O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

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IrishViking
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by IrishViking » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:11 am

Mothman wrote: "Go for broke" was the phrase Mansquatch used in his post. I simply asked for clarification on how he was using it.
Who said it was a band-aid? :) I was using the phrase in a literal sense, to characterize the idea that the Vikings should try to quickly fix/rebuild their offensive line in one offseason, primarily through free agency. I didn't intend it to have a negative connotation.

Why do you think I'm trying to make choices seem unpalatable before they're made? I'm not opposed to signing free agents. I'm just seeking clarity in the conversation.
I never said you were. Those are framing phrases that are almost universally viewed as mistakes in the NFL. So using them to describe the act of carefully vetting a Free Agency player and submitting to them a competitive offer for their services for several years is a choice. Again, never said you did, I am not going to get bogged down in a discussion about words in mouths. They were in your post, they are framing terms, unflattering ones at that. Its like the difference between saying "abusive and authoritarian" vs "aggressive and motivational" on your resume.

Its very clear you are open to it. It is clear that the continued general preference is to build through the draft. Time isn't on our side though. A perfect example is Harrison Smith. Beyond some extreme outliers (woodson) most Safeties retire around 32 years of age. So he has 4-5 years left. Everson griffen is 3-4 years from retiring. Robison is there, literally, any year now could be his last. It is mind boggling to me that the some people (not saying you) think that drafting all of our future oline players is the smart move, We could finish that JUST in time for a terrible season where we complain we don't have solid enough safeties or defensive ends, etc. We should build them through the draft... Just in time to not have an Oline... etc Free Agency is a supplemental tool and one that a team missing its first round pick should lean heavily on. If we manage to restructure AP. we should have nearly 30 million in cap space. We should overpay for Oline talent because its what we need and its the way the league is slanting already. Drafting is key but we need the free agents to shorten the turn around time.

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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Mothman » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:52 am

IrishViking wrote:I never said you were. Those are framing phrases that are almost universally viewed as mistakes in the NFL. So using them to describe the act of carefully vetting a Free Agency player and submitting to them a competitive offer for their services for several years is a choice.
Fair enough but in my defense, that's not what I did. I wasn't referring to any individual player as a "quick fix". I was referring to the idea of quickly repairing the entire line in a single offseason using free agency. Would that not be a "quick fix" of a broken line? Indeed, isn't that exactly what you're arguing for below (leaning on free agency as a tool to quickly turn the line around so the Vikings can take advantage of the defensive talent on their roster)?
Its very clear you are open to it. It is clear that the continued general preference is to build through the draft. Time isn't on our side though. A perfect example is Harrison Smith. Beyond some extreme outliers (woodson) most Safeties retire around 32 years of age. So he has 4-5 years left. Everson griffen is 3-4 years from retiring. Robison is there, literally, any year now could be his last. It is mind boggling to me that the some people (not saying you) think that drafting all of our future oline players is the smart move, We could finish that JUST in time for a terrible season where we complain we don't have solid enough safeties or defensive ends, etc. We should build them through the draft... Just in time to not have an Oline... etc Free Agency is a supplemental tool and one that a team missing its first round pick should lean heavily on. If we manage to restructure AP. we should have nearly 30 million in cap space. We should overpay for Oline talent because its what we need and its the way the league is slanting already. Drafting is key but we need the free agents to shorten the turn around time.
I've always believed a team should use every means available to improve so naturally, I agree that free agency should be one method used on the road to improvement. That said, overpaying in the name of short term improvement is the kind of strategy that can lead to cap issues and make it harder to keep young players like Smith and Griffen when they get to their second contracts. Those two obviously are on their second deal now but players like Kendricks, Rhodes, Waynes and Barr are also seen as integral parts of the Vikings young defense and hopefully, they're all players the Vikes will eventually want to re-sign. It's obviously a matter of degree: slightly overpaying to fill an immediate need at one position isn't likely to prove all that detrimental but significantly overpaying, particularly at several positions, could become problematic. I think the team needs to be responsible, not reckless, in their effort to improve.

