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  1. #1
    PurplePeopleEaters's Avatar
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    Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'


    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/16503488.htm

    Two days after doctors removed the wiring from his jaw, Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot broke his two-monthlong vow of silence.

    In an interview Friday, Smoot recapped his frustrating end to 2006 and his prospects for 2007, most notably whether he will return to the Vikings.

    Despite disagreeing with his benching in late November, Smoot said he would welcome returning to Minnesota for a third season.

    "I really don't want change," Smoot said. "I don't want to play under another defensive coordinator and learn another system.

    "I want some consistency in my life."

    But Smoot knows he doesn't make those decisions, which is why he is looking to get some clarity soon from the Vikings. Smoot said he and coach Brad Childress never had what he described as an "exit meeting," and he looks forward to having that discussion.

    "I just want the best for Fred Smoot," Smoot said. "If the Vikings think the best for me is to get out of Dodge, then I have to move on. But a lot of teams need corners, and I know I can still start."

    Smoot stressed that starting is mandatory, insisting he's a "third corner to nobody."

    Asked whether he would want to move on if the team plans to start Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin, he said, "Most definitely.

    "There ain't no room for Fred Smoot to be on the bench. I'm prepared to be a third corner at the end of my career, and we're not even close to that," said Smoot, who is 27 and just wrapped up his sixth NFL season. "That ain't what I'm paid to do. I'm one of the highest-paid corners in the NFL. Who wants to pay someone that much (to be a third cornerback)?"

    After making $800,000 last season, Smoot's base salary in 2007 jumps to $2.7 million. But his future will be determined in March, when he is due a $2 million roster bonus. If he were released before the bonus is due, the Vikings would save $400,000 in salary cap space — the majority of his guaranteed bonuses were paid upfront — and nearly $5 million.

    And since the league year starts March 2, the Vikings would have roughly one week to execute a trade, an unappealing option for interested clubs because they could negotiate their own deal when Smoot becomes a free agent.

    Indications are that Smoot will not be back. He and Griffin are suited for the Tampa 2 defense, and the club will also bring back Dovonte Edwards, who missed the entire season with an elbow injury. Rookie Charles Gordon also showed some flashes toward the end of the season, and the club could add depth — albeit cheaper — via the draft and free agency.

    As for a pay cut, Smoot insists that was not an option, and he isn't worried about the prospect of being traded.

    "If somebody out there feels you're a good fit for them, they want you," Smoot said. "And it's not like I can go anywhere colder than here."

    Smoot said there is "no question" he still can start in the NFL. In fact, he wondered why Griffin replaced him in late November.

    "I couldn't believe it. It caught me off guard," Smoot said. "I felt there was no reason to take me out."

    Smoot said he played well against New England, and he felt he had a solid game against San Francisco.

    Then, his season unraveled. He learned after the game that his half brother, Matthew Taylor, was killed in a car accident. Then he missed the next game against Green Bay before his benching.

    "I got lost in everything," Smoot said. "Things happened so fast."

    But Smoot said he refused to be a distraction, which is why he declined interview requests.

    "I didn't want to be controversial," Smoot said. "We had enough going on."

    During an extended Christmas break after the Thursday night game at Lambeau Field against the Packers, Smoot was involved in a car accident in Jackson, Miss. Smoot said his 2007 Rolls Royce Phantom was in the blind spot of an 18-wheeler. When the truck moved into his lane, Smoot's cousin, who was driving, tried to get out of the way, but he was boxed in by a car behind him.

    Driving about 75 mph, Smoot's cousin lost control, and the car slammed into a highway divider. Smoot, who was sitting in the back but not wearing a seatbelt, crashed into the back of the front seat and was knocked unconscious.

    Smoot said there was no alcohol or other substances involved, a point corroborated by local authorities.

    "He actually saved us," Smoot said of his cousin. "He did a great job. I feel blessed."

    Asked about his string of unfortunate incidents, Smoot said, "I wonder. But I take everything slow. You can't keep a good man down."

