Looks like Griff is gone

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J. Kapp 11
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:34 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:17 pm
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:30 pm

But look at WHO is leaving.

Rhodes -- declining fast.
Waynes -- is gonna be WAY overpaid in Cincy.
Alexander -- an attitude problem from the day he was drafted, hence why a solid starting slot corner could only get $4 million from a bottom-feeder.
Griffen -- turns 33 before the end of the season, and opted OUT of a contract that would have paid him north of $10 million.
Sendejo -- who cares?
Joseph -- turns 32, big contract, replaced by a younger, better version of himself in Michael Pierce.
Diggs -- tough loss, but a LOT received in return for someone who didn't want to be here.
Kline -- I'll agree, this one is a head-scratcher.

All these guys except Kline and Alexander have been with the Vikings for at least 5 years, as have Barr, Hunter, Kendricks, Harris, Smith, Thielen, Rudolph, etc. It's not a surprise that guys age out, move on, etc. after that much time. In my opinion, none of these moves is crippling except if we can't replace Diggs' production. Most of the others are not a huge deal, and we may actually upgrade. Honestly Holton Hill could have given us as much as the suddenly pathetic Rhodes did last year.

I would not be surprised if the Vikings' defense is better next year. And if they can replace Diggs' production and somehow improve the line, the offense might, too. A lot depends on injuries.
You are right, we didn't want those guys anyway!!!

The three guys cut I see your point. Rhodes and Joseph were not performing up to their contract and Kline is still the below average RG with 0 upside who was cut from TN last year.

Diggs, Griffen, Waynes, and Alexander all had solid to elite years to elite years though. We would be a better team long term, not just in the short term, if they had been retained.
The key word in your response: HAD. All in the past.

Waynes was not elite. Solid, maybe, but $14 million is elite-level money, which he isn't.

Griffen was good, but not elite anymore. And he's 33. Plus, HE opted out. I'll be shocked if anybody gives him what his Vikings contract called for. And ... I still won't be surprised if he returns.

Alexander -- seriously, good riddance to both him and Kearse. I hate malcontents, especially selfish ones. We can't have guys who don't buy in, no matter how solid they are.

Speaking of malcontents -- I loved Diggs. Really did. You have to love a guy who came as unheralded as he did and made such an immediate, yet lasting impact. And I agree, if he had been retained AND was happy, the team would have been better off. But for whatever reason, he soured on the program. Not enough targets apparently. Something. I wish it wasn't that way, but since it was, I'm happy with the haul we got for him. I'd love to see us take Denzel Mims from Baylor in the first. Big and fast at 6-3 and a sub-4.4 40.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Mothman » Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:58 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:30 pm
Mothman wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:09 pm
The exodus continues.
But look at WHO is leaving.

Rhodes -- declining fast.
Waynes -- is gonna be WAY overpaid in Cincy.
Alexander -- an attitude problem from the day he was drafted, hence why a solid starting slot corner could only get $4 million from a bottom-feeder.
Griffen -- turns 33 before the end of the season, and opted OUT of a contract that would have paid him north of $10 million.
Sendejo -- who cares?
Joseph -- turns 32, big contract, replaced by a younger, better version of himself in Michael Pierce.
Diggs -- tough loss, but a LOT received in return for someone who didn't want to be here.
Kline -- I'll agree, this one is a head-scratcher.

All these guys except Kline and Alexander have been with the Vikings for at least 5 years, as have Barr, Hunter, Kendricks, Harris, Smith, Thielen, Rudolph, etc. It's not a surprise that guys age out, move on, etc. after that much time. In my opinion, none of these moves is crippling except if we can't replace Diggs' production. Most of the others are not a huge deal, and we may actually upgrade. Honestly Holton Hill could have given us as much as the suddenly pathetic Rhodes did last year.

I would not be surprised if the Vikings' defense is better next year. And if they can replace Diggs' production and somehow improve the line, the offense might, too. A lot depends on injuries.

A lot depends on the draft too.

It's nothing that can't be overcome but it's a lot of turnover and even though some of those departing starers are aging or would be expensive, they're still departing starters. Waynes and Griffen were pretty important players on that defense.

