Big Off-Season… Massive Opportunity!!

As we prepare for another roller coaster off-season with the Minnesota Vikings, we are once again feeling the usual hope and optimism. With the draft around the corner, many fans and experts have their own ideas of what Vikings will do come April. Do you take the best available player, or do you draft for need? Or will Rick once again trade back and recoup some lost picks? Either way, it seems like for the first time in a while the Minnesota Vikings are in a unique position. Over the last few years, so many game-changers were selected in the 8-15 range. You can go offense or defense and get a guy that fits right in to make an instant impact.
For the first time in the Mike Zimmer era, it was the offense that carried this team and put us on the brink of a playoff spot even with a 1-5 start. So, assuming that continues with some new additions upfront, you would be right to believe the Vikings are going to be a strong contender next season. As always, the biggest challenge that new OC Klint Kubiak will have to figure out is how to protect Kirk Cousins and allow him to really take over in games.
Addressing our biggest issue!

Common sense would suggest the Vikings take the highest-ranked offensive lineman. Kirk Cousins was the 3rd most pressured quarterback in the league last season (38.6%) but still managed to finish in the top 10 in passer rating (105.0). The Vikings have done reasonably well over the last 2 years taking an offensive lineman in the 2nd round of those drafts and they have both worked out quite well, but we don’t have a pick in the 2nd round this year so maybe this is the year we address that position we so desperately need to improve on to allow our offense to be even more explosive next year.
Another option, however, is building our offensive line through free agency. The name that jumps up at you is Trent Williams, who the Vikings tried to acquire last year but he refused. The free agency pool seems to be filled with quite a few really solid offensive linemen that could instantly make our team better and would need no introduction to the league. A perfect example of a veteran lineman going to a team and making a huge impact is Andrew Whitworth going to the Los Angeles Rams and solidifying that line in the run and most importantly protecting the quarterback’s blindside. Paying for an established player in that position is one of the few roster moves that are very low risk and tend to work out more than often.

The most unlikely scenario would be to trade for one of the available players in that position. This wouldn’t be such a bad idea considering the nature of the position. Offensive linemen tend to play till much later in terms of age compared to most other positions. Ravens are said to be looking for a 1st round pick from anyone interested in Orlando Brown Jr who had a tremendous season at left tackle. The Vikings should strongly consider this as an option, Brown is 23 years old and will shore up that position for at least the next 8 years. A 1st round pick is a small compensation to pay for a player that would be a massive part of your offense for a decade.

The Other Side of the Ball
The Vikings’ strong point for the entirety of Mike Zimmer’s tenure as the head coach has been defense. That was not the case last season, the Vikings ranked 30th overall, our pass rush was non-existent (28th in sacks) and what was even more alarming was how easily teams were able to run the ball at will. Injuries happen all over the NFL but to have so many starters and their replacements out injured took a massive toll on the team. One thing that Vikings fans can be certain of is that there will be no repeat of this and we can be sure that our defense will be back to its usual self.
Not only do the Vikings have a lot to look forward to with players coming back from injury, but the young cornerbacks also really came into their own as the season progressed. Cameron Dantzler was the highest-graded cornerback since week 7.
Expectations or False Hope?
There is plenty to look forward to if you’re a Vikings fan, if we can somehow manage to put it all together, we can build something special. This offseason we have a very rare opportunity where if we play our cards right we can certainly put our names firmly in the mix for the NFC.

