How soon can the Vikings turn it around?
Face it. This is as bad as the franchise has looked possibly in its entire existence. So it begs the question how long will it take until the team gets back to where it can contend?
I am going to come out and say if they keep the same FO and coaching staff going into next year we will be picking in the top 5 again. And we actually might be WORSE next year than we are this year.
Salary cap- I believe we are still at the top of the cap space and will not have enough money to change the roster dramatically through FA.
Free Agency- I believe I counted 21 guys that will be RFA or UFA that we will need to sign or replace next season 2012 Minnesota Vikings Free Agent Trackerepth- While losing FA's can be dealt with by bringing up young players that have been drafted in prior years our depth is pretty much non existent. Those guys will need to be drafted, signed in FA or picked up in a trade. That is nothing you can do in one year.
Coaching- I am not even going to go after the HC or DC right off the bat but after the position coaches. The position coaches are IMHO what separates the elite teams from the bottom dwellers and I feel we do not have position coaches who are properly preparing the players to perform on the field. Now, it might be that they are not getting direction from those above them and only they know for sure, but a well coached team does not lose the number of close games that this team has and they don't fall apart nearly every single game like this team has.
FO-IMHO the FO is the core of the problem. The owner is involved behind the scenes but there is no face of the organization or one guy that stands up and is accountable for what happens in the organization.
So what needs fixing?
FO- We need a single, experienced GM. Not a new guy who has never built a team but a seasoned GM who has been a GM and has done it successfully. No other options are attractive to me.
Coaching- That is the GM's job to decide if everyone stays or goes.
Offense- Also the GM's job but I will give my 2 cents:
QB- I have no problem with staying with Ponder BUT we better look at a backup plan and make sure we have a backup who has the experience to step in an play at a high level if Ponder doesn't work out and we better keep an eye on the draft in the next few years for the same reason.
WR- Harvin is solid and I am actually warming to Aroma shadoo. After that we are thin and need to draft and sign a few guys with good hands that can run a good route. One high end deep threat would not hurt anything.
RB. I am fine with the top 2.
TE-Shank is gone. Sasser is gone. We need one more TE. Not sure if that guy is on the roster.
OL. Where to begin. We signed the C to a bigger contract than he is worth which usually means his production will drop but I guess they made their bed with that spot.
LT- Need one
LG- Need to look at phasing Hutch out.
RG- Maybe Johnson can play one of the guard spots.
RT Need one. Maybe Loadholt can play RG?
Depth on O line. We need to stock the roster with better Oline players.
D line. We have the talent but not the production. Could coaching fix this? It has the most potential to improve with the players we have.
LB- We need to replace the Mis and Will LB's. Greenway is locked up so he stays. Depth is bad.
CB- They need to replace every CB on the roster. Every one.
S- See CB.
Punter- We are good.
Kicker- Need to look at getting younger and stronger there.
Seems like that is a lot to fix in a year. The guys that were left over from the McCombs era were the heart and soul of the team and they are getting old and will need to be replaced but there are no talented guys that can step in and take over.
12-19-2011, 12:23 PM #2Training Camp
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- Sep 2008
Thats the beauty of the NFL. One season can change everything. The rams of 2000 are proof of that and more recently the dolphins under parcells and the 49"s this year. While im not saying we can compete for a superbowl easily next year we can at least be competent with changes. A new d cord( jack del rio) and a new o cord (not sure who) plus a gm that can spot talent like parcells did for the dolphins who went from 1-15 to 9-7 in one year. I think we need a new head coach and a change of culture though, and that wont be done till next year at the earliest due to the wilfman not wanting to pay chilly and frazier. So to boil it down, its possible to field a competent team as early as next year, but unlikely until the wilfman hires a great gm and lets him hire a competent hcAP AD
12-19-2011, 01:30 PM #3Team Alumni
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- Dec 1969
Never gonna happen. The VIkings will never win a SB. Never. You heard it here first. NEVER!!!!!!! So if we are NEVER going to win a SB, what makes the difference? Bah, humbug!
12-19-2011, 01:50 PM #4
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- Dec 1969
- West Fargo, ND
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First, PF your FA list is severely out of date. I don't think it was updated since the lockout ended. I may be wrong, but the only notable FAs that we have in 2012 are EJ Hendersen and Shainco.
That being said, your point about the salary cap will likely be a fair one. 2012 is a Transition Year accounding to to the new CBA, and because of the uncapped year in 2010 and the back loaded contracts, we are going to be in some rough shape.