Between the coaching and personnel changes I'll be surprised if the Vikings are actually a better team next season. It looks to me like they've essentially entered a rebuilding mode. That doesn't mean they can't rebuild/reload quickly and effectively but I expect a transition period. Maybe they'll take a step back to take two or three steps forward.

Re: Kline... maybe it's an indication that they're feeling good about Dru Samia?
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:22 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:52 pm
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:34 pm
Ya know the more I thought about it, for everyone that wants to say Cousins’ contract is the problem and that’s why we’re in cap hell, that’s not the case. He’s making $21 million this year. Teddy bridgewater is getting more than that from Carolina in 2021 and 2022. $21 million a year is actually a pretty good bargain for someone of cousins caliber. It’s just we have so much money tied up in others as well that we are strapped. But this also goes to show how well Spielman has drafted given we’re giving big contracts to guys we draft but also having to let some walk in free agency.
Cap space isn't just about the current year.

Cousins is set to make 150 million over a 5 year stretch as a Viking. That had ramifications in prior years, with the Vikings being unable to extend Harris early, something they would have done if they had the cap space, or having to restructure Griffen last year so he could opt out of his contract this year. It has ramifications this year, with the Vikings being unable move more cap to future years.

The argument of whether or not he is worth the sacrifices made on the rest of the team to afford a guy making more than a tenth of the cap is one worth having, but saying paying a guy 150 million over 5 years has no major impact on the rest of the roster is just silly.
I'm referring to this year and his current cap hit. And in previous years, I dont think he really "limited" us from signing anyone. It's NOW when we are struggling most with the cap and it's also when Cousins cap hit is at it's lowest. You maybe have an argument with Harris but Griffen's contract had nothing to do with Cousins contract. They did an extension so they could get Barr under contract. They added in an opt out year because of what happened in 2018 with Griffen and his mental health issues. Given the severity of what happened, they didnt want to be on the hook for his contract if he was to blow a top again. Obviously there were concerns there and we were simply covering out as#es
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by VikingLord » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:35 pm

Mothman wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:09 pm
The exodus continues.
I remember posting on this a few months ago. There seemed to be a lot of angst about who the Vikings might lose on the defensive side of the ball given their cap situation heading into the offseason.

I raised the question about whether the performance of the defense overall warranted that angst and whether many of the players who might leave were really essential to the future given that performance. I mean, this was a defense that was held together much longer than normal in the modern NFL. They went into the season as a veteran unit with amazing continuity. It was reasonable to expect that unit to be at or near the best in the NFL last season, but they were anything but that. They struggled to stop most running games, even largely average ones. On top of that, they conceded a lot of passing yards too. I still remember the home game against the Broncos where they gave up big passing play after big passing play. I am still amazed that they managed to win that game. And that wasn't the only example of that kind of performance throughout the year. True, they largely stepped up against the Saints in the playoffs, but were manhandled by the 49ers the following week.

I guess to me, these losses are far from critical ones. Sure, it would have been better if these losses did actually hurt, but most of them don't to be honest. Yeah, there are now holes on offense and defense, but the Vikings have shed some dead weight too and now have some cap room to try to replace those losses with hopefully better players.

We'll see how it all works out in the end, but given at least how the defense performed last year for what the Vikings paid for that performance, I am hard-pressed to believe it could turn out worse. Sure, maybe the defense will perform at roughly the same comparative level, or maybe even worse, but if the Vikings pay comparatively less to get that level of performance, it will be better for them in the longer term. If they can improve it at lower cost, which is very possible, that is what I'd like to see.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by VikingLord » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:40 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:30 pm
Rhodes -- declining fast.
Waynes -- is gonna be WAY overpaid in Cincy.
Alexander -- an attitude problem from the day he was drafted, hence why a solid starting slot corner could only get $4 million from a bottom-feeder.
Griffen -- turns 33 before the end of the season, and opted OUT of a contract that would have paid him north of $10 million.
Sendejo -- who cares?
Joseph -- turns 32, big contract, replaced by a younger, better version of himself in Michael Pierce.
Diggs -- tough loss, but a LOT received in return for someone who didn't want to be here.
Kline -- I'll agree, this one is a head-scratcher.

All these guys except Kline and Alexander have been with the Vikings for at least 5 years, as have Barr, Hunter, Kendricks, Harris, Smith, Thielen, Rudolph, etc. It's not a surprise that guys age out, move on, etc. after that much time. In my opinion, none of these moves is crippling except if we can't replace Diggs' production. Most of the others are not a huge deal, and we may actually upgrade. Honestly Holton Hill could have given us as much as the suddenly pathetic Rhodes did last year.