    Smoot was placed on the non-football injured reserve list, and the Vikings were not obligated to pay him his final game check of $47,000. Because he has direct deposit, Smoot said he doesn't know if he was paid or not.

    "I don't know," Smoot said. "But knowing (Childress), I probably didn't. Will it upset me? No. I didn't earn it."

    Smoot, though, reiterated that he would like to return, noting that he likes his teammates and the "straightforward" approach of the coaching staff.

    For now, Smoot plans to go on a vacation, and he wants to return and begin his offseason program. One positive: He already is down 15 pounds because of his broken jaw.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected]


    buh-bye smoot. Let's hope we can get a solid receiver in a trade or a mid round draft pick.

  2. #2
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    IMO, there is no reason to keep him. We have Griffin who played incredibly well this year, and obviously Smoot won't play the nickelback. To me, that says that Smoot should pack his bags. There's no reason to keep a talented 2nd year player (Griffin) on the bench in order to start an underachieving and overpaid corner.


    "I just want the best for Fred Smoot," Smoot said. "If the Vikings think the best for me is to get out of Dodge, then I have to move on. But a lot of teams need corners, and I know I can still start."
    I hate athletes that go 3rd person...

  3. #3
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    "Indications are that Smoot will not be back. He and Griffin are suited for the Tampa 2 defense, and the club will also bring back Dovonte Edwards, who missed the entire season with an elbow injury."

    Anyone wanna clarify that for me?

    I don't know if it is just a type-o by the author, but if he is suited for the Tampa 2 why would we get rid of him?

    Also: "One positive: He already is down 15 pounds because of his broken jaw."

    Isn't that the weight he worked so hard to put on last off season?

    But if it helps with his speed I'll take him back.
    I'm not giving up on Smoot, I think he really improved his play this season, he had some bad spots, but that wasn't in coverage, it was tackling. I think he may have been even better in coverage than Winfield this year, he just can't contribute to the run defense like Winfield can.

  4. #4
    michaelmazid is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    third corner to nobody?

    hell, he might be out of the league with the way he has been playing. he is a totally different player than he was in washington. He has lost all confidence and he needs to be cut.

  5. #5
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    Smoot just needs to get his head out of his ass and start earning the money that he's being paid!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  6. #6
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:

    buh-bye smoot. Let's hope we can get a solid receiver in a trade or a mid round draft pick.
    LOL, I see no reason to cut Smoot if he takes a pay cut, he had a decent year, especially at nickel. Wht not make him the starter there? I don't see anywhere were he would be opposed to that.

    People keep saying...."Oooooooooh we still have Dovonte Edwards", but the reality is, we haven't seen Edwards start an entire season to know enough about him & if he is starting material.

    Furthermore Smoot states that he is learning the new system. I find it laughable that people are holding him accountable to a higher standard of playing then they are holding other players to, that are also learning a new system.

    I've watched Winfield give up a lot of 3rd & long plays this season as well as seen Griffin give up his share. I will admit, Griffin does hit harder & tackle better than Smoot & Winfield is definitely are best tackling DB, but if it's after giving up another first down, it still moves the chains for the opponents.


    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #7
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    "singersp" wrote:
    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:

    buh-bye smoot. Let's hope we can get a solid receiver in a trade or a mid round draft pick.
    LOL, I see no reason to cut Smoot if he takes a pay cut, he had a decent year, especially at nickel. Wht not make him the starter there? I don't see anywhere were he would be opposed to that.

    People keep saying...."Oooooooooh we still have Dovonte Edwards", but the reality is, we haven't seen Edwards start an entire season to know enough about him & if he is starting material.

    Furthermore Smoot states that he is learning the new system. I find it laughable that people are holding him accountable to a higher standard of playing then they are holding other players to, that are also learning a new system.

    I've watched Winfield give up a lot of 3rd & long plays this season as well as seen Griffin give up his share. I will admit, Griffin does hit harder & tackle better than Smoot & Winfield is definitely are best tackling DB, but if it's after giving up another first down, it still moves the chains for the opponents.