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Posted on 6:59 am

ผู้สมัครที่จะหนีจากฟุตบอลแฟนตาซีในปี 2021 เร็วเกินไป

ฤดูกาล NFL สิ้นสุดลงอย่างเป็นทางการเมื่อสัปดาห์ที่แล้ว พวกคุณเป็นอย่างไรบ้าง? แขวนอยู่ที่นั่น? อย่างน้อยเราก็มีบาสเก็ตบอลเว้นแต่คุณจะเป็นแฟนของ Timberwolves อย่างไรก็ตามเมื่อฤดูกาลสิ้นสุดลงและทุกคนก็เบื่อแล้วก็ถึงเวลาที่ “เร็วเกินไป” คู่มือประจำปีที่จะเริ่มปรากฏในฤดูกาลหน้า นี่คือตัวเลือกของฉันสำหรับผู้เล่นที่จะออกมาสู่ทีมที่ยอดเยี่ยมของคุณในปี 2021 โจนาธานเทย์เลอร์อดีตวิสคอนซินมีฤดูกาลใหม่ที่ดีมากโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งในบ้าน เขาจบด้วยระยะวิ่งกว่า 1,100 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์ 11 ครั้ง แน่นอนว่ามีข้อแม้ที่ Indy สามารถเซ็นสัญญากับ Marlon Mack ได้อีกครั้ง เขาจะถูกมากหลังจากที่ Achilles ฉีกขาดและในที่สุดถ้าเขาสามารถกลับไปเป็น 80-90% ของขนาดปี 2019 ได้เขาก็สมควรได้รับการสัมผัสที่ยุติธรรม ที่พูดไปฉันคงไม่คาดคิดว่าอินดี้จะพาเขากลับมา เทย์เลอร์มีพอร์ตมากที่สุดเป็นอันดับแปดของฤดูกาล 2020 แต่ฉันคาดหวังว่าสิ่งนั้นจะถึงห้าอันดับแรกในปี 2021 เขาเป็นคนบ้างานตลอดชีวิตการทำงานในวิทยาลัยของเขากับแบดเจอร์สและฟิลิปริเวอร์สจะเกษียณอายุและไม่มีข่าวว่าจะมีการเปลี่ยนตัว ดูเหมือนความผิดของเทย์เลอร์ แนวรุกยังกลับมาเหมือนเดิมในฤดูกาลหน้าซึ่งอยู่ในสามอันดับแรกของลีกเมื่อฤดูกาลที่แล้ว สุดท้ายเทย์เลอร์มีความสามารถที่จะใช้ในเกมรับมากกว่าปีที่แล้วหลายเท่า เขาได้รับห้าเป้าหมายขึ้นไปสองครั้งในปี 2020 Irv Smith Jr. นอก Travis Kelce, Darren Waller และ George Kittle (สุขภาพดี) มีจุดจบแบบไดนามิกน้อยมากในลีก โถงท้ายที่แน่นหนาของชาวไวกิ้งมีผู้คนหนาแน่นมากในฤดูกาลที่แล้วโดย Irv Smith, Kyle Rudolph และ Tyler Conklin ต่างก็มีเวลามากพอสมควร ดูเหมือนว่ารูดอล์ฟจะถูกตัดหรือแลกเปลี่ยนยุครั้งนี้โดยเปิด 574 นัดเพื่อกรอกข้อมูล สมิ ธ พยายามที่จะได้รับส่วนใหญ่ในเวลานี้ การปรากฏตัวของสมิ ธ ในโซนสีแดงตลอดฤดูกาล 2020 ทำให้ผมมีความหวังสูงในปี 2021 ในสี่เกมสุดท้ายของฤดูกาลที่ไม่มีรูดอล์ฟสมิ ธ ก้าวขึ้นมาและทำบอลได้ 15 ครั้งในระยะ 183 หลาและ 3 ทัชดาวน์ หากการผลิตนั้นครอบคลุมทั้งฤดูกาลนั่นคือ 60 ครั้ง, 732 หลาและ 12 ทัชดาวน์ จำนวนฟุตเทจนี้จะติดอันดับสามของ TE ในปี 2020 และทัชดาวน์จะนำ TE ทั้งหมด สมิ ธ ในฐานะหนึ่งในผู้ทำประตูแฟนตาซีอันดับต้น ๆ ในงานนี้ดูมีแนวโน้มมากแม้จะมีอาวุธอื่น ๆ ในบัญชีรายชื่อของมินนิโซตา Tee Higgins The Bengals นำ Joe Burrow ด้วยการเลือกอันดับหนึ่งในปี 2020 และพวกเขาก็ได้อาวุธให้เขาขว้างต่อในรอบแรกทันทีโดยเลือก Tee Higgins บางครั้งในปี 2020 ฮิกกินส์ก็หลงในกราฟความลึกเมื่อปีที่แล้วตามหลัง AJ Green และ Tyler Boyd สถานการณ์กลายเป็นโชคร้ายยิ่งขึ้นสำหรับฮิกกินส์เมื่อ Burrow ฉีก ACL ของเขาในสัปดาห์ที่ 11 คาดว่า Burrow จะพร้อมลุยในปี 2021 แม้ว่าเขาจะต้องพลาดในช่วงสองสามสัปดาห์แรกก็ตาม ฉันยังคาดหวังว่า Cincy จะปล่อยให้ Green เดินได้อย่างอิสระหลังจากผ่านไปอีกหนึ่งปีที่น่าเบื่อหน่าย สิ่งนี้จะเปิดแกนรับหลักให้กับฮิกกินส์และบอยด์ในปีหน้า พวกเขาอาจจะรับสมัครคนอย่าง Jaylen Waddle เพื่อให้เข้ากับช่องได้เช่นกันหรืออาจเรียนรู้บทเรียนจากปี 2020 และเลือกผู้กำกับเส้นเพื่อปกป้อง Burrow ไม่ว่าจะด้วยวิธีใดสิ่งนี้จะนำไปสู่ผลลัพธ์ที่น่ารังเกียจที่ดีขึ้นในปี 2021 และฮิกกินส์จะเป็นส่วนสำคัญของสิ่งนั้นซึ่งมีแนวโน้มที่จะครองตำแหน่ง WR1 ในเกมที่เขาเริ่มต้นควบคู่ไปกับ Burrow ฮิกกินส์ได้รับแปดเป้าหมายหรือมากกว่านั้นในหกเกมจากแปดเกม

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Posted on 5:46 pm

What is the Vikings 2021 Offseason Plan for Adam Thielen? ​

When the 2020 season quickly became unfriendly to the Minnesota Vikings, trade rumors aplenty circulated, affecting nearly every player on the roster – even the ones viewed as untouchable.
Kirk Cousins, Harrison Smith, and Danielle Hunter all graced the hearsay-infused trade talks. Unsurprisingly, the rumors did not materialize as everyone not named Yannick Ngakoue stayed put. Ngakoue – who played for the Vikings for seven weeks – was shipped to the Baltimore Ravens for a 3rd-Round draft pick.
Adam Thielen was also whispered about during the fire-sale hubbub. At 30 years old, Thielen is approaching the age when he either begins a subtle decline of aptitudes or emulates Larry Fitzgerald and plays forever.

