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Fix the Vikings


Let's have some fun!  How do we get our Vikings on the right track?  I'm using Spotrac to do some roster management and I'm going full aggressive rebuild here:

Hire Bills OC Brian Daboll as head coach.  We saw him run circles around Belichek on Saturday night.  He has turned Josh Allen into a running and throwing nightmare for defenses.  Let him hire some smart, savvy coaches and let's get to work:

Resigning Free Agents: I'm cutting everyone but two.  That means Barr, Peterson, Conklin, Cole, Richardson, Hill, Vigil, Griffin, etc.  They are all gone.  I am resigning these guys:

K Greg Joseph - 3 years 4.5M  I like what I saw, I'll invest in keeping the kid around.

P Jordan Berry - 1 year 1.2M Solid enough guy to keep 

That means we enter the offseason over the cap with dead money from Barr and all sorts of other moves.  Here comes some more dead money but we do it for the children.  By which I mean....future Vikings teams.

Trades

If you watched the finale of the NFL season you know this team can't stop the run:  DT Michael Pierce to the Chargers for Pick 79  - This moves saves about 6M in cap room with 4M in dead cap and 2M the following year.  Guy can't stay healthy and I prefer to just let Tomlinson go back to NT.

Three team deal: QB Kirk Cousins to Cleveland, Baker Mayfield to the Denver Broncos, Picks 40 and 78 to the Vikings- The Browns are all-in and Baker isn't getting it done.  Stefanski gets his man, the Vikings hit reset, and the Broncos get an upside play at QB for a 2nd rounder.  This will save the Vikings 35M on this season but it allows the team to hit reset.

SS Harrison Smith to the Bengals for Pick 57.  This one is going to hurt, but at this point I'm gutting "Zimmer's Guys" from the roster.  We eat dead cap hits of 7M, 5M, 3M, and 1.5M to do this but it saves 6M, 12M, 14M, 19M over the next four years.  Worth it.

Finally....and people will hate it but screw it.....RB Dalvin Cook to Miami for CB Nelson Igbinoghene and Pick 22.  This will dead cap the Vikings 9M, 6M, and 3M so there are almost no savings this year but 12M and 13M are saved the following two years.  We're out of cap hell and we're no longer relying on a back that simply can't stay on the field.

(Tried to be realistic, maybe I was too generous with trade returns.  Always hard to say)

Free Agents (Projected available space 35M)

1. We need a veteran QB that can hold the fort while we develop the next guy.  Daboll brings in a guy he knows (and we do too, you won't like it): 2 year deal for QB Mitch Trubisky for 6M.

2. DT Tim Settle from the WFT - young DT with 5 sacks this year.  He can push the pocket and shown flashes, I want to invest in guys on the young side of free agency.  3 years 21M

3. S Terrell Edmunds - a talented safety from one of the league's best defenses.  A ton of experience but still really young, 3 years 24M

4. CB Donte Jackson - another young player with upside and a glut at his position on Carolina.  3 years 24M. 

We may need to sign some cheap options for filler but there is room for that.

Draft:

Current picks are 12, 22 40, 46, 57, 77, 78, 79. 154, 184, 192, 207, 228  (using https://www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com/mock-draft-simulator )

Pick 12: DT DeMarvin Leal - a pass rushing dynamo.  Who else is sick of seeing zero pocket push from our DTs?  *Raises hand*  Well.  We just ended that.  With Settle and Tomlinson we can ease the kid in.  It wasn't the plan he'd be available, but since he is....we'll take the next Chris Jones.

Pick 22: CB Kair Elam - a big, physical corner.  6'2 and feisty.

Pick 40: QB Desmond Ridder - gutty, athletic, competitive player.  Yeah, he didn't look great against 'Bama, but that was a low end D1 team against an NFL team.  He played with guts and I'll take that with the talent he shows.  Let Daboll work his magic.