    Thankyou Singer, I'm glad to see at least one other person sees what I see from Smoot.


    And we have a ton of money in cap room, he really doesn't need to take a pay cut. He's played in 2 different systems in Minnesota, and has had some bad stuff happen to him, injuries, personal problems and such. I say he completely deserves one more year, where he really knows the system, and can really show what he can do as a corner. There's a reason we paid him so much money when we first got him, and that is because he is a pro bowl talent, and was revered as one of the best "shut down" coverage corners in the league.

    Keep Smoot, let him learn, let him talk, let him play. With him and Winfield we will have an excellent duo, two guys who are very different, but both very talented.

  8. #8
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    "singersp" wrote:
    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:

    buh-bye smoot. Let's hope we can get a solid receiver in a trade or a mid round draft pick.
    LOL, I see no reason to cut Smoot if he takes a pay cut, he had a decent year, especially at nickel. Wht not make him the starter there? I don't see anywhere were he would be opposed to that.

    People keep saying...."Oooooooooh we still have Dovonte Edwards", but the reality is, we haven't seen Edwards start an entire season to know enough about him & if he is starting material.

    Furthermore Smoot states that he is learning the new system. I find it laughable that people are holding him accountable to a higher standard of playing then they are holding other players to, that are also learning a new system.

    I've watched Winfield give up a lot of 3rd & long plays this season as well as seen Griffin give up his share. I will admit, Griffin does hit harder & tackle better than Smoot & Winfield is definitely are best tackling DB, but if it's after giving up another first down, it still moves the chains for the opponents.

    As for a pay cut, Smoot insists that was not an option, and he isn't worried about the prospect of being traded.
    A pay cut seems to be out of the question.

    For depth reasons I hope he stays, but it isnt up to us. Knowing Childress' persona I couldnt see Smoot lasting another year in MN. Who knows tho, Childress is a hard guy to read sometimes.

  9. #9
    PurplePeopleEaters's Avatar
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    "singersp" wrote:
    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:

    buh-bye smoot. Let's hope we can get a solid receiver in a trade or a mid round draft pick.
    LOL, I see no reason to cut Smoot if he takes a pay cut, he had a decent year, especially at nickel. Wht not make him the starter there? I don't see anywhere were he would be opposed to that.

    People keep saying...."Oooooooooh we still have Dovonte Edwards", but the reality is, we haven't seen Edwards start an entire season to know enough about him & if he is starting material.

    Furthermore Smoot states that he is learning the new system. I find it laughable that people are holding him accountable to a higher standard of playing then they are holding other players to, that are also learning a new system.

    I've watched Winfield give up a lot of 3rd & long plays this season as well as seen Griffin give up his share. I will admit, Griffin does hit harder & tackle better than Smoot & Winfield is definitely are best tackling DB, but if it's after giving up another first down, it still moves the chains for the opponents.



    Please clarify for me where in that article Smoot says "I will take a pay cut if it means helping the team as a third corner." In fact, it says the complete opposite of that. 3rd corner=Nickel. Smoot clearly says that if he were to be the THIRD CORNER next year that he would not like to return to the team.

    I'm not arguing whether smoot is good or not. The guy just gave Childress an ultimatum. If he is nickel- then he doesn't want to be a viking. Simple as that. Sounds like a guy commited to the team, right?

  10. #10
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    Re: Smoot: 'third corner to nobody'

    I've backed the guy for his first 2 seasons here.However I feel ultimatley he just dosnt fit our new system. (ala Cover 2)

    Hes not that bad of a coverage CB,which is always good to have around in my book.But with his salery,he is vastly overpaid.So IMHO I say we trade him for anything we can get.(Almost anything)Heck I'd take a new PUNTER for Smoot in this system.Hes just not physical enough.Tice and Ole Red signed him to big phat contract.They're now both gone, and we all know why.


    Trade him or demote him to nickle back, and lower his wages.Or ultimatley cut him if he dosnt agree.


    I think we'll be saying goodbye to Captin Smoot this offseason fellas.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
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