A performance-related decline was not on the docket for Thielen in 2020. Alongside rookie Justin Jefferson, Thielen snatched nearly 1,000 receiving yards and a career-high 14 touchdowns. Had Thielen been targeted like DeAndre Hopkins or Stefon Diggs, he would have grabbed north of 20 touchdowns – which is near Randy Moss’ NFL record (23) from 2007.
But the Vikings 2020 offseason will embrace some elements of change. The team already has new offensive, special teams, and defensive back coordinators. Difficult decisions on the futures of Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Harris, and Riley Reiff loom.
What about Thielen? Well, he likely escapes any topsy-turvy contractual business altogether, and here’s why.
35th-Best Player in the NFL for 2020

Adam Thielen is no longer underrated or underappreciated. This beset him until 2018 or so, but now he is perceived nationally as a formidable, reliable pass-catcher.
Pro Football Focus decided Thielen was the 35th-best player in the league during 2020. 1,696 active players participate in games on a regular NFL Sunday, and that makes Thielen’s ranking a big deal.
On Thielen, PFF’s Sam Monson commented:
“With Justin Jefferson putting together the kind of season he did as a rookie in Minnesota, it’s easy to overlook Adam Thielen or miss the fact that he had 14 receiving touchdowns this season. Thielen caught just under 70% of passes thrown his way and generated a 120.5 passer rating for Kirk Cousins on his targets. He remains one of the best route-runners in the game and is capable of spectacular plays at the catch point, as well. Thielen may not have had a career year in receptions or yards, but he was outstanding on the chances he got.”

High praise for the Minnesota State alumnus. It’s respect like this that deems it unlikely the Vikings would trade Thielen or fundamentally restructure his contract. Put simply – Thielen is considered the NFL’s sixth-best wide receiver by PFF. Why the hell would Minnesota want to remove that caliber of player from its orbit? Particularly in a league that trends more pass-happy each season.
League’s 11th-Highest Paid WR
Equal pay for equal work: That is Adam Thielen described in a nutshell. His yardage output tailed off a tad as Justin Jefferson fiercely emerged last season. Minnesota does not throw the football as much as other franchises, so Jefferson and Thielen spilt the targets. And Jefferson got a bit more attention.
Not in the redzone, though. Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were the only two wide receivers to score more touchdowns than Thielen in 2020. At age 30, Thielen’s knack for scoring is increasing – which bodes tremendously well for the remainder of his career. Should he morph into a touchdown-heavy guy on an annual basis, well, he can play until his late-30s.

Thielen developed his prowess for scoring in 2018, and it was not an outlier. Since 2018, he has scored 29 touchdowns while missing 15% of games. Behind Adams and Hill, Thielen ranks third in receiving touchdowns-scored during the last three seasons (when Kirk Cousins arrived in Minneapolis).
The seven-year Vikings veteran is the 11th-highest-paid wideout leaguewide per average annual salary ($16.2 million). One would be hard-pressed to find a fairer salary ranking for Thielen. He is roughly in the ballpark for 10th or 11th-best wideout in the NFL and thus compensated accordingly. Simple as that.
A Lovable Dude That Stays Put
Thielen’s contract and employment will remain as-is because he deserves it. Statistical output and on-the-field consistency affirm his monetary value is equitable.
Plus, he is a fan-favorite – beyond the shadow of a doubt. Can you imagine Thielen wearing a helmet that does not have white horns? Take a minute to envision that. It is foreign.
Several areas for contractual tweaking will be evaluated roster-wide during the coming months. Based on value and production, Thielen should enter 2021 with his contract untouched.

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Posted on 4:26 am

Who is the Best Vikings Player of the Past Half-Decade?

A disclaimer on this brief analysis of the best Minnesota Vikings players of the last half-decade: The following rankings adjudicate the full body of work from the last five seasons, 2016-2020. For example, Kirk Cousins did not play for the team in 2016 or 2017, so he will not participate the Top 3. He did not partake in 40% of the last half-decade with the Vikings. Dalvin Cook was not drafted until 2017, and in that season, he did not play because of injury. The standalone accolades by Cook for 2020, though, make him one of the most valuable assets of the last five years – just not in totality. Another example is Danielle Hunter missing all of 2020 with a neck injury.
So, consider this a cumulative look-back that examines all five seasons from 2016 to 2020. If there is “bias” with this analysis, it is longevity and subsequent impact on the team.

For these purposes, the “last half-decade” began the moment Sam Bradford signed on with the Vikings. Minnesota turned to the now-retired quarterback via trade just days after Teddy Bridgewater’s career hit the pause button because of a cataclysmic injury.
In the timeframe, 2016-2020, the Vikings are the league’s 10th-best franchise with wins and losses. At 46-33-1 (.581), the team started with bad odd-even year mojo as 2016 finished in depressing fashion. Head coach Mike Zimmer’s team roared to 5-0 at the season’s commencement only to concede the postseason and hold an 8-8 record at the end of 2016.
2020 was worse. Minnesota was 7-9, third place in the NFC North, and forced the upcoming 2021 season into a make-or-break classification for senior leadership.

During the last five seasons, though, these (in ascending order) are the three players to have the most on-the-field impact for the Vikings.
3. Adam Thielen
Thielen became a bonafide starter in 2016 and hence benefits from the timing of the lustrum. He was an alembic commodity when he arrived team, transforming from special teams guru to eventual WR1. What a journey.

Since 2016, among all NFL wide receivers, Thielen ranks sixth in receiving touchdowns, 10th in receptions, 11th in receiving yards, 12th in catch percentage, 13th in games played, and 16th in times targeted. Not bad for a player nobody surmised would make the cut for an ironclad WR1 at any juncture of his career.
All in all, Thielen can be fairly classified as a Top 10 wide receiver of the last half-decade. The numbers confirm it. His fairytale-like story merely sweetens the deal.

