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The Daily Norseman Mailbag, August 26th, 2021

Almost the end of preseason mailbag

Russian Post’s automated distribution centre in St Petersburg Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images

Good Morning!

One email question this week, excellent!

No questions via Twitter this week, SAD!

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.

VhCadet pondered via email:

If Dozier makes this roster at what point can we arrest Rick for negligence? Just making the roster? or if he actually starts?

I don’t think Dozier makes the roster this year, if he does I will be legit shocked.
Here’s my guess on who makes the team for the offensive line:

Interior: Garrett Bradbury, Ezra Cleveland, Mason Cole, Wyatt Davis, Oli Udoh
Tackles: Blake Brandel, Christian Darrisaw, Rashod Hill, Brian O’Neill

IF the Vikings chose to keep Dozier I think it will be because Darrisaw isn’t ready to play and that would make Udoh the alternate left tackle, and I don’t think they trust Davis....yet.

HiVike asked:

I haven’t been impressed with Browning at all. That said, with him supposedly being the only vaccinated QB on the team, isn’t he a lock to make the final roster???
Also, Vikings finish with 8 wins or less. Is Zimmer gone?

Browning is who he is at this point, here’s his draft profile from thedraftnetwork.com
He’s making the 53 if for no other reason that Mond isn’t ready for primetime yet, the ten days he lost during training camp really hurt his development. Since the league expanded the practice squad again for this year, one could make a case that the Vikings might keep four QB’s.

As to your second question I don’t see Zimmer getting fired unless the Vikings finish the season with seven or less wins....and I don’t see that happening barring a bunch of injuries.

Chilly B pondered:

Just watched the press conference with Klint Kubiack. I could be wrong but he seemed much more hushed and reserved than he usually is. Almost like a little kid that’s a little traumatized and remorseful after he’s been punished by a parent. In this case, I think the dad is Mike Zimmer and I think he may have given Klint a tongue lashing just before the press conference.

The offense has looked like a soup sandwich so far this year with zero touchdowns through two games, I don’t care who needs to get yelled at, just do your damn job.

98DeadInside09 pondered:

Do you think the signing of Griffen is more of an indictment on what the coaches think of Weatherly, Wonnum, or both?

I think it’s an indictment of Weatherly, he hasn’t shown that he can counted on to be a fulltime starter and perform at or above league average. DJ Wonnum is a second year guy, he still has time to develop but I think his ceiling is rotational or situational edge rather than a starter.

Benjaman asked:

Rob, would you take a look at signing KJ Wright what with Anthony Barr’s mysterious issue and the depth at the position being rather young or otherwise uninspiring? They have some cap space available so that isn’t an issue.
We’ll be fortunate to see Bradbury take baby steps, let alone leaps, he’s horrible in pass pro but did manage to improve on his absolutely putrid pass pro grade of 38.7 in 2019 to... 38.8 in 2020, gonna have to strap his ass to rocket if you want to see him make the leap to above average.
Vegas has the O/U for the Vikings at 8.5 wins. Life’s too short to bet the under, as Skoldiers has taught me, so I’d take the over on that.
As far as the Griff signing, well they should put Griff’s locker next to Kirk’s and see what happens, I can’t wait to hear from Griff after Kirk plays like Kirk did against Indy or Atlanta last year.

KJ Wright is still not signed as of this writing, rumors are linking him to the Raiders and Jets since both those teams have injuries at LB. However further rumor is the reason the Raiders haven’t signed Wright is money, the Raiders have limited cap space and it sounds like Wright doesn’t want a vet minimum contract. The Vikings have 13M in cap space (minus Griffen’s contract which I don’t see on overthecap or sportrac yet) looking at the tea leaves Wright wants north of 6M a year, if he can play the entire season and next year with the Vikings, dew it.

I think it depends on the nature of Barr’s injury, if he starts the year on IR that’s not great but he’ll be back eventually, but if he’s lost for the season (again) then the Vikings need to get on the phone and open their wallet for a proven veteran player.

This should be the year the Vikings see what they have in Bradbury, playing center in the NFL is difficult, starting as a rookie and playing last year definitely helped; however as you pointed out Bradbury’s pass blocking grade has been atrocious. Maybe with better players on either side of him he’ll improve? I hope so, because busting on a first round pick stinks.

I’d take the over on wins, but then again I almost always do, also I don’t gamble.