As for the idea that the Vikings should ignore free agency and build their OL exclusively through the draft: it's basically an outlier, an extreme point of view and probably not something worth spending too much time discussing since there's almost nobody actually arguing for that strategy.

I feel like everybody keeps talking past each other on this. Most of us seem to agree the team should aggressively try to improve. Most seem to agree they should use free agency and the draft to do so. I would hope most fans think the team should be responsible, not reckless or desperate as they make decisions about how to improve. What's so controversial here, the idea that paying a free agent right tackle like Wagner $10 million a year might be too much?

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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by mansquatch » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:59 am

For me the big question on a FA lineman is why go after a guard? I get that the guards out there today are probably more attainable than the Tackles. However, isn't it readily obvious that the major crisis is at Tackle and not the interior? Or is there something I'm not seeing?

When they cut Fusco and Harris I began to wonder if they were going to go into the season starting either Sirles or Hill at one of the tackle spots. Especially if they sign one of the big FA guards. But then it begs the question of what do they do at the other Tackle spot?
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Mothman » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:14 pm

mansquatch wrote:For me the big question on a FA lineman is why go after a guard? I get that the guards out there today are probably more attainable than the Tackles. However, isn't it readily obvious that the major crisis is at Tackle and not the interior? Or is there something I'm not seeing?


A significant improvement at guard could go a long way toward improving their 32nd-ranked running game. They've also allowed a lot of interior pressure the last few years so that could be another reason.

With at least 3 open positions, I think the crisis is pretty much all along the line.
When they cut Fusco and Harris I began to wonder if they were going to go into the season starting either Sirles or Hill at one of the tackle spots. Especially if they sign one of the big FA guards. But then it begs the question of what do they do at the other Tackle spot?
It's hard to tell what their plan is at this point. I imagine they'll try to add at least 2 or 3 free agent linemen and I wouldn't be surprised to see them draft as many as 3 too. Considering their situation, I'm guessing the strategy will be to "throw" players at the problem, create competition and see what shakes out.

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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:18 pm

fiestavike wrote:The team was certainly closer to a Super Bowl at this time last year than they are today. They took several steps backward during the 2016 season.

That said, they still have a good group of young players, and could have an extended period of being competitive. Its not worth mortgaging that for a fairly longshot attempt by putting all your eggs in the 2017 basket.

The priority should be to lock up their top young players for the next 5 years. The next priority should be to create an offensive line good enough to allow them to compete. That might mean a high price FA spending spree, but multi year mid range players like Boone, Short 1-2 year 3rd contract guys or players coming off injury like Clady, Kalil, and rookies taken in the draft are a more likely combination.

In a two year period, from 2016-2018, they are likely to have 5 new starters on the offensive line. If they are lucky, one of those players is a young player already on the roster.

The overhaul is going to be dramatic. Two big mistakes, in my opinion, would be (1) to go all in on top FA offensive linemen and blow the cap or (2) think holding on for another year of Kalil, Boone, Berger makes any sense. They need to bring in a young replacement for every one of those three players THIS YEAR and hope that they can beat them out for immediate playing time. If Hill and Easton are those youngs guys, they should have been playing LAST YEAR. They'll have to sign a RT in free agency. They'll have to sign a RG in free agency. They are fools if they don't draft a LT, G, and C THIS YEAR, to play in 2018,
But my question is, what's so different about us "now" compared to us last year at this point that makes us further from the SB?? Our OL is worse and we need a RB, could use a DT? Our QB now is better. We desperately needed a WR last year at this point. OL might have been a little better but not much. Our kicker was terrible last year. Sendejo was terrible last year. It's not all that different. Just because we lost 3 more games than last year doesn't mean we're "further away". Especially considering the injuries we suffered
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:21 pm

mansquatch wrote:For me the big question on a FA lineman is why go after a guard? I get that the guards out there today are probably more attainable than the Tackles. However, isn't it readily obvious that the major crisis is at Tackle and not the interior? Or is there something I'm not seeing?