I would not be surprised if the Vikings' defense is better next year. And if they can replace Diggs' production and somehow improve the line, the offense might, too. A lot depends on injuries.
Exactly. More crucially, it could be better at lower overall cost. The Vikings were maxed out in terms of cap space and thus flexibility to make moves. I don't blame them for that. Spielman and Zimmer made contract moves to hold together a unit that had historically outperformed most of their NFL peers and it was reasonable to try to draw a straight line and believe they could continue or improve that performance last year by keeping the group as continuous as possible. They lost the gamble. Shedding the dead weight at this point makes complete sense to me. Maybe it gets worse. Maybe it stays the same and maybe it even gets better next season. But for what they were paying it could hardly get worse. Making moves to refresh the unit and bring the costs in line with expected performance is reasonable and prudent and just what I would hope and expect a competent GM and head coach to do.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by StumpHunter » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:51 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:22 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:52 pm


Cap space isn't just about the current year.

Cousins is set to make 150 million over a 5 year stretch as a Viking. That had ramifications in prior years, with the Vikings being unable to extend Harris early, something they would have done if they had the cap space, or having to restructure Griffen last year so he could opt out of his contract this year. It has ramifications this year, with the Vikings being unable move more cap to future years.

The argument of whether or not he is worth the sacrifices made on the rest of the team to afford a guy making more than a tenth of the cap is one worth having, but saying paying a guy 150 million over 5 years has no major impact on the rest of the roster is just silly.
I'm referring to this year and his current cap hit. And in previous years, I dont think he really "limited" us from signing anyone. It's NOW when we are struggling most with the cap and it's also when Cousins cap hit is at it's lowest. You maybe have an argument with Harris but Griffen's contract had nothing to do with Cousins contract. They did an extension so they could get Barr under contract. They added in an opt out year because of what happened in 2018 with Griffen and his mental health issues. Given the severity of what happened, they didnt want to be on the hook for his contract if he was to blow a top again. Obviously there were concerns there and we were simply covering out as#es
This year's cap hit is only low because we moved cap to later years. Which we could have done with Barr, Hunter or Kendricks. If they converted 10 million of Hunter's salary to signing bonus and he was counting as 400K this year against the cap, it wouldn't change the impact of his contract one iota. He would just happen to be the guy we used to move cap.

Griffen's opt out had nothing to do with the Vikings being scared of him having another mental breakdown. That was 100% a concession they made to Griffen to get him to restructure. He had 0 guarantees before the restructure, and had 0 after. They could cut him at any time, and didn't need that opt out. If they hadn't restructured him and he didn't have that opt out, the Vikings could have offered him more guarantees in exchange for a less overall cap hit. It cost them the leverage they might have been able to use to keep him around.

It isn't all negative though. They are probably going to get a 3rd round compensatory pick for him now.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:53 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:34 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:17 pm


You are right, we didn't want those guys anyway!!!

The three guys cut I see your point. Rhodes and Joseph were not performing up to their contract and Kline is still the below average RG with 0 upside who was cut from TN last year.

Diggs, Griffen, Waynes, and Alexander all had solid to elite years to elite years though. We would be a better team long term, not just in the short term, if they had been retained.
The key word in your response: HAD. All in the past.

Waynes was not elite. Solid, maybe, but $14 million is elite-level money, which he isn't.

Griffen was good, but not elite anymore. And he's 33. Plus, HE opted out. I'll be shocked if anybody gives him what his Vikings contract called for. And ... I still won't be surprised if he returns.

Alexander -- seriously, good riddance to both him and Kearse. I hate malcontents, especially selfish ones. We can't have guys who don't buy in, no matter how solid they are.