Pick 46: CB Daxton Hill - another tough, physical corner

Pick 57: RB Isaiah Spiller - his shiftiness and vision as a runner are ridiculous.  This kid is going to fit great.

77, 78, 79 - Vikings trade up to land EDGE Ebiketie and LB Brandon Smith from Penn State.  First they deal 78 and 79 for pick 59 and 92.  Then deal 79 and 92 to move back up to pick 61 to land the two players.  

The rest of the picks are roster filler.

Roster:

QB - Trubisky, Ridder, Mond

RB - Mattison, Spiller, Nwangwu

FB - Ham

WR - Jefferson, Thielen, Osborn, Johnson, Smith-Marsete, Chisena

TE - Irv, Ellefson, Davidson

OL - Darrisaw-Cleveland-Bradbury-Davis-O'Neill basically unchanged (but poised for future cap room to change that)

DL - Settle, Tomlinson, Watts, Leal, Robinson, Wonnom, Hunter, Lynch, Jones, Ebiketie

LB - Dye, Surrat, Bradon Smith, Kendricks, Connelly, Lynch

CB - Elam, Hill, Igbinoghene, Dantzler, Jackson, Boyd

S - Edmunds, Bynum, Metellus, Hand

Is this team going to make anyone super thrilled?  Maybe not.  I didn't take any OL so that's going to bug some people.  (hated the options in the draft frankly) But we're younger, tougher, and more physical in the secondary.  We got a LOT more athletic and havoc-wreaking caliber talents in our front seven (Leal, Smith, Ebiketie).  We have a young, cheap RB.  A future franchise QB (I hope) And....wait for it.....a team that might have upwards of 60-70M in cap space to build around an ascending QB.

 

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I like it.

Except I think Ridder is going to shoot up the draft boards. I think he's going to jump into the same tier as Pickett and Corral. 

I'm not too sure Denver would have much interest in Mayfield either. Seems like they were pretty disappointed with the QB play this past year and I'm not sure he's an upgrade to Bridgewater. I'd think they might shoot higher. Maybe Patton liked Cousins from their time together in MN though?

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31 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

I like it.

Except I think Ridder is going to shoot up the draft boards. I think he's going to jump into the same tier as Pickett and Corral. 

I'm not too sure Denver would have much interest in Mayfield either. Seems like they were pretty disappointed with the QB play this past year and I'm not sure he's an upgrade to Bridgewater. I'd think they might shoot higher. Maybe Patton liked Cousins from their time together in MN though?

I'm betting on the Broncos losing out on the QB carousel.  I think Wilson ends up in Philly, Rodgers stays in GB, Watson doesn't go anywhere.  In that case, they may be willing to take that gamble.  But I'm good with the Cousins option too.

I hope you're wrong about Ridder.  I think people aren't seeing the talent there. He's so fluid in the pocket.  At this point, I'd be cool taking him at 12.  My only concern with him is that he's a little short on some of his deep balls.

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I’m all for taking the short term pain of dead cap hits to free ourselves in 2023 and beyond. We’re so top heavy right now… dedicating a majority of the cap to 8 players out of the 56 currently signed. 

It’s just gross to see. The good news is this is fixable with a new regime who’s not tied to our roster. 

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In regards to the Kirk trade, it’s creative, but rare to see a 3 team trade. I still see the Steelers as the most likely destination for Kirk. They have the cap space built in to take on his full salary if needed, and I highly doubt Tomlin wants to groom a rookie QB. 

Im also open to us paying off some of his salary to fetch a 1st + mid round pick. 

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43 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

In regards to the Kirk trade, it’s creative, but rare to see a 3 team trade. I still see the Steelers as the most likely destination for Kirk. They have the cap space built in to take on his full salary if needed, and I highly doubt Tomlin wants to groom a rookie QB. 

Im also open to us paying off some of his salary to fetch a 1st + mid round pick. 