When they cut Fusco and Harris I began to wonder if they were going to go into the season starting either Sirles or Hill at one of the tackle spots. Especially if they sign one of the big FA guards. But then it begs the question of what do they do at the other Tackle spot?
Well I mean we currently have no RG on the roster unless you consider Berger one. We need to go after guard at some point. But they are much easier to find via draft or FA. I like Pat Omemeh as a cheaper reliable option. Or there are some good ones in the draft
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by halfgiz » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:13 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote: Well I mean we currently have no RG on the roster unless you consider Berger one. We need to go after guard at some point. But they are much easier to find via draft or FA. I like Pat Omemeh as a cheaper reliable option. Or there are some good ones in the draft
We have backup guards.
Austin Shepherd played in 14 games 2015, with 1 start.
Willie Beavers - was a guard for some of the season till we needed tackles
Zac Kerin
Sirles played guard filling in for injuries.
When Fusco got hurt I thought Berger was an improvement at RG.

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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by fiestavike » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:42 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote: But my question is, what's so different about us "now" compared to us last year at this point that makes us further from the SB?? Our OL is worse and we need a RB, could use a DT? Our QB now is better. We desperately needed a WR last year at this point. OL might have been a little better but not much. Our kicker was terrible last year. Sendejo was terrible last year. It's not all that different. Just because we lost 3 more games than last year doesn't mean we're "further away". Especially considering the injuries we suffered
I don't think the line is significantly worse than it has been the last 3 years. I don't think the QB position is better than it was. I don't care about number of wins. I care that they left themselves further behind the 8 ball at a number of positions, and most importantly, that they compromised the longterm for the short term. They panicked and chased returns and that's a corrupt culture that you can't build a consistently excellent foundation on.

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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:03 pm

fiestavike wrote: I don't think the line is significantly worse than it has been the last 3 years. I don't think the QB position is better than it was. I don't care about number of wins. I care that they left themselves further behind the 8 ball at a number of positions, and most importantly, that they compromised the longterm for the short term. They panicked and chased returns and that's a corrupt culture that you can't build a consistently excellent foundation on.
They basically left themselves further behind the 8 ball on the OL. Outside of that, I'm not sure what other positions you're referring to.

With RB, granted AP wasnt getting any younger but he was also coming off of leading the NFL in rushing and the McKinnon/Asiata combo showed a little promise in 2014. Plus I'd much rather be drafting a RB in this class than last one.

I wouldnt say DT either. Prior to this year, Floyd only missed 4 games in 3 seasons which isn't that bad at all. Plus we had Stephen who we knew Zim was high on.

Like I said before, I definitely think the QB is better now than before. By a lot? No, but definitely better. I saw a stat the other day (can't remember where) that showed how much quicker Sam got the ball out compared to Teddy. The numbers he put up behind probably a worse offensive line than Teddy had shows promise. And most of all, Sam's deep ball accuracy.

Anyways....I'm really unsure what positions we put ourselves further behind the 8 ball with other than offensive line. Because you did say "a number of positions" so I'm just curious
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:04 pm

halfgiz wrote: We have backup guards.
Austin Shepherd played in 14 games 2015, with 1 start.
Willie Beavers - was a guard for some of the season till we needed tackles
Zac Kerin
Sirles played guard filling in for injuries.
When Fusco got hurt I thought Berger was an improvement at RG.
Sorry I worded that wrong. I meant more from a starters standpoint. Berger is really the only one I would trust there.
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by HardcoreVikesFan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:56 pm

fiestavike wrote:
I don't think the line is significantly worse than it has been the last 3 years. I don't think the QB position is better than it was. I don't care about number of wins. I care that they left themselves further behind the 8 ball at a number of positions, and most importantly, that they compromised the longterm for the short term. They panicked and chased returns and that's a corrupt culture that you can't build a consistently excellent foundation on.
Pretty much agree. The only positions on offense where I believe we don't need to emphasize this offseason are TE and WR.

Defensively, corner play will be considerable worse this year. There is still a major hole at defensive tackle. Sendejo still shouldn't be the full-time starter at SS.