Speaking of malcontents -- I loved Diggs. Really did. You have to love a guy who came as unheralded as he did and made such an immediate, yet lasting impact. And I agree, if he had been retained AND was happy, the team would have been better off. But for whatever reason, he soured on the program. Not enough targets apparently. Something. I wish it wasn't that way, but since it was, I'm happy with the haul we got for him. I'd love to see us take Denzel Mims from Baylor in the first. Big and fast at 6-3 and a sub-4.4 40.
Great post kapp
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:03 pm

StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:51 pm
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:22 pm


I'm referring to this year and his current cap hit. And in previous years, I dont think he really "limited" us from signing anyone. It's NOW when we are struggling most with the cap and it's also when Cousins cap hit is at it's lowest. You maybe have an argument with Harris but Griffen's contract had nothing to do with Cousins contract. They did an extension so they could get Barr under contract. They added in an opt out year because of what happened in 2018 with Griffen and his mental health issues. Given the severity of what happened, they didnt want to be on the hook for his contract if he was to blow a top again. Obviously there were concerns there and we were simply covering out as#es
This year's cap hit is only low because we moved cap to later years. Which we could have done with Barr, Hunter or Kendricks. If they converted 10 million of Hunter's salary to signing bonus and he was counting as 400K this year against the cap, it wouldn't change the impact of his contract one iota. He would just happen to be the guy we used to move cap.

Griffen's opt out had nothing to do with the Vikings being scared of him having another mental breakdown. That was 100% a concession they made to Griffen to get him to restructure. He had 0 guarantees before the restructure, and had 0 after. They could cut him at any time, and didn't need that opt out. If they hadn't restructured him and he didn't have that opt out, the Vikings could have offered him more guarantees in exchange for a less overall cap hit. It cost them the leverage they might have been able to use to keep him around.

It isn't all negative though. They are probably going to get a 3rd round compensatory pick for him now.
Why would they have offered griffen guarantees after what happened in 2018? There were no guarantees on that restructured contract because they had to cover their butts if he went off the deep end again. I know if it was me and I’m the GM, after all the organization had to do for him and keep tabs on him regarding the issues he was having, following 2018 I’m going to ask him to restructure and I’m definitely not giving him guarantees. Because there is no guarantee he can keep his head straight. And I can bet just about every dollar I have that it’s what they did.

As for a compensatory pick, griffen does not count for one. It says it in this document https://nflcommunications.com/Document ... Begins.pdf
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by StumpHunter » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:13 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:03 pm
StumpHunter wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:51 pm

This year's cap hit is only low because we moved cap to later years. Which we could have done with Barr, Hunter or Kendricks. If they converted 10 million of Hunter's salary to signing bonus and he was counting as 400K this year against the cap, it wouldn't change the impact of his contract one iota. He would just happen to be the guy we used to move cap.

Griffen's opt out had nothing to do with the Vikings being scared of him having another mental breakdown. That was 100% a concession they made to Griffen to get him to restructure. He had 0 guarantees before the restructure, and had 0 after. They could cut him at any time, and didn't need that opt out. If they hadn't restructured him and he didn't have that opt out, the Vikings could have offered him more guarantees in exchange for a less overall cap hit. It cost them the leverage they might have been able to use to keep him around.

It isn't all negative though. They are probably going to get a 3rd round compensatory pick for him now.
Why would they have offered griffen guarantees after what happened in 2018? There were no guarantees on that restructured contract because they had to cover their butts if he went off the deep end again. I know if it was me and I’m the GM, after all the organization had to do for him and keep tabs on him regarding the issues he was having, following 2018 I’m going to ask him to restructure and I’m definitely not giving him guarantees. Because there is no guarantee he can keep his head straight. And I can bet just about every dollar I have that it’s what they did.

As for a compensatory pick, griffen does not count for one. It says it in this document https://nflcommunications.com/Document ... Begins.pdf
So no positive then. Dang. I thought the Vikings had found a nice loophole.

I agree, offering him more guarantees in 2019 would have been stupid. Ideally they would have just seen if he could rebound on his existing contract, and when he did, used the leverage of him having 0 guarantees this year to get him to sign an extension with some guarantees.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Mothman » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:55 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:40 pm
Exactly. More crucially, it could be better at lower overall cost. The Vikings were maxed out in terms of cap space and thus flexibility to make moves. I don't blame them for that. Spielman and Zimmer made contract moves to hold together a unit that had historically outperformed most of their NFL peers and it was reasonable to try to draw a straight line and believe they could continue or improve that performance last year by keeping the group as continuous as possible. They lost the gamble. Shedding the dead weight at this point makes complete sense to me. Maybe it gets worse. Maybe it stays the same and maybe it even gets better next season. But for what they were paying it could hardly get worse. Making moves to refresh the unit and bring the costs in line with expected performance is reasonable and prudent and just what I would hope and expect a competent GM and head coach to do.
It's fine. This team needs serious changes so I don't have a problem with serious changes being made and as Kapp and others pointed out, some of the departing players had attitude problems, were getting old, etc. Honestly, since the team didn't make changes at the top, I'm increasingly indifferent to what happens with the rest of the coaching staff and roster anyway because refreshed or not, I think we're probably looking at more of the same until those changes at the top are finally made.

