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The Daily Norseman Mailbag February 17th, 2021

You have questions, I have answers.

Minneapolis Exteriors And Landmarks - 2021 Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Good Morning!

I did comb Twitter looking for #DailyNorsemanmailbag and didn’t see anything so I might give up on Twitter for that function and all the rest to be honest. For salary cap questions I’ll continue using overthecap.com so I’m consistent with the numbers I throw out there. I haven’t seen the salary cap finalized, but the number I keep seeing is 180M. Enough from me, let’s see what was on everyone’s mind.

Angry Steve (via email) had a math question:

Given:

a) IF.... Wreck could find his derriere with a bell on it and actually realize that “OL” is short for “offensive line” and draft one, THEN..... Mike Zero would screw up, completely and utterly unaware of what to do with these new fresh ingredients. next,

b) IF.... Wreck drafted decently AND.... Mike Zero was somehow able to put that talent on the field (i.e. properly coaching them), THEN..... Beaker wouldn’t crap his pants in any game versus an opponent who’s name doesn’t begin with “Detroit”, lastly,

c) IF.... Wreck drafted well, AND....Mike Zero coached decently AND.... Beaker was somehow able to develop testicular fortitude, THEN.... wait, there is no THEN in this formulae because this will NEVER happen.

Love it if you could double check my work.

This team can and will continue to go NOWHERE until this 3 headed monster is terminated and once again, start over.

I get it since I read some form or version of this comment every.single.day.here. Rick has been GM for a long time and Mike Zimmer has been the head coach since 2014. Two playoff wins followed by duds the following week haven’t galvanized the fanbase with a lot of support for either, particularly after both were given extensions. I’d have to say you may get your wish closer to the end of their extensions unless the Vikings make a deep run in the playoffs this year or next....which right now would be a stretch to predict.

Also, I was informed there would be no math.gif

Teddy2Diggs had two questions:

There was speculation that the 49ers may be interested in helping us resolve our cap troubles by trading for Cousins. With so much QB news and rumors of QBs changing work addresses, how likely do you think a trade involving Cousins is?

As a follow up, do you believe the Vikings are likely to draft a QB this year?

I was part of the early speculation of a potential trade of Cousins to the 49ers mostly because it was more fun than the usual “which CB are we drafting in the 1st round” or “can he play gourd?” that drives our offseason banter. On the surface, the familiarity Shanahan has with Cousins made sense, especially if the 49ers weren’t sold on JimmyG’s level of play, and much to delight of many here, the Vikings would have gotten out from Kirk’s contract...but the trade hasn’t happened and probably won’t. The 49ers would be taking on Kirk’s contract and would probably have to extend him (to me that’s the most plausible explanation) plus I haven’t read anything that indicates the Vikings are actively shopping Cousins; every player is trade able for the right price (see Diggs, Stefon) but we don’t know if any serious talk ever occurred between the 49ers and Vikings. Given a scale of 1 (meaning it’s happening) to 5 (it’s not happening) I’d give this trade scenario a “4.”

Will the Vikings draft a QB this year?

Probably, but in the mid to late rounds.

Here are the numbers courtesy of GA Skol:

The guarantees right now are this year’s salary. Next year’s salary guarantees 3/19/21. If we cut Kirk it would be this year’s salary + $20M ($21M + $20M = $41M cap hit), a $10M increase because of that allocation. His base in 2022 would then go away (as long as it is before 3/19). If we trade Kirk it would be the $20M in bonus allocation and the new team would owe him $21M + $35M the next two years. The post June 1st designation would push half that to next year. So we could take $20M dead cap this year or $10M this year and $10M next year. There is no difference in total savings it is just the year in which it hits.

2021 - $21M base (already guaranteed) + $10M bonus allocation

2022 - $35M base (guarantees 3/19) + $10M bonus allocation

MissouriVikes Fan asked:

Is this the year that Rick finally addresses both OG positions with something other than a retread FA and a late round flyer?

No. Just kidding...kind of. I think the team needs a free agent guard, but someone who isn’t coming off two injured season or isn’t better than someone the Vikings already have. The interior of the line needs to be addressed in the 2nd or 3rd round (have to get that second round pick back though).

Skolifer pondered:

2021 Draft 1st Round Primer: rank in order of most to least likely, do you think the Vikings will trade-up, hold pat or trade-down with their 1st pick and, with each scenario, what do you think is the most likely pick they’ll make (you can go with a projected player or position).

Stand fast-Edge
Trade down-IDL/WR
Trade up-I really don’t see this scenario considering the Vikings don’t have a second round pick, but the draft is weird and someone could fall that the Vikings really like. Would probably take next year’s 1st round pick to move up though.

Surly Viking pondered:

On the Kubiak hire. I am fine with it, provided Zimmer keeps his hands off the offense and lets the kid try some new things. He may fail, he may be a genius. He may run the exact same offense. Let’s find out.

My question is this. Is it even possible for Zimmer to let an O coordinator do the job they are hired to do?

I’m fine with the hire also, although Klint is young he’s been around the game his whole life and is certainly familiar with the offense. Remember, as Head Coach, Mike Zimmer is responsible for all areas of the on the field product, the coordinator’s job is to take his vision and put it on the field. That said, I think new Kubiak can incorporate more motion and passing on early downs and still stay within the guidelines given to him by the Head Coach.

Also you didn’t ask Surly, but I’d like this to be the year Zimmer gives up play calling on the defense and focuses on timeout and game management, and for pete’s sake hire a guy that does analytics.