I don't see how this team improves vastly in one offseason. We are probably looking at a competitive season, but not a Super Bowl.
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:07 pm

HardcoreVikesFan wrote: Pretty much agree. The only positions on offense where I believe we don't need to emphasize this offseason are TE and WR.

Defensively, corner play will be considerable worse this year. There is still a major hole at defensive tackle. Sendejo still shouldn't be the full-time starter at SS.

I don't see how this team improves vastly in one offseason. We are probably looking at a competitive season, but not a Super Bowl.
Why corner? Because I'm guessing you're assuming we lose Cap and Newman? I think we should try and sign Dre Kirkpatrick to begin with. But either way, the offseason hasn't even hit yet but how can anyone say "CB will be considerably worse? How does anyone even know that when the draft and FA hasn't even hit yet? Sorry but I can't hop on that bandwagon of saying something is going to be worse when you have no clue what's going to happen in the coming months. Once again....how about we wait and see before we start making rash assumptions that we really have no idea about
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:12 pm

Since the Minnesota Vikings made him a top-five draft pick back in 2012, Matt Kalil has done very little to establish himself as the cornerstone of the O-line the Vikings hoped they were getting. He made over $11 million during a 2016 campaign spent mostly as a spectator.

Many fans of the purple and gold would just as soon the team move on. They aren't going to want to hear this:

Assuming his contract demands aren't wonky, the Vikings should bring Kalil back in 2017.

There are any number of hard truths at work here. Odds are a Vikings team sitting with just over $20 million in cap space isn't going to be able to find an upgrade on Kalil in free agency. There certainly isn't one on Minnesota's roster.

Even if the Vikings address the tackle position early in the 2017 draft (which isn't a bad idea), throwing a rookie out there on Sam Bradford's blind side isn't apt to end much better than any of the other potential solutions the Vikes tried to fix their woeful line last season.

Now, if some team comes along and offers Kalil $9 million a season, all bets are off. But if Spotrac's estimated market value of $7 million a season is correct, the best place for Kalil is in the Twin Cities.

At least until someone better comes along.
Exactly my take regarding Kalil. Recently saw this article
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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by VikingPaul73 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:20 pm

I'm surprised about all of the talk about 8-8 in this thread and others; and that we were just a win or 2 from the playoffs meaning we were very very close to being a contender.

I see that point, but to me, there is a big difference between a season split of 4-4 / 4-4.....and a season split of 5-0 / 3-8.

the 2nd half of the season was absolutely brutal. and the defensive collapse in the last quarter of the season was even more disturbing.

in my opinion, the last quarter of a season is much more indicative of the next year than the 1st quarter. And in this case, the Vikes were one of the worst teams in the NFL. Definitely bottom third, maybe worse.

I think this is biggest reason for the arguments on this and other threads.....some people are looking at the season as a whole, others are looking at the last 8 or 4 games

Just my $0.02 :smilevike: :smilevike:

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Re: O-line changes have begun -- Vikes release Fusco, Harris

Post by Mothman » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:15 am

VikingPaul73 wrote:I'm surprised about all of the talk about 8-8 in this thread and others; and that we were just a win or 2 from the playoffs meaning we were very very close to being a contender.

I see that point, but to me, there is a big difference between a season split of 4-4 / 4-4.....and a season split of 5-0 / 3-8.

the 2nd half of the season was absolutely brutal. and the defensive collapse in the last quarter of the season was even more disturbing.

in my opinion, the last quarter of a season is much more indicative of the next year than the 1st quarter. And in this case, the Vikes were one of the worst teams in the NFL. Definitely bottom third, maybe worse.

I think this is biggest reason for the arguments on this and other threads.....some people are looking at the season as a whole, others are looking at the last 8 or 4 games

Just my $0.02 :smilevike: :smilevike:
Good observation. I definitely think you've hit upon one of the main reasons there's so much disagreement. It's hard to ignore that collapse and there really is a difference between an 8-8 season where the wins and losses are distributed relatively evenly and an 8-8 season where the team only won 3 of it's last 11 games (and that win against the Bears came against a team with a third string QB and one foot out the door).

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