2013 Vikings Offseason Plan If I were GM

Re-Sign:

Jerome Felton, duh, sign the man! FBs aren’t that expensive, he’s totally affordable and worth it.
Phil Loadholt is a big body in the run game, can likely be had on a mediocre contract, and provides consistency to an OL that hasn’t had much in recent years.
Jarmara Sanford was a decent starter opposite Smith and we have too many other holes.
AJ Jefferson has shown enough to get a few more years.
Jerome Simpson on another 2mill/1year prove-it deal. He won’t get many better offers, and we are that desperate for a WR. Maybe he has a healthier year without suspension and surprises!?
Brinkley and/or Henderson…we’ve kinda got too many holes to replace both starting LBs this year…unless, that guy is already on the roster, but, who’s ready to proclaim Audie Cole starting MLB?

Re-negotiate/extensions:

I think we can actually create some cap space by resigning guys like K-Will and Jared Allen who are in the last year(s) of their contracts and scheduled to make big bucks. Give it to them as a signing bonus and we spread it out over say 3 years, keeping a couple of cornerstones in place, and giving us a bit more room to work with to fix the issues we have remaining.
Jon Carlson needs to take a pay cut. 5 mill/year for a blocking TE who caught 8 passes on a 5 yard average is way too much!

Percy Harvin is too good to let walk. He has totally out performed his contract and creates headaches for opposing defenses with his versatile skill set. It’ll probably be some tough negotiations, but I think we can keep him with a good contract and some nice incentives.

Bring in FAs:

Terrance Knighton, DT JAGs fits our model of signing guys coming off their first contract with potential to grow in the right system. He’s more of a run stuffer at 330 lbs and may fit what the Vikings want to do more than the new regime in JAX. He hasn’t been dominant enough to have earned a huge contract, and can likely be had at a reasonable rate. On first and 2nd downs he solidifies our run D and we have other good options for rotating in on passing downs.
Terrance Knighton, DT for the Jacksonville Jaguars at NFL.com

Daryl Smith, OLB JAGs is coming off most of a missed season due to groin injury and is getting up there after 9 seasons experience but over the prior three years averaged over 100 tackles, 6 passes defensed almost 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 INT per year. He’s a versatile player who can knock down some passes in the flats and might make a subtle, but big difference to our pass Defense, especially vs. TEs.
Daryl Smith, OLB for the Jacksonville Jaguars at NFL.com

Alex Smith? I don’t think the 49ers can afford to pay a backup QB 8 mill/year, so I’m guessing that Smith will be a Free Agent at some point. But, he’s not the flashy type that most teams will be looking for, we might be able to bring him in as competition to push Ponder and/or give us a reliable, game manager backup. I like Joe Webb, but I don’t think we’re using him correctly, and I’m not real sure about MBT. I think I’d rather have a Smith, Billy Volek, Sage Rosenfels as our 2nd, and make Webb or MBT the emergency 3rd option.

Yeah, we still need a WR, 2 actually. But, my gut tells me that Dwayne Bowe is going to stay in KC since Andy Reid likes the passing game so much, Greg Jennings will get paid way too much to miss way too many games injured, and Mike Wallace will get an even fatter contract since he’ll be the only young WR on the market worth a spit. I’m thinking, we can’t count on any of these guys signing and contributing in MN, and the talent level drops considerably past them. That’s why we’re going to have to draft multiple WRs…

Draft:

Obviously, it’s early, no combine numbers etc, but at the moment, the first round of this draft looks to be focused on big, fast defenders and some solid OL men, with a few teams reaching for questionable QBs early, one of the top WRs of the draft just might fall into our laps at no. 23. That would be Cal’s Keenen Allen, Baylor’s Terrance Williams, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins or maybe TEN’s Cordarelle Patterson or Justin Hunter. I’d put Tavon Austin on the list too, but he’s a bit smaller version of Percy Harvin…IF we trade Harvin, he may be a great fit.

Allen and Williams are a bit bigger guys, 6’2 or 3” and over 200 lbs who can move deceptively well given their size, but may not have the same, high-end, straight line speed of Hopkins, Austin or Patterson. Hopkins is still built well at 6’1” and as far as speed/size combo, Patterson takes the cake at 6’3” and an estimated 4.4 40…but also has the least experience. My gut feeling at the moment says Allen goes before us as, “the smoothest” of the bunch, but we’d be stoked to grab Williams with our pick. A year after RG3 and his top 2 WRs left Baylor, Williams led the nation in receiving yardage with 1,832 yards on 97 receptions with 12 touchdowns…that is 18.9 yards/catch and 97 in a season proves his hands work! He makes the tough middle of the field catches and hauls in the deep balls, and would very likely, finally give us a legit no.1 receiving option.

In the 2nd, I’d take another long look at what’s left at WR. Could be, Patterson or Hopkins is still out there and either one would be a great addition bringing even better deep speed and an average of around 17 yards/catch. But, chances are, the WR cupboard will be a lot more picked over getting toward the end of the 2nd, and perhaps, value will be there at OLB, MLB, DT or maybe even CB. If we’re confident with our first round WR, I’d like to improve defense in the 2nd, and go back to WR in the 3rd…perhaps even trading one of our 4ths to move that 3rd up if needed.

In the 3rd, we may see Robert Woods from USC falling due to injury and/or his school’s reputation, or some consistent, but not so flashy contributors like Kenny Stills or Markus Wheaton. Either way, we’re talking reliable hands with good speed.

Can you imagine lining up with Harvin back in the slot/backfield role he fits so well, and a pair of burners with hands outside like Terrance Williams and Cordarelle Patterson!!??! Rudolf working the middle from TE and Peterson destroying ED’s record as defenses finally have to back off their safeties and give him some room to work magic like only he can!!!?!?!!! I do think 2500 yards IS Possible!

Any QB in the league would like to play with that group of toys, and if Ponder fails, we’d be able to attract some nice other options next year!

BAAAHWOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!