Vikings Lowball Offer Cost Them an All Pro Player
It is old news that I thought Cameron Wake, the defensive end for the CFL BC Lions, would be great in the NFL. He had the tools: quick off the snap (like Allen Page quick), good footwork, long arms, and he could leap well (which meant he had good closing spring on his moves). He was an instant All-Star in the CFL, and he put up defensive MVP numbers. Wake was the first player in CFL history to be named Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. He could also play both left or right defensive end.
He was so good that I did something I had never done previously, I called the Vikings front office and gave them information about Wake. After Wake's first season with the Lions, I actively lobbied for the Vikings to go get him after his mandatory two season deal in BC would up. It is certain the Vikings knew about Wake, but I wanted to make sure that they scouted him well and looked at all aspects of his game.
At the end of the 2008 CFL season, Wake drew interest from several NFL teams, including the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, and he working out for eight teams in total. He was given offers from some of them, but Wake signed four-year deal, included a $1 million signing bonus, for a total worth up to $4.9 million with the Miami Dolphins. The Vikings were reported to have made an offer which was not as good, as Wake stated he signed the best deal.
He recorded 5.5 sacks and 23 tackled in 2009. His time on the field was limited by his switch to linebacker from defensive end. In 2010, his first season as a starter with Miami, Wake recorded 14 sacks, 57 tackles, and 3 forced fumbles. He played mostly at linebacker in a 3-4 system.
Wake was named a starter for the 2011 AFC Pro Bowl team at outside linebacker. He was also named to The Sporting News 2011 All-Pro Team and AP's Second All-Pro team. He had 52 quarterback pressures in 2011, which was third in the NFL behind Chris Long and Julius Peppers.
In May of 2012, Wake signed a 4 year extension with the Miami Dolphins reported to be worth a total of $49 million with $20 million guaranteed.
After being moved from Outside Linebacker to Defensive End for the 2012 season, Wake totaled 53 tackles and 15 sacks including 4.5 sacks in one game against the Arizona Cardinals. Wake was named as a starter to the Pro Bowl for the second time and was named a First-Team All-Pro.
The Vikings missed on an opportunity to sign the future NFL Pro Bowl star because their offer sheet was lower than what most NFL teams give to backup players on many of their rosters.
Vikings Lowball Offer Cost Them a Pro Bowl Star
We had Ray Edwards on the other side and transitioned into Robison and now Griffin.
I like Wake, don't get me wrong but DE is one of the few positions we seemed to have enough depth in during the Ziggy Years.