And offensively, Thielen and Kyle Rudolph are the only two players to really “go the distance” with the team since 2016 – a noteworthy feat.
2. Eric Kendricks
The UCLA alumnus is a pass-coverage maven at linebacker. Coverage stats are not as scintillating as sacks, tackles for loss, or quarterback hits that pass-rushing linebackers tally, but Kendricks is the best of the best in pass coverage by linebackers.
For that reason, Kendricks is the second-most impactful Vikings player of the last five seasons. He is the cardiovascular system of Mike Zimmer’s defense. This was on full display in 2020 – in an unfortunate light. Kendricks was having a prototypical year by his standard last season until he was beset by injury in Week 13. That game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars was the final meaningful win of 2020 for the Vikings (and it even it was ugly).
With his injury went the Vikings postseason aspirations. The defense fundamentally collapsed, and Minnesota lost pivotal games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints. “Next man up” works some of the time, but replenishment for Kendricks was not one of those scenarios.
During the last five seasons, Kendricks is the NFL’s sixth-leading tackler among linebackers. He has also grabbed the seventh-most interceptions by a linebacker.
1.Harrison Smith
A period of deterioration will confront Smith sometime in the future, but it has not happened yet. Each season that Smith enters is fair game for a performance-related decline, and Smith scoffs. His dedication to his craft is on consistent display game in and game out – even as he navigates his 30s.
A fact-based argument can assert that Smith is the NFL’s best safety over the last five seasons. Among all safeties since 2016, he ranks second leaguewide in interceptions, third in sacks, fourth in tackles for loss, fifth in passes defended, sixth in quarterback hits, and seventh in total tackles. Normally, a safety specializes in one or two for these categories and then prosecutes average-or-decent production in other aspects of his game. But not Smith. He does it all — at a herculean level.
Until the pandemic year, Smith reached the Pro Bowl in each season since 2015. He did not get the nod in 2020, and no Super Bowl “replacements” were called upon because the game was not physically played. Otherwise, Smith would tout six straight Pro Bowl selections.

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Posted on 4:21 pm

Geno Atkins to Minnesota Picks up Steam

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer defensively coordinated the Cincinnati Bengals for six seasons before trekking to the North Start State. Now, he has been the Vikings skipper for one year longer than he led the Bengals defense.
On Saturday, news picked up that Cincinnati would likely release defensive tackle Geno Atkins in a cap-clearing maneuver.

“The Bengals are projected to cut three-technique Geno Atkins to clear up $9.5 million against the cap” 👀🤔
— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) February 13, 2021

The Houston Texans did release longtime legend, J.J. Watt, this week, so that waiver garnished national attention. But the Atkins hubbub is a tremendous bit of fodder, too. Atkins entered the NFL during the same draft bestowed upon the Vikings — Everson Griffen (2010). The Bengals 3-technique defensive lineman is an eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro selection.

He also has the proverbial “ties” to Mike Zimmer. Atkins and Zimmer collaborated for four seasons in Cincinnati.
If Atkins is remotely available in the Vikings offseason orbit, his potential acquisition would be a momentous addition to a team defense that ranked 29th in the NFL during 2020 via points allowed.
The Need for a 3-Tech DT

My, oh my – do the Vikings need an increased pass rush. Indeed, this a 2020-only Vikings symptom as quarterback pressure was commonplace for the previous six years of the Zimmer era. But when a team loses its show-stopping EDGE rusher in Danielle Hunter and its keynote 2020 offseason signing in 2020 – nose tackle Michael Pierce – the fallout is nauseating. The lack of pressure nimbus was new for Vikings enthusiasts around for the entirety of Zimmer’s tenure.
Atkins would immediately upgrade the defensive line’s pass rush – as in, snap-of-the-fingers type stuff. This is especially applicable to the 3-technique spot. Since 2014, the Vikings have utilized players like Sharrif Floyd, Tom Johnson, and Shamar Stephen at the defensive tackle position opposite nose tackle. This is called skimping. In 2018, Sheldon Richardson joined the squad for one year, and he bolstered the pressure output a bit at 3-technique.

In theory, Atkins should blow the pass-protecting wherewithal of the aforementioned men out of the water. He is a significant upgrade to Floyd, Johnson, or Stephen. Overall, he would be considered a Richardson-esque addition if Minnesota makes the move.
Pre-2020 Production Would be Spectacular
Atkins tore his labrum in 2020, and the season became a lackluster one for the soon-to-be 33-year-old. The pandemic season marked the first time since 2013 that he missed a single game. Ergo, outside of 2020, Atkins is durable.
And when’s healthy, he’s a monster. From 2013 to 2019, only Aaron Donald has more sacks as a defensive tackle than Atkins. Bringing Atkins aboard the Vikings defensive line – a healthy version – can be perceived as Diet Donald.
The delectable aspect of Atkins’ tool bag is balance. When his labrum is whole, he is equally as effective in rushing the passer as he is stopping the run. Normally, a defensive lineman does one trait or the other in superior fashion. Such is not usually the case for Atkins. He stops the run and terrorizes passers.
If one is really in the hype business, a penning of Atkins on a Vikings contract would instantly transform the 2020 defensive maladies. A defensive line of Ifeadi Odenigbo, Shamar Stephen, Jaleel Johnson, and Jalyn Holmes – would morph to Ifeadi Odenigbo, Michael Pierce, Geno Atkins, and Danielle Hunter. Good Lord.
Cross It Off the To-Do List
Most importantly – if the Vikings can land Atkins a reasonable price – the need for a non-NT defensive tackle is crossed off the to-do list. And this is not a piecemealed solution; it is a Nelson Cruz-like homerun.
If Atkins is just a pipe dream because of budgetary restraints, the Vikings will rely on someone organic like Armon Watts or Jaleel Johnson to fill the position. This can work when either man is surrounded by Michael Pierce or Danielle Hunter. But it does not have the Atkins sizzle.
Or Minnesota can invest a lower-octane name like Steve McLendon – a veteran also from the 2010 NFL Draft. Otherwise, it is off to the 2021 NFL Draft for a new face. Then, the Vikings must decide if the 3-technique personnel is “worth” its 14th overall pick in April. A defensive tackle at No. 14 would be delightful, but the team must hope it nails the pick.
With Atkins (assuming health), the prognosis for performance is clear – upper-echelon pass-rushing and run-stopping with Zimmer familiarity as the cake-topper. On price, this would be the best time ever to inquire because his stock is somewhat low due to injury and age.