DelawareViking pondered:

My over/under on wins is 9.5. (I’m taking the under)
just_rob, I’m interested in your prediction of the Vikings record after the first 6 games before the bye.
How long will it take the new OC to get the offense going?

at Cincinnati-(W) Joe Burrows has a long day against a Mike Zimmer defense, offense does enough to win
at Arizona-(W) I can’t figure out Kyler Murray, is he a legit NFL QB and will their FA signings being anything but a money expenditure?
Seattle-(L) Until the Vikings beat Mr. Nanobubbles and a Pete Carroll coached team I’m circling this one as a loss until they win....since this is a home game maybe that will make a difference.
Cleveland-(L) The Browns will make some noise in the AFC this year.
Detroit-(W) I’m not a Dan Campbell fan.
At Carolina-(W) depends on how McCaffrey is playing.

So 4-2, but Kirk cannot start off like he did last year, Kubiak Jr. needs to get into the offensive flow.

JW_15807 asked:

Who steps into Barr’s spot if he is not able to go week 1? It appears that Lynch is listed as the #2 SAM, but I know that Dye has had a pretty good camp, but appears to be #2 at the Mike. Can Vigil move from the Will?

Surratt, Lynch, or Dye? Inexperience in the LB corps is an issue, if Barr is going to be out for a significant portion of the season I’d expect the Vikings to start working the phones on a free agent LB.

NorseCoder pondered:

I went to the preseason game on Saturday, and the team made it extremely clear that they didn’t care one bit that they had fans in the stands who were eager to see what this team might be like once the season starts. With that in mind, will it ever again be a good idea to go to a preseason game, or will the team be just as happy if they play to an empty stadium in an effort to do away with the preseason altogether?

I’ve been to one preseason game, the 2018 game vs. the Broncos in Denver, and let me tell you the place was rocking from before kickoff to the end of the game. The first team offense played one series...and scored on a Cousins to Diggs pass then the game kind of dragged until Slotergoat game in at QB then the place erupted again. There were a lot of Vikings fans in the stands that day and we had a good time. Bonus I got to meet and sit with MT Viking, sadly I didn’t get to meet NMVike and his family as they were at the game also.

If I was local I’d probably go to a preseason game or two, but I’d go with the expectation that I wouldn’t see much of the 1st team but I’d get a first hand look at the roster bubble guys and the nerd in me would really like that.

NorZeman asked:

Who is this year’s “surprise” cutdown candidate that most people have as a lock to make the club?
Where (what position group) are you focusing yore efforts on during waiver wire and final cutdown days?
Any chance Potato still gets a new contract this year? Same for Harry?

Weatherly, Beebe, Abdullah, maybe Westbrook, @Kirk Cousins@
Really, I’m not sure I see a surprise veteran cut this year.

Linebacker with Barr out for now, depth behind him and Kendricks is thin and inexperienced. Also WR, after JJ, Thielen and Westbrook there isn’t a lot of experience minus Beebe.

If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago whether O’Neil and or Smith would have a new contract or extension I would have said by now. With the way RT contracts are going O’Neil has to be looking for big dollars but he’s good but not great. I think they’ll get something done with O’Neil before the season starts.

As for the Hitman, I’m surprised the Vikings didn’t do an extension to lower his cap hit (10M) this year. He isn’t the player he once was but he’s still better than league average.

VikingFFL76 pondered:

I like the Everson Griffen signing. Having veteran presence on the D-line and secondary will benefit the youth on our team and give them a little more time to succeed. Knowing your assignment, reading an offensive scheme pre snap, and playing full speed takes time just like when Hunter, Smith, and Griffen were rookies.

I was “meh” about it and still am, he’s an aging player on the wrong side of 30 signed to play situational football, I still haven’t seen what kind of money he signed for.

#22 Paul Krause Forever made a statement:

Boy, I guess I’m just a little too optimistic. Vegas has the over/under at 8.5. I’m saying 11-6. I just think the “D” will be so much better and we’ve got some real playmakers on offense. The key will be the O-Line.

Vegas posts those lines so they make money, if you look at most of their over/unders for the league it’s around .500, take the over.

MalcomBiggles321 pondered:

hey rob. I just have one question for you. if you were a kind of soup what kind of soup would you be and why?

Turkey-kale soup, it’s my favorite

tebe_1 asked:

Rob - suppose you are good with Photoshop and you have a mean coworker. What do you do?

You’d have to ask my co-workers, I’ve always been and will continue to be the a$$hole at work.

Mrs_Rob from Floriduh 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

Sun, Sep 193:05 PM@ Arizona Cardinals W

Sun, Sep 263:25 PM vs Seattle Seahawks L

Sun, Oct 312:00 PM vs Cleveland Browns L

Sun, Oct 1012:00 PM vs Detroit Lions W

Sun, Oct 1712:00 PM@ Carolina Panthers W

Sun, Oct 317:20 PM vs Dallas Cowboys W

Sun, Nov 712:00 PM@ Baltimore Ravens 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

So that’s ten wins, which I think is the absolute floor for this team, my expectation is anywhere from 9-13 wins depending on injuries and luck.

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 in two weeks.

Skol