Mn-Fan-OutWest mused:

A few teams have hired their new HC and then told him... ”Go get the best GM for the team“ Any thoughts on this fairly new approach in the NFL?

I don’t understand how this power structure works, the Head Coach works for the GM, not the other way around, it’s dumb.

-Wrenage- pondered:

Does JJ Watt have more injuries or sacks at this point?

JJ Watt is credited with 101 sacks in his career, along with a long list of injuries. I’ll be interested to see who signs with and where he plays on the defense.

stspieper asked:

If the Seahawks decide to trade Russell Wilson, should the Vikings pursue him?

Pursue, absolutely but the Vikings won’t be serious players in any conversation involving Wilson. It would take Cousins, Hunter and a bunch of 1st round picks, really I don’t see it.

MarkSP 18 asked:

What should the Vikings do about Anthony Barr’s contract?

He has cap hits of $15.1, $15.6, and $18.1 mil the next 3 years.

How can they lower that number this year without raising the numbers in the next two years too much?

Even if they did figure out a way to lower his cap hit this year, would they even bother keeping him next year with those cap numbers?

Would he be willing to accept a significant pay cut?

Barr’s trade value is probably at its highest right now, considering the drop in salary cap this year the best thing would be to trade him and keep Eric Wilson.

Mr. Mick had a Thielen:

What about Thielen’s cap hits of 13.4 14.4 15.4 and he’s already 31.5 years old.

Takes a lot for a receiver to get 1000+ yards after 30 so where do we go from here with him? Dead cap for a cut now is 5.4mm.

It might be tough to give him another 13.4mm next year when we’re already up tight against the cap even with his huge TD year he had last year.

I think this question was answered in the comments, but here’s my answer: who’s your WR2 if Thielen moves to another team? Right now with Jefferson and Thielen the Vikings have a legit WR1 and WR2, they would have to draft for need early for a WR because guys with Thielen’s skillset don’t come cheap, however presumably the Vikings have been planning for this eventuality in the last couple of years: same goes for the Hitman, he’s productive but on the wrong side of 30.

manlypurple had a food question:

Why do pot pies take like 45 minutes to bake in the oven? What’s up with that?

Hello, microwave?

MarkSP18 had a health question:

How much should one scratch to relieve an itch?

Rub some dirt on it and get back to work.

tankCommanderRyck pondered:

Does Hunter deserve a raise this year or not? I don’t think he does mainly because he didn’t play last year and was paid for not playing. For this year he has already been paid his prorated bonus of 5mill and will receive 12mill in salary and 600k in bonuses.

Deserve based on last year, probably not. However based on past performance yes but the Vikings are tight against the cap this year, at least for the moment. The rumor early last year was that his “camp” (whatever that is, probably his agent) was making noise that Hunter should be paid like a top 5 edge rusher. If it was his agent saying this, I’d agree. Most likely Hunter won’t get an extension this year but their will be some sort of handshake agreement for next year if his play continues at his present level. Another thing to keep in mind, he’s probably the only player the Vikings could trade and get two 1st round picks.

Dan Cornelius asked:

Every year it is the same old thing. There is hope that the offensive line will improve. Still the same old draft philosophy of accumulating late round picks and developing them for the offensive line. When is this going to end and the Vikings start emphasizing a powerful offensive line with higher round picks?

Something has to change regarding the Vikings draft strategy and the offensive line. Yes, the Vikings have spent draft picks on the offensive line but not many have panned out and like you I grow frustrated with the constant trading back “for all the 7th round picks.” This tendency will likely end when Rick isn’t the Vikings GM.

HefnerGOAT pondered:

Mac Jones’ stock seems to be rising fast lately, and clearly he is a very intelligent person and QB, similar to Ryan Fitzpatrick with a stronger arm than Fitzpatrick. Would you select Mac Jones at 14 if he was available?

Easy answer, no unless I had a plan in place to trade Cousins. However, if Jones gets down to the late 20’s and the Vikings still had their 1st round pick by trading down perhaps he’s worth a consideration, but if the Vikings are going to take a QB in the 1st round it better be because they moved up for one of the top tier guys, which again I don’t see it happening.

NorthwoodsVF asked:

Rob - just noticed something - opened up DN and was about to log in when I noticed that all of the articles displayed number of comments/number of new comments. How does Coral know who I am, and therefore how many new comments were posted since the last time I logged in, when I haven’t logged in yet????? And, if Coral is recognizing me, why doesn’t Coral just log me in?

Magic.

szilip pondered:

How do you see the Wilfs’ position? Are they content with what they have (a tiptop, financially sound organization, and a team that is not at the bottom half of the league), or do you see them pushing Rick and Zim to win SB? If you see that push, what am I missing?

The Wilf’s seem to be pretty good owners in the grande scheme of things, they’ve partially paid for a new stadium, brought and paid for free agents and seem like they are engaged in the local community. However, the NFL is a business for them just like every owner, and it’s a very lucrative business even considering last year’s loss. They don’t talk to the press much but they act like they want a championship in Minnesota, but they also value consistency in the front office. They aligned Rick’s and Zimmer’s contracts for a reason though.

purpleskolaid pondered:

I hate to be suspicious, but looking at that super bowl first half, it’s hard to believe that the refs are capable of being objective/fair. Is this true? And if it’s true, does it mean the Vikings will never be allowed to win a super bowl?

May the best team win if that happens in my lifetime. Seriously though, it’s hard to look back at that game and think the Bucs weren’t the best team on the field and the Chiefs offensive game plan an abject failure, to me that’s what lost the game for the Chiefs.