Pittsburgh had a 100% vaccination rate this year though. I know it's a popular landing spot for Cousins as it makes a lot of sense as far as his QB play goes, but that doesn't seem like an organization or a coach that would let the big money QB sink the season because he won't get the shot.

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1 minute ago, nicksaviking said:

Pittsburgh had a 100% vaccination rate this year though. I know it's a popular landing spot for Cousins as it makes a lot of sense as far as his QB play goes, but that doesn't seem like an organization or a coach that would let the big money QB sink the season because he won't get the shot.

The shot does not stop you from testing positive  or catching the virus, read the medical journals on line, so that has zero to do with Cousins affect on the Vikings or any one else.

I have zero love for Cousin but the no vax paranoia is silly.

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7 minutes ago, RpR said:

The shot does not stop you from testing positive  or catching the virus, read the medical journals on line, so that has zero to do with Cousins affect on the Vikings or any one else.

I have zero love for Cousin but the no vax paranoia is silly.

Moderator note:

Your anti-vax comments have been given way too much leeway on this thread, mostly because it's not in the main baseball forums. However, this is the end of your threadjacks regarding this topic. If you continue to push your agenda those posts will be removed. 

Covid is real, it is dangerous and the vaccine saves lives. This is Twins Daily's stance and it is backed by every credible medical expert. This site will not host dangerous and disingenuous posts trying to say otherwise. Feel free to post your thoughts on the topic on other sites.

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2 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

Those trades seem very very good for the Vikings. I'd do every one without thinking, so I'm thinking they are too good to be true. 

The overall strategy is right, though. 

I struggled with that....are they lopsided or just speaking to the heart?  I honestly didn't know what to conclude, hence my caveat.

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5 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

I struggled with that....are they lopsided or just speaking to the heart?  I honestly didn't know what to conclude, hence my caveat.

I'd think the Cook deal is more like Dalvin and a 3rd or 4th for a first.......I'd deal him in an instant if I could. He's great, but a rebooting team can't afford him, imo. I really wish they had dealt him, and then used that money on DL or OL......or even DB. 

The Cousins deal looks fair for all involved, but I agree Pitt won't trade for an unvaxxed player. 

I'd think Harrison gets you a 3rd, which 57 is close to that, so maybe Harrison and a 4th or 5th for 57?

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1 minute ago, Mike Sixel said:

I'd think the Cook deal is more like Dalvin and a 3rd or 4th for a first.......I'd deal him in an instant if I could. He's great, but a rebooting team can't afford him, imo. I really wish they had dealt him, and then used that money on DL or OL......or even DB. 

The Cousins deal looks fair for all involved, but I agree Pitt won't trade for an unvaxxed player. 

I'd think Harrison gets you a 3rd, which 57 is close to that, so maybe Harrison and a 4th or 5th for 57?

Those are reasonable amendments.  My thought with Cook is Miami is desperate, hometown star, depleted depth chart, lots of draft picks.  Trying to find the right spots for the best payoffs.

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2 minutes ago, TheLeviathan said:

Those are reasonable amendments.  My thought with Cook is Miami is desperate, hometown star, depleted depth chart, lots of draft picks.  Trying to find the right spots for the best payoffs.

I can see Miami doing it.......and I'd be thrilled if they did!

I think Kirk ends up in Denver or Minnesota.....if Houston was any good at all, there (as I think Watson is out of the NFL at some point). Not sure where else is even an option at this point.

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1 minute ago, Mike Sixel said:

I can see Miami doing it.......and I'd be thrilled if they did!

I think Kirk ends up in Denver or Minnesota.....if Houston was any good at all, there (as I think Watson is out of the NFL at some point). Not sure where else is even an option at this point.

With you on Kirk.  I think Jimmy G is the guy who ends up in Pitt.

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2 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

Those trades seem very very good for the Vikings. I'd do every one without thinking, so I'm thinking they are too good to be true. 