2011 and 2012 are both "Transition Years" by the General Provisions of the deal. Which means 5.c.1. is NOT fully effected until LEAGUE YEAR 2013. During the Transition Years teams can "cut and play" with any bonus that is counting against their salary cap by reflexively changing its status between EARNED and UNEARNED, thereby changing Transition Years Salary Cap Dead Money into "soft money" and moving it from a direct above the line charge against the salary cap to a below the line off-set for an "earned bonus" charged to the previous year.
The previous League Year (2010) was an UNCAPPED year, allowing a team to move the remaining part of any Sigining/Performance Bonus from "unearned" counting against this year's salary cap to "earned" counting against last years salary cap. This applies to any contract signed and structured 2009 and earlier. The Preemption also allows teams during the Pre-2011 League Year Period to "cut and dump dead money" from veteran contracts and roll it front to back in any number of fashions as long as the equation of the salary cap balances at the opening of League Year 2013. In this way teams are effectively able to lose all the dead money and restart the Salary Cap clockZeus wrote:
When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?
12-20-2011, 07:57 AM #6
This year we should draft:
Round 1-Justin Blackman WR - OK St.
Round 2 -Jordan Martin LOT -Stanford (probably not there)
or Riley Reiff LOT - Iowa (might not be there)
or Kelechi Osemele - OG - Iowa St.
Round 3 -Lavante David - WLB - Nebraska ( I am a huge Nebraska fan and he is fast as lightning for a LB and is a great tackler. He is a juco tranfer who only played two years and almost set the career tackle record)
2012 Free Agents
Carl Nicks OG -NO If we keep Hutch and Sullivan, draft either a LOT or G we would have a decent line in 2012. In 2013 we look for a RT through the draft or FA.
Brent Grimes CB -ATL He is the best out there to help out our back end.
My wish signing would be Laron Landry S -Wash. I know we couldn't sign him but if we cut our S and a few others we may be able to get him.
Any way even without Landry that would be five upgrades at important positions of need. If we get those other guys I think we could be 6-10 or 7-9 next year.
There s only two things stopping you - fear and common sense!! The Truth you CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!
12-20-2011, 07:35 PM #7
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- Dec 2005
- Blog Entries
Imma actually put what I think prior to reading, see what we may or may not agre eon here.
I'd say, At absolute best, 3 years to a contending team. Most likely around 4-5.
What will happen:
We lose a ton of FA's over the next couple years.
EJ, Shank, Hutch, Winfield, Griffin, Allen, plus depth. MOst of those guys won't be back by our FO's decision, Allen probably won't be back because he wants to win.
We NEED to do well. No, not hit every pick, but get solid contributors. Work the draft, get picks, draft smartly. If we can land Kalil, a corner/safety and a solid receiver who can be a #2/3 for us in the future, that's a good draft IMO this season. Get tools to help Ponder. OL, receivers, TE replacement for Shank. Work on the secondary. Tough for Ponder to do well when he's on the bench more than half the game, then always has to work from a hole.
What I see next year:
More of the same. Probably a top-10 pick, top-15 for sure. We re-signed a crap C long-term, we don't really have any good depth players at any position. How we can survive losing a couple good players through FA is a mystery. I don't see us being a big player in the FA market either. A couple scheme signings, but no big-name players. Try to save up that cap space so we can make a push if needed in a few years.
Fraizer stays. As much as he's pissed me off this season, we can't fire him, and I'd be willig to give him a second year anyway. Unfortunately, the lack of talent won't help him prove many people wrong.
Coordinators: both gone. Musgrave got fired from the OC job many times before for a reason. He can't do the job. Pugac isn't any better. We need a REAL coordinator. Somebody who will use our players to their strengths. Secondly, assistant coaches. Position coaches. Not sure who our QB coach is right now, but based on teh fact Ponder is making the same mistakes over and over again, it could stand to be upgraded. OL coach is an obvious one. DB coach. I'm not sold on Singletary, but I'm not ready to cut him loose either.
GM: Hopefully Zygi reads the forums, and figures out we need one. Spielman isn't getting it done. Get a guy with a proven track record of building strong football teams. Would love a guy like Parcells, but I doubt he'll be coming near this team.
QB: Stick with Ponder, Webb as a gadget player is fine, but we need a vet as the primary backup. Not sure if Sage is that guy or not, I won't hate if he stays, but we could improve. I'd love to get Billy Volek, but I don't think he's available.
RB: Pretty set here, maybe find a 3rd down/scat back to replace Booker
OL: Do I really need to explain? Every player with the exception of Sully (because we locked him up, not because he deserves it) should be considered for an upgrade. Hutch wont' last much longer, and some shuffling of C-John and Load to G might possibly work out.
WR: We need more than 1.5 receivers. Aromashodu is impressing so far, hopefully we sign him back. Jenkins was pretty reliable until he got hurt, and Harvin is Harvin, but we can't rely on Harvin to stay healthy, and we need a legitimate threat opposite Harvin. The best passing attacks have two legit options.