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Posted on 2:57 pm

How Long Will Kirk Cousins Remain the Vikings QB?

Kirk Cousins became a member of the Minnesota Vikings in the spring of 2018 and has since led the team to a modest 25-22-1 (.531) record. In the first season, Cousins personally – and the Vikings as a team – fell short of lofty expectations. Minnesota finished with a winning record by the slimmest of margins at 8-7-1 (.531). That was the season that rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed several kicks in Week 2 at Lambeau Field versus the Green Bay Packers. Had Carlson connected on one, the Vikings would have later reached the postseason. They were just one win away from the NFC’s sixth seed. That is not a “maybe,” it’s the cold-hard truth.
That unfulfilling season caused causal Vikings fans to grouse. Cousins was earning a boatload of money – all of it guaranteed. The following season was a bit more beamish as the team won a playoff game in New Orleans in stunning fashion. But the reputational damage to Cousins from the 2018 maiden voyage lingered.
And now VikingsLand is at a point with Cousins where the narrative about him cannot be wholly changed without a Super Bowl visit. He is probably the only quarterback in the NFL held to this standard. Players like Philip Rivers escaped this nationally-themed wrath for nearly 20 years. A different set of standards inexplicably applies to Cousins.

Trade rumors pertaining to Cousins – although squashed by Vikings leadership – have swirled this offseason. So far, all prittle-prattle about his involvement in a trade is false. Some reports placed Cousins on the San Francisco 49ers roster. Other whispers theorized the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, and Houston Texans as landings spots. All of it has been hearsay.
Evidently, the Vikings are quasi-committed to the 32-year-old. But how long will he stay in Minnesota?
Probably a minimum of two to three more years.
By the Numbers

Since Daunte Culpepper’s career with Minnesota ceased in 2005, the Vikings have searched high and low for a quarterback that could mimic Culpepper’s statistical production. For one single season – 2009 – Brett Favre answered the call and even made Culpepper look pedestrian. After that, Teddy Bridgewater was promising for two years before he, too, succumbed to a Culpepper-like injury.
The franchise settled on Cousins. After Culpepper [but before Cousins], the quarterback spot was filled by a myriad of interlopers. Interloping at quarterback is Vikings football – and such has been the case since Tommy Kramer retired in 1989.
In three years, Cousins has delivered 91 touchdowns. Minnesotans were pleased with Bridgewater when he tossed 14 scores in a season. Bridgewater was allotted a leash of romanticism whereas Cousins gets dragged around by the collar.
Cousins provides the passing yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, passer rating, and deep-ball prowess that fans have begged for in the last 30 years. He does his job. The weaknesses to his repertoire are evident – some fumbles and suspect pocket presence are the main culprits.

On consistency, however, the good outweighs the bad. Minnesota can rely on Cousins to author 25 to 35 touchdowns – like clockwork – per season. Nobody has replicated this since Culpepper. Based on consistency alone, Cousins will be in charge of the offense indefinitely so long as Rick Spielman has a job.
By the Dollars
In this situation, money might be more important than performance.
Cousins is a lock to do what he does – about 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. There is enough sample size to prognosticate this with integrity. But his yearly contract figure conversely fluctuates.

His cap hit in 2021 is $31 million. Next year, that is scheduled to balloon at $45 million. At that sum, yes, Cousins is overpaid. And that’s why Minnesota is unlikely to pay out $45 million for a single season’s work.
Between now and March of 2022, Cousins will probably extend his deal to 2023 or beyond for relief on the monstrosity of a cap hit. This will irritate the fussbudget crowd, but too-bad-so-sad. General managers and head coaches happen to enjoy quarterbacks that top 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns annually. So should you – especially as a Vikings dieharder engrained with quarterback hopscotch.
Just as the performance metric hints, the money suggests Cousins’ contract will be reworked to grant him more time in Minnesota – not float in trade-rumor purgatory.
If Not Cousins – Who?
Indeed, it would be neat if the Vikings employed Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, or Deshaun Watson. But they don’t.
If Watson was [somehow] dealt to the Vikings, he would later command about $50 million per season, and the trade would necessitate Minnesota sending an unprecedented trade haul to Houston. Both hypotheticals are less than ideal. Watson’s Texans finished 4-12 last season, so the man cannot single-handedly schlepp his team to prosperity. You know – like we ask of Kirk Cousins.
Spielman could try the rookie quarterback maneuver. Draft a young player at quarterback and hope he is closer to Josh Allen’s likeness than Josh Rosen’s. That is a gamble. If the Cousins experience does not net a Super Bowl, the Vikings are on tap for this strategy.
Signing a free agent from this 2021 class will get the purple and gold something like Cam Newton or Andy Dalton. If one believes those two are more exciting than Cousins, perhaps more Sundays on the couch actually watching football games is in order.
Cousins is the best thing going for the Vikings in the large scheme of quarterback possibilities. Despite some shortcomings — that Minnesota fans magnify because they watch every snap of Vikings football — he is a formidable starting quarterback.
And that’s why he will be around for at least a couple of more seasons.

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Posted on 5:07 am

Sansevere: Yeah, JJ Watt Ain’t Happening [Exclusive]

The worst thing about the NFL offseason is the rampant speculation and how it impacts fans desperate for their team to have a new look.
Like Vikings fans.
Over the past few weeks, they have been all whipped up about the chances of acquiring Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers and, most recently, Russell Wilson.
Those chances are not exactly good.

