cap savings of 35M. There are plenty of teams who are QB needy and might likely trade for Kirk.
(in no particular order)
Saints
Steelers
WFT
Panthers
Eagles
Texans
Colts
Broncos

That gets Kirk’s BOC (big ole contract) off the Vikings books but then they have a QB1 problem and will have to look to the draft. My concern with that scenario is it signals a (likely needed) rebuild but I don’t want Rick or Kubiak Jr. picking a QB. Rick had two opportunities at a QB1 and they both left much to be desired.
My guess is that Spielman/Zimmer are out (which I think they are if there’s another one and done playoff appearance or the team misses completely) and the Vikings move on from Kirk.

Skolifer asked:
Do you hate all people, or just Mac Jones?

Yes.
For those of you who don’t know, my derision of Mac Jones is based on the fact that he played college QB at Alabama, I came out before the draft and said he wasn’t 1st round talent. He’s done very well with the Patriots because they had the nucleus of a good team around him. I’d still take Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance or Justin Fields over him.

basroil pondered:
My preference is ride out the year and let Zim go at the end of the year if the team doesn’t do anything noteworthy. I’m inclined to keep Spielman, I don’t feel like Spielman wanted to draft all those first round corners and he’s done a generally adequate to good job with the salary cap, Cousins aside.

I can’t see the Vikings firing Zimmer mid-season unless the team quits on him, there isn’t an in-house guy that’s been a HC before that can step in and take over. More likely, those decisions will be made at the conclusion of the season.

BigStupidFace asked:
If you’re the wilfs, what would you do?

Argument for firing Rick:
He’s the architect of a team of below average talent, and the coaching cannot overcome the players shortcomings.

Argument for firing Zimmer:
The talent is there, but the team is under performing.

Argument for firing both:
Talent and performance are both underachievers/time for a fresh start.

Argument for keeping both:
At least we’re not Detroit.

What’s your plan?

Barring a miracle run to the NFCCG or Superb Owl, fire them both, trade Kirk and any veterans available for draft picks and rebuild the team.

vking1 pondered:
Did I see Blake Brandel out there against the San Diego Superchargers? If so, where did he play ...guard? Tackle? How many snaps?

Olisaemeka Udoh missed one snap after he got dinged up late in the first half. Blake Brandel replaced him at right guard and played five total snaps up front.
(cut and paste from Vikings.com)

HefnerGoat asked:
MVPs:
Kirk offense
Kendricks defense

Which strategy do you like better to combat our weak-ass pass protection:

1. 5 O-line, 1 FB and a blocking TE stay home and protect Kirk. Thielen, Jefferson and Osborn are left to get open against 4-6 DBs. No Dalvin Cook, no receiving TE, no check down. But...Kirk has lots of time.

2. 5 O-line only to pass block. 3 WRs, Dalvin Cook and Conklin try to get open. Kirk has very little time and it’s a crap shoot on pressures and hurries and he’s under duress 80% of pass plays.

No matter what the offensive formation is, the guys up front have to block. Darrisaw and O’Neil have been fine this year (Darrisaw is a rookie and will do rookie things at times) but the interior of the line remains the deficiency. This year is going to be an indictment of Bradbury (and Rick picking him) since he hasn’t progressed in terms of his pass blocking since he was a rookie.

I’d like to see more 3 WR sets with split backs behind Kirk.

NorZeman pondered:
The most important question this time of year:
Turkey or Ham?

We had ham last year, since I’m working this Thanksgiving we’ll have our Thanksgiving dinner the following week, either steaks or I’ll throw something on the smoker.

Mrs_Rob from Floriduh previously pondered:

Go out on a limb and set yourself up for ridicule by predicting the season record.

Sun, Sep 1212:00 PM@ Cincinnati Bengals W L

Sun, Sep 193:05 PM@ Arizona Cardinals W L

Sun, Sep 263:25 PM vs Seattle Seahawks L W

Sun, Oct 312:00 PM vs Cleveland Browns L L

Sun, Oct 1012:00 PM vs Detroit Lions W W

Sun, Oct 1712:00 PM@ Carolina Panthers W W

Sun, Oct 317:20 PM vs Dallas Cowboys W L

Sun, Nov 712:00 PM@ Baltimore Ravens L L

Sun, Nov 143:05 PM@ Los Angeles Chargers W

Sun, Nov 2112:00 PM vs Green Bay Packers W

Sun, Nov 283:25 PM@ San Francisco 49ers L

Sun, Dec 512:00 PM@ Detroit Lions W

Thu, Dec 97:20 PM vs Pittsburgh Steelers L

Mon, Dec 207:15 PM@ Chicago Bears W

Sun, Dec 2612:00 PM vs Los Angeles Rams W

Sun, Jan 27:20 PM@ Green Bay Packers L

Sun, Jan 912:00 PM vs Chicago Bears L

My original win/loss picks are listed first, if it’s struck through that means I got the win/loss wrong.

Can the Vikings go 6-2 the rest of the season to get to 10 wins? Based on the current season, probably not.

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to pose questions either via Twitter, email or in the mailbag post. Look for the next mailbag post next week if I can pull it off or in two weeks.

Skol