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The Daily Norseman Mailbag, March 3rd, 2021

You have questions, we have answers

US Postal Service Mail Delivery Ahead Of Second-Quarter Results
  1. Good Morning!

I did comb Twitter looking for #DailyNorsemanmailbag and didn’t see anything so most likely RIP Twitter.

For salary cap questions I’ll continue using 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
For evaluating or looking up draft prospects my go to is

If I can’t come up with what I think is a legitimate answer, I’ll ask someone who I think can provide one, this week it was MarkSP18 (thanks Mark)

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

First up, GA Skol via email:

Huge fan, I never know if these questions are made up or if you actually take fan mail. My question is, what is your favorite part of the off-season? I listed a few of the notable dates I have in my mind.

Free Agency (March 15th)

Combine (none this year, but Pro Days have started)

Draft (April 29 - May 1)

Training Camps (end of July)

Pre-season Games (1st week of August)

PS I included a starter cap. Can you sign and send back to me?

Your Biggest Fan,

GA Skol

I do get occasional correspondence from former open thread regulars about questions regarding The Daily Norseman or life in general because at some point I emailed them and we established a dialogue or connected via Twitter. Mostly, I get spam.

As to the second part of your question, I can appreciate the league has set up its offseason to continue their revenue stream even though no games are being played, the league is a business and they are in it to make money. Instead of picking one, I’ll tell you what I like about each.

Free Agency (March 15th)
-free agency has been dull for the Vikings in the past couple of years, Rick hasn’t seriously dabbled in the premier free agents (and shouldn’t in my opinion because of cost) since 2018 when he decided a guaranteed contract for a QB was a great idea. I expect more of the same this year with some second tier FA’s getting signed, I think the position I’m most interested in besides the offensive line is WR3 then 3T.

Combine (none this year, but Pro Days have started)
-I don’t really watch the combine, I’ll check 3 cone times and things like that at the end of the day, best part of the combine is “Run Rich Run

Draft (April 29 - May 1)
-Yeah, I love the draft, I’ll watch every second of it if I can on TV so I can see whether the guy I would have picked in the 5th round gets selected and generally hoot and holler when the Vikings selections are announced.

Training Camps (end of July
-Shoutout here to Eric for his training camp coverage last year, (and hopefully this year). I’m probably never going to travel to see a training camp in the new facilities but I do like reading Eric’s impressions and analysis of the practices; honorable mention to Matthew Coller, Arif and Chad Graff.

Pre-season Games (1st week of August)
-I don’t want to marginalize the first team offense or defense, but I watch to see which late round guys are making a push for a roster spot or are likely to get signed to the practice squad. Slotergoat mania made preseason games fun for a couple of years.

Yore signed cap is on its way back.

Keithen asked via email:

I know that we had enough injuries and the no training camp helped make rebuilding the secondary a worst possible time to have done it, but what about the co-defensive coordinators? We don’t have any evidence that that worked. I could look at it as NFL nepotism promoting Adam and then giving Andre the title bump to make it seem less unseemly. But did the co-directors really accomplish anything? Who had final word on starters, formations, and when to blitz? Who did the play calling on the sidelines or up in the box? Also I hoped adding Dom Capers being on staff was going to lead to an uptick in Barr blitzes. Did he add anything? (And will old buddy Guenther really add anything?)

Thanks for your question and I’ll address each part individually. I did see a lot of angst about the co-defensive coordinator titles and nepotism here and on Twitter but from everything I read last year and personal observation the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings was Mike Zimmer. Allowing Adam Zimmer and Andre Patterson to be Co-DC’s probably allowed them to do game planning each week (good for both of them, that should work in their favor as they further their careers) but Mike Zimmer called the plays.

I would like to see our HC finally give up the defensive playcalling duties and focus on the overall team (and time clock/timeout management) but I don’t see that happening.