The overall strategy is right, though. 

I agree.

Though I think in general, the NFL has historically had an extremely lopsided value in draft picks compared to existing players. At some point I'd think the value would tilt back closer to capable veteran players, but I have a hard time seeing that finally happen just when the Vikings are in position to reap the benefits.

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3 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

I can see Miami doing it.......and I'd be thrilled if they did!

I think Kirk ends up in Denver or Minnesota.....if Houston was any good at all, there (as I think Watson is out of the NFL at some point). Not sure where else is even an option at this point.

 It would be weird to see Carolina trade for a QB two years in a row, but Cousins is clearly a better QB than Darnold, and because of his contract, Cousins may cost less in trade equity. I suppose Darnold coming back in the trade would be discussed as well. Bleh, but whatever.

Also, the Giants seem desperate to not be terrible anymore. I could see them being very attracted to Cousins' floor.

Maybe Seattle once Wilson leaves. Cousins sure likes to only do what he's told and exactly no more, which seems to be the exact opposite of the Wilson/Carroll dynamic. Carroll might really dig a guy who only follows orders, even if the orders are bad.

The Saints are going to be desperate too if they don't land a big fish.

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16 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

 It would be weird to see Carolina trade for a QB two years in a row, but Cousins is clearly a better QB than Darnold, and because of his contract, Cousins may cost less in trade equity. I suppose Darnold coming back in the trade would be discussed as well. Bleh, but whatever.

Also, the Giants seem desperate to not be terrible anymore. I could see them being very attracted to Cousins' floor.

Maybe Seattle once Wilson leaves. Cousins sure likes to only do what he's told and exactly no more, which seems to be the exact opposite of the Wilson/Caroll dynamic. Carol might really dig a guy who only follows orders, even if the orders are bad.

The Saints are going to be desperate too if they don't land a big fish.

The problem with the Saints is money and there is a good chance Seattle is restarting if Wilson is dealt.  

Cousins needs a ready-made roster with available cap room and the only spots I can think of that fit that are Denver and Cleveland.

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3 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

Those are reasonable amendments.  My thought with Cook is Miami is desperate, hometown star, depleted depth chart, lots of draft picks.  Trying to find the right spots for the best payoffs.

I think Miami will make some splashy moves. They appear to be impatient with their rebuild and will probably look to accelerate it with trades and big FA signings. 

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22 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

 It would be weird to see Carolina trade for a QB two years in a row, but Cousins is clearly a better QB than Darnold, and because of his contract, Cousins may cost less in trade equity. I suppose Darnold coming back in the trade would be discussed as well. Bleh, but whatever.

Also, the Giants seem desperate to not be terrible anymore. I could see them being very attracted to Cousins' floor.

Maybe Seattle once Wilson leaves. Cousins sure likes to only do what he's told and exactly no more, which seems to be the exact opposite of the Wilson/Caroll dynamic. Carol might really dig a guy who only follows orders, even if the orders are bad.

The Saints are going to be desperate too if they don't land a big fish.

I think with the success Arizona is showing this year, teams should be more aggressive to cut bait and try again at QB. It was unprecedented for a team to take back to back QBs in the top 10 when they did it. But they made the right call to cut their losses with Rosen and move on to Murray. Carolina needs to come to that conclusion too that Darnold is a lost cause. 

NYG is another solid destination for Kirk. They’ve got 4 playmaking WRs and a stud RB in Barkley. I’m guessing if they strike out on Russell Wilson, Kirk is an attractive plan B. 

The Vikings really need Rodgers and Wilson to stay put. If they do, Kirk becomes the top option to trade for, followed by Jimmy G. And in that case, I really think we could fetch a 1st round pick in return. It may be a future 1st in 2023, but I am perfectly fine with that. 

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Another unlikely, but interesting destination for Kirk…. Philly. They have 3 first round picks this year and is Jalen Hurts the answer? Didn’t really appear so against Tampa Bay. I’d take their last 1st round pick and they can even dump a bad salary in the deal. 