One fan on social media threw out a scenario of a three-team trade that sent Kirk Cousins to San Francisco, Jimmy Garoppolo to Seattle and Russell Wilson to the Vikings. It’s all just mental masturbation.
The Seahawks, even with the acquisition of the Vikings’ and 49ers’ first-round picks, are not letting Wilson go for Garoppolo.
And now fans in 31 NFL communities across America are pipe-dreaming about signing J.J. Watt, who was released Friday by the Houston Texans.
Vikings fans are, of course, having that pipe dream. They think, “Ah, wouldn’t it be great to have Watt and Danielle Hunter as bookend defensive ends?”
It ain’t happening.

The Vikings could begin next season without Hunter, who still has to prove he can overcome his neck injury, and they certainly won’t begin it with Watt.
The truest of free agents, Watt can sign with any team. The teams likely most appealing to him or anyone would be the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assuming Brady does indeed return, and the Cleveland Browns.
Those three teams all have a strong shot to be playing in next year’s Super Bowl — certainly stronger shots than the Vikings.
Watt is going to want a ring, and a number of teams are better equipped to do that than the Vikings.
The team that can give him both that Super Bowl shot and a hefty contract is the Cleveland Browns.

The combined salary cap space of the Chiefs ($5.09 million), Bucs ($4.58 million) and Vikings (4.52 million) is dwarfed by the Browns’ $30.36 million in salary cap space. (These are current cap numbers, and can be less once the NFL sets the 2021 cap amount.)
The Packers might be an attractive landing spot for Watt because he’s a Wisconsin guy, but Green Bay has even less cap space ($3.77 million) than the Vikings.
Now Watt could go elsewhere, but Cleveland would have to be considered a likely place for him to go. And certainly a much likelier place than Minnesota.
Bob Sansevere does a daily podcast called “The BS Show,” which also can be heard on radio stations in Duluth (KDAL), Hibbing (WNMT) and St. Cloud (WBHR).

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Posted on 11:08 pm

If Bruce Arians Can Win a Super Bowl, So Can Mike Zimmer

The Minnesota Vikings were bystanders to the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl. The 2020 season was a tumultuous one as the draft was virtual, preseason was nonexistent, an unusual flurry of injuries affected major stars, and Tom Brady wore non-Patriot clothes for the first time.
The experiment for Brady worked out in Tampa Bay.
Head coach Bruce Arians broke through to February relevance, a feat previously elusive from his resume. He took over in Tampa Bay during 2019 and immediately grimaced as his quarterback, Jameis Winston, tallied interceptions like Kevin Durant does points in single NBA games. That’s right, Winston tossed 30 picks.
Of course, he was not a part of the long-term solution for Arians’ Buccaneers, and Winston signed on as a reservist player to Drew Brees with the New Orleans Saints. Brady and the Buccaneers would late topple the Saints in the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs. A little bit of minor poetry for Arians there.

Arians, 68, was always classified in the “damn good football coach” category before Super Bowl LV. When the Buccaneers shocked and utterly dominated the Kansas City Chiefs last week, Arians entered rarified realms of coaching stardom. His experience and long trek through the NFL finally culminated with a Lombardy trophy hoist.
Tampa Bay winning the championship pumped the brakes – again – on the obsession with young head coaches. The Buccaneers pillaged through the postseason without a young head coach. In fact, they employ the inverse – a man nearly 70 years of age.
Arians’ triumph is yet another example that old coaches still get the job done. And so can Vikings skipper, Mike Zimmer.
This Is Country for Old Men
It’s time to dispel a myth.

Young coaches – some of them – are doing a marvelous job as a beacon of youth in the NFL. Kyle Shanahan, Matt LaFleur, and Sean McVay are examples. Habitually, for the most part, all three are reaching the postseason. Yet, none of them are winning Super Bowls. Sooner or later, the notion that young coaches are the meal ticket to winning championships must be deconstructed.
If that is not obvious already, it should be clearer after Super Bowl LV. Bruce Arians is old. Andy Reid is old – and he was old last year. Before that, it was Bill Belichick that won the Super Bowl. He’s old.
Men who are not young are the gentlemen winning in February. Period.

Ages of SB-Winning Head Coaches,since 2015:
68 – Arians61 – Reid66 – Belichick 50 – Pederson 64 – Belichick 55 – Kubiak

“We need a young offense-first mind to lead the enterprise.”
— Dustin Baker (@DustBaker) February 10, 2021

That evidence is a smoking gun.
Young Coaches Good but Not Sealing the Deal

The old-man Super Bowl correlation is not an insult to coaches in their 30s. No organization needs to be skittish about employing a young head coach. Youthful coaches are merely not getting the whole job done – yet. Someone will breakthrough — probably when the titans of industry coaches such as Belichick and Reid retire.
To date, the younger skippers are getting close to the Promised Land. But they’re stumbling. Packers coach Matt LaFleur was schooled by Arians in the NFC Championship – just like Sean McVay was topped by Belichick in the Super Bowl two years ago.
One should be elated by youth-infused coaches exhibiting innovation and changing the game. It will just take a while for one to be victorious on the grandest stage.
And, yes, by implication, this means all the other old coaches can win championships, too. Just like Arians finally did.
Why Not Zimmer?
The ask of Zimmer for his team and the vice-versa ask of fans for Zimmer is straightforward – but oh-so humongous.
One season – just one – all facets of the team must coagulate. Think the 2017 Vikings defense with the 2020 offense and an average special teams bunch that does not blow costly kicks at inopportune times. That’s it. Pair the good with the good. Ask the stars to align. Avoid strange outcomes like Gary Anderson from 1998 or Blair Walsh from 2015.
This does not outwardly seem like “too much to ask,” but in many respects, it is gargantuan.
Zimmer is directly in the age range that the recent Super Bowl-winning coaches dwell. Head coaches in their 60s is evidently have a sweet spot for Super Bowl success. The Vikings may not embark on a dynastic run – although anything is possible – but one year should be able to conjoin forces of competent sections of the depth chart. Much like Arians in 2020.
And hopefully Tom Brady isn’t required.