As for Dom Capers and Paul Guenther, there’s nothing wrong with bringing in another set of eyes to look over a scheme to improve weaknesses or build on strengths. Coaching salaries don’t count against the salary cap so I did a shrug when Capers was signed. I think you’re correct that Capers was brought on to incorporate some blitzing by the LB’s but it could have been more blitzing by the secondary, but then Barr got hurt and didn’t play much last year and the CB’s were mostly rookies trying to keep their heads above water.

Zimmer has evolved his defensive scheme each year, most likely Guenther will have some influence on that.

David also had a question via email:

A move I’d like to see the Vikings make isn’t a Free Agent signing but a trade. Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has reportedly asked for a trade somewhere he can start at Left Tackle. Riley Reiff’s cap number makes him a candidate to be cut. In the past, Reiff has played Right Tackle with the Lions. Obviously we would need to send some draft picks to the Ravens as well and the Vikings have loaded up on draft picks this year. It feels like a deal that could make sense for both sides. Thoughts?

Excellent question, it took me some time to decide on an answer because Brown has played right tackle for the Ravens but played left tackle in college. Brown is 24 while Reiff is 32. Both are going to want extensions consistent with the left tackle position although Brown will only cost 3.3M against the cap in 2021, the Ravens have 18M in cap space right now per
Quite a few of us were screaming at our TV’s for the Vikings to trade back up and pick Brown in 2018 on the draft day threads, yes I know that nobody cares about that.

Any swap of these two players would likely see draft picks getting sent to the Ravens and probably a young player. I couldn’t think of a legitimate way to approach this so I asked MarkSP18, here was his answer:

Vikings trade 14 & 90 for Brown and 27.
Reiff gets traded for a 5th to a team like the Colts or Chargers.

Surly Viking pondered:

I really wanted to ask an NFL related question, but apathy has set in.

What is the next show/series/movie I should stream while waiting for the next soul crushing Vikings season?

We watched ‘I Care A Lot” and are currently watching “Behind Her Eyes” both available on Netflix.

We have two more episodes of “Wandavision” on Disney+ also, Disney announced a bunch of movies in March including “Godzilla vs King Kong” and some others I want to see.

Coming to America 2 starts playing Friday March 5th on Amazon Prime, I saw the original three or four times so we’re putting that in our will watch category.
If you haven’t seen the movie “Mortal” on Amazon, give it a watch, it was very well done.

I heard recommended “Resident Alien” on SciFi and “For All Mankind” on Apple TV, but I would have had to pay for two more streaming options but I’m old and stingy with my money so I’ll wait until those shows get on a streaming platform I’m already paying for.

Ricap pondered: In the spirit of marry, date, kill, who on the team would you:

1. Extend
2. Trade
3. Cut.

cka2nd gave a really good answer in the comments, it’s probably a reasonable blueprint for this offseason. But since I’m not reasonable here goes:

  1. Extend: O’Neill is the obvious answer here, he’s been either at or above league average and it’s not like the Vikings have shown they can draft and develop offensive lineman. Other candidates, the Hitman and Hunter for cap reasons.
  2. Trade: Rudolph, Barr and Kirk. I realize trading Kirk would necessitate finding a veteran FA QB and drafting a QB, but I’m all for it, I think I’ve seen peak Kirk and I’m ready for a change, however I doubt the Vikings management agrees with me. Get a 6th for Rudolph and a 3rd for Barr, call it good. (this answer was typed up before the news of Rudolph being released was announced yesterday)
  3. Cut: Stephen for sure, other candidates include Bailey, Hercules, Rudolph if no trade. Really, I’d like to see Bailey figure out what went wrong with his kicking last year and stick with the team, I run hot and cold regarding our GM and HC, but they probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. WR3, NT and 3T are needs in FA and the draft.

Mn-Fan-OutWest had a statement and then asked:

Good morning DN !! This weeks question. We all know Rick is a trading machine come draft day. Do you think 2021 is finally a year Rick trades up more than down during the draft ? I.E. using all the RD3-4 picks to up into RD2.