TE: Shank and Sauce are gone, Rudolph will grow as the #1, and hopefully we find two decent replacements. I'd love a Gronkowski/Hernandez-type pair, but that's a tall order.
FB: Get one. A real one. Some will tell you FB is dead, I dont buy it. You saw how the Broncos ran down our throats from the I. That can still be effective. (Note Marty: I do NOT need to see a playmaking FB here) Just a strong guy who can take out a LB. If Gerhart is running, he's a guy that needs a hole. 2-3 yards is alright, but get him a bit of space and that can turn into a 6 yard gain pretty quickly.
DL: Would love to see a young talented DT. Athletic guy who can get after the passer. Otherwise, we're pretty good here
LB: Would also love tos ee a young athletic LB. Going to have to replace EJ soon, I'd like to see that be an upgrade, not just a replacement
CB: Can't think of one guy who deserves to stay. Maybe Cook IF he gets his head on straight, but I'm not sure about that
S: Exact same as CB. We thought we had a decent player in Abdullah last year. Turns out we were dead wrong.
P: Obviously fine
K: Getting close to replacement time. Longwells missed a few this season, hopefully that's just a bad season and he'll get it in gear next season. either way, his time is running out. No reason to force anything, but if a good kicker hits the market, might be time for a switch.
12-23-2011, 12:18 AM #9Waterboy
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- Nov 2011
I think the Vikings could be back in contention within two to three years, pending free agent signings and how their drafts pan out. To me there are three glaring problems with the Vikings franchise: obviously the offensive line needs to be overhauled, the secondary is atrocious, and we’re getting too old. What I’d like to be seen done in the upcoming draft all varies at what spot we pick at (the Colts really made things interesting) so here’s my best stab at it:
1st overall pick: we select Luck. I don't like giving up on Ponder this early with such a bad supporting cast around him (minus AP and Harvin), but I feel like we can almost guarantee ourselves that we find the QB of the future between Luck and Ponder, and be competitive in the NFC North for years to come. Whoever falls out of favor you ship away for the best picks you can get. In the 2nd round you draft the best OL available, other than at the center position (John Sullivan signed long term).
2nd overall pick: if we get the 2nd pick in the draft, it’s a no brainer, you select Matt Kalil. Claiborne or Blackmon at this spot wouldn’t be horrible picks, but you gain so much more from taking Kalil. Kalil would protect Ponder, give AP holes to run through, and give time for our WR’s to open up. Not to forget to mention, we then could slide Johnson at his natural position of fit, at a Guard spot, along the line. So overall, you improve two positions on the line and all that I mentioned before all from ONE pick! In the 2nd round, I’d look at another OL. I know there are many glaring needs other than just the O-Line, but I feel like the Vikings aren’t going to turn the table in one year, so you inject youth in the line and protect you investments in AP and Ponder. I’d love to see Zeitler, OG, from WI picked here and let Steve Hutchinson walk (salary pretty high for a guy who’s steadily declining). Or in free agency you could make a splash by signing a player the caliber of Carl Nicks (I know I’m dreaming) and draft a CB or WR early in the second round. Your line would then consist of Kalil-Johnson-Sullivan-Zeitler/Nicks-Loadholt. Looking a lot better, huh? Then in the third round you go best WR or CB available.
3rd overall pick: It’s a shootout between Claiborne and Blackmon. I know a lot is going to change via combine and workouts of the status of these two men, but I feel one of them is going to step up during that process and we select the better of the two. Then you select the best OL available in the 2nd round.
Free Agency: I know a lots going to depend on the salary cap and who we draft, but I’m going to throw out a couple guys that would all start on our team. I think we should make a STRONG push for one of these players and call it good. Like I said before, you’re not going to fix everything in one year.
WR: Desean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, or a Marques Colston.
OL: Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks.
CB/Safety: Laron Landry or Micheal Griffin. Brent Grimes or Cortland Finnegan.
FB: we need a legitimate fullback, I don’t know who, but let’s get someone who can actually clear a lane for our RB’s.
So all in all, these are my thoughts on the Vikings upcoming offseason and I guess the main thing to remember while reading my post is that I thought we could be contenders in 2-3 years. I feel like we’ll end up with the 2nd pick and I’d be stoked if the Vikings went with Kalil scenario I pictured out above. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and SKOL Vikings!
12-23-2011, 01:10 AM #10
It comes down to finding a solution at the QB position.
Look at the standings around the league, you could pretty much rank each division by their QB and it would look the same as the standings.
The question should be how long before the Vikings have a QB that can compete with Aaron Rodgers?