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Posted on 9:49 pm


ชาวมินนิโซตาไวกิ้งตกอยู่ในสถานการณ์ จำกัด เงินเดือนที่ยากลำบาก ซึ่งหมายถึงการตัดสินใจที่ยากลำบากเกี่ยวกับผู้เล่นที่อยู่ในทีมและรับความเสี่ยงในหน่วยงานอิสระ Rick Spielman จะต้องใช้ความคิดสร้างสรรค์ในการค้นหาการผลิตที่มีต้นทุนต่ำในช่วงนี้ วิธีหนึ่งที่จะไปคือเลือกผู้เล่นที่ต้องการพิสูจน์ตัวเองหลังจากบาดเจ็บ ในบรรดานักวิ่งอันดับต้น ๆ ในประเภทนี้ Takkarist McKinley ทำให้ฉันแตกต่าง การบาดเจ็บในฤดูกาล 2020 ของ McKinley ตกรางจากอาการบาดเจ็บที่ขาหนีบซึ่งทำให้เขาถูกฟอลคอนและ 49ers ตัดออกก่อนที่จะเซ็นสัญญาและในที่สุดก็ถูกนำเข้าสู่ IR โดย Raiders เขาเล่นเพียงสี่เกมและตอนนี้อยู่ในตลาดตัวแทนเสรี McKinley เป็นผู้เล่นที่น่าสนใจเพราะเมื่อมีสุขภาพที่ดีเขาสามารถเพิ่มความลึกให้กับจังหวะผ่านได้อย่างแน่นอน อย่างที่เราทราบกันดีว่าการป้องกันของชาวไวกิ้งถูกทำลายจากการบาดเจ็บในปี 2020 ดังนั้นพวกเขาควรเรียนรู้จากสิ่งนั้นและเพิ่มความลึกให้กับทหารผ่านศึก นั่นคือสิ่งที่กองหลังวัย 25 ปีสามารถทำได้ ในปี 2017 และ 2018 McKinley บันทึกรวม 13 กระสอบและ 25 QB hit ไม่ใช่สถานะที่ยิ่งใหญ่ แต่เขาเพิ่งเริ่มได้แปดครั้งในช่วงเวลานั้น แน่นอนว่าเขาไม่ควรเป็นตัวเลือกอันดับหนึ่งของทีม แต่เขาจะไม่อยู่ในมินนิโซตากับแดเนียลฮันเตอร์และอาจเลือกวันหนึ่งหรือวันสองวันก็ได้ เงินเดือนและเขาจะไม่ต้องจ่ายเป็นตัวเลือก สัญญาของเขาในปี 2020 อยู่ที่ประมาณ 2.5 ล้านดอลลาร์และเขาไม่ควรสั่งเงินมากกว่านี้ (เขาอาจได้รับค่าจ้างน้อยกว่า) เมื่อเทียบกับปี 2021 เนื่องจากมีประวัติการบาดเจ็บ สัญญาหนึ่งปีมูลค่าประมาณ 3-4 ล้านเหรียญนั้นเกินความสมเหตุสมผลสำหรับนักล่าลึก ฉันอยากจะชี้ให้เห็นว่าแม้ว่ากระสอบของเขารวม 3.5 ในปี 2019 (ฤดูกาลล่าสุดของเขา) ไม่ได้ยอดเยี่ยม แต่ก็ยังคงเท่ากับยอดรวมฤดูกาล 2020 ของ Ifeadi Odenigbo สำหรับอันดับที่สองเหนือ Vikings ตามหลัง Yannick Ngakoue ยอดรวมการยิง QB ของเขาก็เป็นอันดับสองรองจาก Ngakoue ในแง่ของอัตราความกดดันฤดูกาล 2019 ของ McKinley และฤดูกาล 2020 ของ Odenigbo นั้นใกล้เคียงกันมาก อ้างอิงจาก Pro-Football-Reference McKinley กดดันฝ่ายตรงข้าม QB 20 ครั้งใน 546 นัดในขณะที่ Odenigbo กล่อม 26 ครั้งใน 696 นัด แม้ในกรณีที่เลวร้ายที่สุด McKinley สามารถช่วยปรับปรุง d-line นี้ได้ในราคาถูก ตำแหน่งที่พอดีในปี 2017-18 McKinley ส่วนใหญ่อยู่ทางด้านขวา ในปี 2019 เขากลายเป็นผู้เริ่มต้นอย่างเต็มเวลา นี่คือจุดเริ่มต้นของปัญหาเมื่อเขาบันทึกเพียง 3.5 กระสอบใน 14 เกม อย่างไรก็ตามเขายังคงบันทึกความสำเร็จ 13 QB ในฤดูกาลนี้ McKinley ดูเหมือนจะเข้ากันได้ดีกับโครงการไวกิ้ง นับตั้งแต่เข้ารับตำแหน่งในปี 2560 แดเนียลฮันเตอร์เล่นจากด้านซ้ายสุดเช่นเดียวกับในกรณีของนักวิ่งอันดับต้น ๆ ด้วยตำแหน่งที่ยุ่งแม็คคินลีย์มักจะพบว่าเวลาเล่นส่วนใหญ่ของเขาทางด้านขวาของแนวต่อสู้ซึ่งเขามีประสิทธิผลมากที่สุดในช่วงที่เขาอยู่ในแอตแลนตา เขานำฟอลคอนในกระสอบในปี 2018 จากตำแหน่งนั้นแม้จะเริ่มเพียงแปดเกม การปิดความคิดดังที่ฉันได้กล่าวไว้ในตอนต้นไวกิ้งจะต้องมีความคิดสร้างสรรค์และรับความเสี่ยงเพื่อเพิ่มความลึกให้กับการป้องกันในปีนี้ ประวัติการบาดเจ็บของ McKinley ทำให้เขามีความเสี่ยงในการเซ็นสัญญา แต่จำนวนเงินที่เขาจะสั่งซื้อนั้นไม่มีความเสี่ยงเท่าที่ควร ศักยภาพของเขาเมื่อเขามีสุขภาพดีและเหมาะกับแผนการป้องกันทำให้เขาเป็นผู้สมัครที่ยอดเยี่ยมสำหรับมินนิโซตา แม้ว่าเขาจะไม่ได้เริ่ม แต่การที่เขาอยู่ใกล้ ๆ จะช่วยลดความกดดันให้กับใครก็ตามที่หาเวลาในการป้องกันสำหรับชาวไวกิ้ง