The GM is competent. So is the head coach. So is the team. However, we're entering year 9 of Spielman's official tenure as GM. We're getting close to a decade of Vikings football with him in charge, another decade without a Super Bowl appearance. Do we think this team's winning a Super Bowl next season? Can Spielman and Zimmer put together a champion in 2021?

I know I sound cynical but I wonder about the plan. I still think this was the offseason to blow things up and move decisively in a fresh direction but the Vikes appear to be trying to stay a course that hasn't worked. It will be interesting to see the plan. Do they intend to build a champion around Cousins?

Sorry to be a downer, Vikes fans.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by MikethePurple » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:31 am

Mothman wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:55 pm
VikingLord wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:40 pm
Exactly. More crucially, it could be better at lower overall cost. The Vikings were maxed out in terms of cap space and thus flexibility to make moves. I don't blame them for that. Spielman and Zimmer made contract moves to hold together a unit that had historically outperformed most of their NFL peers and it was reasonable to try to draw a straight line and believe they could continue or improve that performance last year by keeping the group as continuous as possible. They lost the gamble. Shedding the dead weight at this point makes complete sense to me. Maybe it gets worse. Maybe it stays the same and maybe it even gets better next season. But for what they were paying it could hardly get worse. Making moves to refresh the unit and bring the costs in line with expected performance is reasonable and prudent and just what I would hope and expect a competent GM and head coach to do.
It's fine. This team needs serious changes so I don't have a problem with serious changes being made and as Kapp and others pointed out, some of the departing players had attitude problems, were getting old, etc. Honestly, since the team didn't make changes at the top, I'm increasingly indifferent to what happens with the rest of the coaching staff and roster anyway because refreshed or not, I think we're probably looking at more of the same until those changes at the top are finally made.

The GM is competent. So is the head coach. So is the team. However, we're entering year 9 of Spielman's official tenure as GM. We're getting close to a decade of Vikings football with him in charge, another decade without a Super Bowl appearance. Do we think this team's winning a Super Bowl next season? Can Spielman and Zimmer put together a champion in 2021?

I know I sound cynical but I wonder about the plan. I still think this was the offseason to blow things up and move decisively in a fresh direction but the Vikes appear to be trying to stay a course that hasn't worked. It will be interesting to see the plan. Do they intend to build a champion around Cousins?

Sorry to be a downer, Vikes fans.
I agree, if they hadn't signed Cousins to a large extension I really wouldn't mind them letting all of these other players go. With the Cousins move, they seem to be straddling the fence rather than facing up to the fact that they are in a rebuilding mode. Does anyone actually think that with far less talent on defense and given the Diggs trade, offense, that this team will be better next year? Cousins clearly needs to have a significant supporting cast to be successful and they are taking plenty of those pieces away and expecting things to be different/better than previously? That just seems like a gigantic head scratcher.

I'd much rather they embrace the suck for a year or two or three and start the rebuild, rather than bring back a similar tired cast that may contend for a playoff spot, but more than likely will be in the 7 win category. They got some relief with the Cousins contract this year but the following years are killer against the cap. The only silver lining I would take is if based on the Cousins contract and the clause about cutting him before the 3rd day of the 2021 season, they took a rookie QB, sat him for a year, let Cousins start this season, cut him by next year, then let the rookie take over. But I have about .001% confidence they would ever pull the trigger on that type of plan. A whole overall is needed of the older talent, while cultivating the younger guys. This includes the front office and coaching.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Mothman » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:37 am

MikethePurple wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:31 am
I agree, if they hadn't signed Cousins to a large extension I really wouldn't mind them letting all of these other players go. With the Cousins move, they seem to be straddling the fence rather than facing up to the fact that they are in a rebuilding mode. Does anyone actually think that with far less talent on defense and given the Diggs trade, offense, that this team will be better next year? Cousins clearly needs to have a significant supporting cast to be successful and they are taking plenty of those pieces away and expecting things to be different/better than previously? That just seems like a gigantic head scratcher.