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On 1/17/2022 at 3:17 PM, Vanimal46 said:

Another unlikely, but interesting destination for Kirk…. Philly. They have 3 first round picks this year and is Jalen Hurts the answer? Didn’t really appear so against Tampa Bay. I’d take their last 1st round pick and they can even dump a bad salary in the deal. 

I'd deal Cousins straight up for Hurts.  However, Philly is looking to go bigger than Cousins with the capital they have.

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On 1/18/2022 at 5:46 PM, Mike Sixel said:

NFL Move the Sticks (spotify) has a long interview with Spielman....which I am about to listen to.

https://bringmethenews.com/.amp/minnesota-sports/rick-spielman-it-was-constantly-like-a-moving-target-all-the-time
 

Just read an article which I assume was based on this interview. Ugh, I wanted Spielman gone years before I wanted Zimmer gone but I’m having second thoughts.

I liked his comments about the difference between “smart” QBs and QBs who process this information quickly. Spielman not only acknowledged his mistakes, but seems to have looked for answers as to why he made them. 

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2 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

https://bringmethenews.com/.amp/minnesota-sports/rick-spielman-it-was-constantly-like-a-moving-target-all-the-time
 

Just read an article which I assume was based on this interview. Ugh, I wanted Spielman gone years before I wanted Zimmer gone but I’m having second thoughts.

I liked his comments about the difference between “smart” QBs and QBs who process this information quickly. Spielman not only acknowledged his mistakes, but seems to have looked for answers as to why he made them. 

Yes. The more we learn, the more I feel this is a Zimmer issue way more than spileman. Waaaaaaaaaaay. 

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16 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

Yes. The more we learn, the more I feel this is a Zimmer issue way more than spileman. Waaaaaaaaaaay. 

Yup, I said it earlier, I think Spielman's biggest mistake was hitching his wagon to Zimmer and giving him so much deference.  

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On 1/16/2022 at 5:59 PM, TheLeviathan said:

If you watched the finale of the NFL season you know this team can't stop the run:  DT Michael Pierce to the Chargers for Pick 79  - This moves saves about 6M in cap room with 4M in dead cap and 2M the following year.  Guy can't stay healthy and I prefer to just let Tomlinson go back to NT.

Three team deal: QB Kirk Cousins to Cleveland, Baker Mayfield to the Denver Broncos, Picks 40 and 78 to the Vikings- The Browns are all-in and Baker isn't getting it done.  Stefanski gets his man, the Vikings hit reset, and the Broncos get an upside play at QB for a 2nd rounder.  This will save the Vikings 35M on this season but it allows the team to hit reset.

SS Harrison Smith to the Bengals for Pick 57.  This one is going to hurt, but at this point I'm gutting "Zimmer's Guys" from the roster.  We eat dead cap hits of 7M, 5M, 3M, and 1.5M to do this but it saves 6M, 12M, 14M, 19M over the next four years.  Worth it.

Finally....and people will hate it but screw it.....RB Dalvin Cook to Miami for CB Nelson Igbinoghene and Pick 22.  This will dead cap the Vikings 9M, 6M, and 3M so there are almost no savings this year but 12M and 13M are saved the following two years.  We're out of cap hell and we're no longer relying on a back that simply can't stay on the field.

Critiquing your trades - the Cousins one is fine, Smith is OK but we probably give back a late rounder... but Pierce is not going for a 3rd. Maybe you get a 6th for him, but he's proven to be too brittle. Cook does not go for a 1st plus a guy who was a 1st. It seems like Noah I. is looking like a bust, but if you have to include him in the trade it's probably a 3rd and him. They might be able to get a 2nd for Cook, but with the way good RBs are always going in the 2nd round... it's hard to see teams lining up for a guy whose best days are likely behind him.

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