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Posted on 7:54 pm

Kirk Cousins Should Want Out of Minnesota, by Russell Wilson’s Logic

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been under persistent duress since he arrived the franchise in 2018. The team is 25-22-1 (.531) during Cousins’ tenure with one playoff victory and two underwhelming campaigns.
In the face of a shaky pass-protecting offensive line, Cousins has delivered 91 touchdown passes – the fifth-most in the NFL during the last three years. There is no way to determine how many more the 32-year-old would toss with an average or good offensive line, but it would undeniably be more.
Cousins isn’t the league’s only passer that is frequently besieged by defenders. Other oft-sacked quarterbacks include Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan. Yet, none of those men are thrown to the ground as often as Russell Wilson. The Seattle Seahawks signal-caller has been sacked 394 times during his career – more than any player in the NFL since 2012.
Wilson sounded off this week with resentments about the tendency.

Russell Wilson to reporters today: “I love playing for Seattle. Loved it for years. You just never want to get hit. I’ve been sacked almost 400 times. We’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get better. … I’m frustrated with getting hit too much.”
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 9, 2021

In reality, this is probably a diplomacy tactic to force Seattle’s hand in obtaining better offensive line personnel. The franchise notoriously skimps with offensive-line spending. But Wilson went on to leave questions about trading him unanswered and vague. He parked the matter back at the doorstep of Seattle’s management.
If Wilson is frustrated and open to a change of scenery, Kirk Cousins could hop right on this bandwagon with ease. Although, it is unlikely that Cousins would cause a fuss.

The Sacks
In his three years with Minnesota, Cousins has been sacked 107 times – the fifth-most leaguewide. The aforementioned Watson (155), Wilson (146), Ryan (131), and Wentz (118) are the only players to encounter more sacks than Cousins.
So, there’s a paradox. Cousins provides the fifth-most touchdown passes while getting sacked the fifth-most often. It’s rather odd.
Indeed, some accountability for sacks can be sent in the direction of quarterbacks, as holding onto the football too long is problematic. But on the whole, the culprit with this sacks stat-metric is the quarterback’s offensive line. The Texans are infamous for a shoddy offensive line. So are the Seahawks. The Vikings obviously eternally live in this category. Remember the 2020 Philadelphia Eagles – trashy offensive line.
There is a theme here. Quarterbacks that get sacked ad nauseam all seem to be discontented with their current situation — or they are the topic of trade rumors. Scroll up and re-read those names.

The Bottom-Tier Pass Protection
This tweet became a VikingsTerritory staple because it is so damning.

Vikings team pass block grade and rank since 2014:
2014: 72.4 (23rd)2015: 67.9 (28th)2016: 64.7 (30th)2017: 71.9 (17th)2018: 63.6 (27th)2019: 63.0 (27th)2020: 55.5 (29th)
😬 #Skol

— PFF MIN Vikings (@PFF_Vikings) January 14, 2021

In a nutshell of indictment, this stat defines the Vikings longstanding woes in the offensive trenches. The team run-blocks quite well, but the pass protection is nauseating. And it’s been that way from the day Mike Zimmer was hired. It popped up and gave a halfway decent performance in 2017 – and the team only reach the NFC Championship as a result. Actions have consequences. In this case, the consequence was delightful.
Cousins should not want to play for a team that showcases a bad pass-protecting offensive line every damn year. If Wilson or Watson miraculously played in Minnesota, they would voice similar frustration – just as they are doing in Seattle and Houston.
Watson has never vocally finger-pointed at his offensive line, but he made it crystal-clear in the last month that he wants the hell of Houston. And now he’s on the trade block. Perhaps a brawny offensive line could have changed Watson’s mood. It seems too late for that now, though.
No Such Musings from Cousins
Cousins is not a prima donna. Hence, he has not forced his way out of Minnesota. Instead, the team has members of its fanbase that outlandishly disregard the offensive line woes when evaluating Cousins’ production – and point to Cousins personally as the problem. Bizarre.
He is producing 30 touchdowns per season with the NFL’s fourth-worst offensive line via pass protection. Wilson and Watson don’t stand for it – each man is effectuating change albeit with different methods.
Cousins is content. He said last week that he wants to finish his career with the Vikings. Yet, if he emulated the attitude of Wilson and Watson based on like-minded offensive line situations, he’d want out.
Don’t necessarily “count your blessings” because maybe it is Wilson and Watson that are too critical. Maybe not. Is every good quarterback deserving of an at-least-average offensive line? If so, not Wilson, Watson, nor Cousins are not experiencing it.

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Posted on 10:16 pm