Week 17 has finally arrived, and with it, many uncertainties as the Vikings look to move forward from a season that started with hope and is about to finish as perhaps the most disappointing season in Vikings history.
The following are my thoughts and opinions in what potentially might happen once the Dome closes it’s doors for the final time:
First, lets tackle Viking Free Agents:
Charlie Johnson: Two words-See Ya!
Jared Allen: Jared had some great years with the Vikings, but, it’s time to let him move on…my guess is he goes to Miami or back to KC.
Chris Cook: Goodbye, and good riddance! He has done nothing to warrant his services for the Vikings moving forward.
Kevin Williams: I think he will retire after this year, unless he is willing to play a reduced role for one more year, with Floyd being the starter. But with the stadium transition to the cold for a couple years, it probably won’t happen. If he retires, I will miss him the most-he has been a consummate professional.
Everson Griffen: Lock him up, it’s his time to shine. He has all the tools to wreak havoc as a starting DE for the Vikes. Now he will get his chance.
Toby Gerhart: This is where the waters get a little muddy. I liked the drafting of Gerhart, and I stand by that today, but as far as the way he has been utilized as a Viking, has been nothing short of
For the most part, gone are the days of the single tailback in today’s NFL. There are very few exceptions, mainly Adrian Peterson, who carries the entire workload of an NFL season.
Imagine if Gerhart were to get just 1/3 of the snaps during a game. Several things would happen;
Peterson would be fresher, longer for each game, and for his career. Secondly, the one-two punch of Peterson and Gerhart would be a formidable duo. Their running styles would keep opposing defenses struggling to make tackles, especially late in the game. I like the two tailback idea.
But, we have AP, the greatest running back in the NFL, and all-time. Gerhart will most likely sign with another team, and I wish him well if he does so. I wll discuss this more a little later…
As far as Available Free Agent signings are concerned: I think Speilman will go after the best corner available, on the market. We would then have two excellent corners with Rhodes on the other side quickly establishing himself as an elite defender.
Now, the “Elephant in the room” Leslie Frazier: I will be shocked-to a point where I would waiver (if only for a millisecond) as a Viking fan if Leslie Frazier manages to keep his job as the Head Coach of the Vikings. We’re all in agreement that he is a great person, but not a great Head Coach.
The Vikings must have a new approach with the team if they want to turn the tides, and it starts with a new coaching staff. And that starts with the Head Coach, and trickles down to the team. If we don’t have a great HC, nothing else really matters. We will have all that talent, and nothing to show for it (see Schwartz vs Frazier this Sunday.)
We have also heard that some players are lobbying to keep Frazier as the HC-with our best player AP leading the way.
Is it possible that the main reason Peterson wants Frazier to remain HC is because the current “system” would remain the same. Let me add a few more words here…if Frazier stays, Peterson gets all the carries, if Frazier goes, the new Head Coach may want to have a two running back offense. Think about that for a while…AP has lofty goals, having two RB’s sharing the workload could put a damper on those goals. Now don’t get me wrong, AP is one of my favorite Vikings ever, he is also the face of the franchise, and I hope he remains a Viking for life, but, is this the underlying reason #28 wants to keep Frazier around for? Just food for thought.
Finally, a quick peek at the Draft: After seeing what Luke Kuechly has done to drastically improve the Carolina Panthers’ defense, I would hope that we address our linebacker situation with a top tier rookie with our first pick. Anthony Barr could fit that bill.
The Vikes should draft a QB with their second pick, this is regarded as a deep draft for QB’s, and I think the Vikings can find the right QB with this pick to be the franchise player we desperatly seek. Make no mistake about it-leadership is a key part with any great quarterback-all the great ones have that quality.
The remainder of the draft should focus primarily on defense, we could definitely make good use of the draft picks to bolster up the defense.
Whatever happens in the offseason starts-with the finish of the season on Sunday.
Lets enjoy the Swan Song of the Metrodome on Sunday, knowing that, when the clock winds down to .00, change will lead the way for the future of the Vikings, in hopes of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.