I think Rick absolutely has to get back into the second round for a player. I used the Rich Hill chart (linky) to create a mythical trade down in the first round with the Colts.

Vikings receive #21 pick (261 points) Colts receive #14 pick (325 points)
#54 pick (104 points) #90 pick (45 points)
#203 pick (4 points)

In the trade above the Vikings and Colts swap first round picks, the Vikings get the Colts 2nd round pick but have to send their second 3rd round pick to the Colts. The Vikings would also receive a 6th round pick to balance the trade. Rick has to hit on both players, they need to see significant playing time this year and play well.

Skollvikings69 said:

some people seem to think guards don’t matter. Do you think they have actually watched the Vikings in the last 5 years? I don’t especially since 2017.

How many years have we as a group been complaining about upgrading the offensive line? At least since I started lurking here in 2012. I don’t think you need Quenton Nelson at both guard spots but you at least need league average performers in run and pass blocking, right now the Vikings don’t have an interior offensive lineman on the roster that meets that criteria. Yes, guards matter.

szilip asked:

thank you for answer from last week regarding the Wilfs - I’m little lost, though, because I’ve lost not one, but three persons from my “phyre them all” list. good news is, that for a die hard doomer like myself it’s always easy to find someone else to blame (for something).

my question for this week - where’s the over/under line for the number of the Vikings’ 7th round picks in the 2021 draft?

Like many of you I get irritated with the constant trading down to get more picks, how did that work out last year?
I’d put the over/under at four.

Backslider2 pondered:

What will the whiners b*tch about after we win a SuperbOwl?

The Vikings were lucky to win, no way they’ll repeat, will never win another, have to cut everyone to fit for cap space....DOOM.

DelawareViking asked:

Is Zimmer truly on the hot seat this season if he goes 8-8 again?

You’d have to think so after last season’s abysmal 1-5 start and failure to make the playoffs, but this is the first paid year of Zimmer and Rick’s extensions. I don’t know how much money the Wilf’s will want to pay out for a fired GM and HC, I think our GM and HC should be on the hot seat this year.

Which position on the offensive line is in most dire need of an upgrade (Gourd is the standard answer but is it yours?) and how many draft picks would you use on the OL? Do you have a realistic but ideal o-line that, going into camp, would make you happy?

Can he play guord became so commonplace I saw Courtney Cronin tweet it a couple of times; the tackle play has been at least league average but the interior has been the weak spot on the offensive line and has to be improved or the offense will continue to struggle (the Bears and Packers DT’s say hi).
As to how many picks I’d use on the offensive line to make it less offensive, I’d have a more refined answer after free agency, I think Rick has to get that 2nd round pick back via trade somehow.
Right now as far as I’m concerned it’s O’Neill and four guys, (if Reiff is gone)
ask me again after the draft.

Finally, Improvor pondered:

There are a couple of O-linemen of interest to me that may still be there after day 2. I’d like your opinion on:

D’Ante Smith - OT East Carolina.
Daniel Faalele - OT Minnesota
Quinn Meiner - C/G Wisconsin-Whitewater.

I know Smith and Meiner had good showings at the Senior Bowl. All may need a year of seasoning. Thoughts?

I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the Senior Bowl this year, I looked at a couple of draft sites to see what they had to say about each player.

Smith-is a developmental guy that shouldn’t see the field for a year or two, probably needs to go to a team with a history of developing offensive me he’s a clear day 3 guy.

Faalele-opted out last year and only started for two seasons, he looks like he might have a higher ceiling than Smith but again I wouldn’t spend a day two draft pick on him.

Meinerz-interesting enough, I couldn’t find a prospect write up on him, but I did find a bunch of gifs and tape from the Senior Bowl practices. He looks to have played himself into a late day two selection.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to pose questions either via email or in the mailbag post, I’ll solicit for questions for the next mailbag on Monday the 15th of March and post the mailbag on Wednesday the 17th for your excellent questions and my mediocre answers.