I'd much rather they embrace the suck for a year or two or three and start the rebuild, rather than bring back a similar tired cast that may contend for a playoff spot, but more than likely will be in the 7 win category. They got some relief with the Cousins contract this year but the following years are killer against the cap. The only silver lining I would take is if based on the Cousins contract and the clause about cutting him before the 3rd day of the 2021 season, they took a rookie QB, sat him for a year, let Cousins start this season, cut him by next year, then let the rookie take over. But I have about .001% confidence they would ever pull the trigger on that type of plan. A whole overall is needed of the older talent, while cultivating the younger guys. This includes the front office and coaching.
Well said, Mike. "Straddling the fence" is the perfect way to describe their approach and like you, I have very little confidence that they're going to bring in a promising rookie QB to take over soon. The financial commitment to Cousins looks genuine and suggests a further commitment to Spielman and Zimmer. The cap hits in 2021 and 2022 are huge and potentially limiting.

We obviously have the draft and the rest of free agency ahead of us so we'll see what the rest of the offseason and next season bring. 2 playoff wins in 3 years is moving in the direction but the nature of both those wins and the subsequent losses suggest the team is still pretty far from championship-caliber and it's increasingly hard to buy into the idea that their current leadership is going to get them there.
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:34 am

Mothman wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:37 am
MikethePurple wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:31 am
I agree, if they hadn't signed Cousins to a large extension I really wouldn't mind them letting all of these other players go. With the Cousins move, they seem to be straddling the fence rather than facing up to the fact that they are in a rebuilding mode. Does anyone actually think that with far less talent on defense and given the Diggs trade, offense, that this team will be better next year? Cousins clearly needs to have a significant supporting cast to be successful and they are taking plenty of those pieces away and expecting things to be different/better than previously? That just seems like a gigantic head scratcher.

I'd much rather they embrace the suck for a year or two or three and start the rebuild, rather than bring back a similar tired cast that may contend for a playoff spot, but more than likely will be in the 7 win category. They got some relief with the Cousins contract this year but the following years are killer against the cap. The only silver lining I would take is if based on the Cousins contract and the clause about cutting him before the 3rd day of the 2021 season, they took a rookie QB, sat him for a year, let Cousins start this season, cut him by next year, then let the rookie take over. But I have about .001% confidence they would ever pull the trigger on that type of plan. A whole overall is needed of the older talent, while cultivating the younger guys. This includes the front office and coaching.
Well said, Mike. "Straddling the fence" is the perfect way to describe their approach and like you, I have very little confidence that they're going to bring in a promising rookie QB to take over soon. The financial commitment to Cousins looks genuine and suggests a further commitment to Spielman and Zimmer. The cap hits in 2021 and 2022 are huge and potentially limiting.

We obviously have the draft and the rest of free agency ahead of us so we'll see what the rest of the offseason and next season bring. 2 playoff wins in 3 years is moving in the direction but the nature of both those wins and the subsequent losses suggest the team is still pretty far from championship-caliber and it's increasingly hard to buy into the idea that their current leadership is going to get them there.
You can disagree if you want with how they’re doing things, but to say they’re straddling the fence doesn’t make sense to me.

Why would the Vikings bring in a promising rookie quarterback with the idea that he’ll eventually be the man when they just extended the guy they think IS the man? Obviously reasonable people can disagree about whether Kirk Cousins SHOULD be the man, but it’s hardly a straddle-the-fence move. Cousins’ old contract made him virtually impossible to release, and his extension is pretty much the same. They are putting their eggs in the Cousins basket, which is the polar opposite of straddling the fence.

Also, most of the defections/departures/releases of consequence have been on defense, and every single one of them is a player that has either underperformed or declined. We’re also in cap hell, which made it virtually impossible to retain guys like Wayne’s or Griffen. It has nothing to do with rebuilding. It’s math.

Finally, you can rail on the current leadership all you want, but the fact remains ... the Wills are true believers in Spielman and Zimmer. They’re not going anywhere. So we can all sit here and pine for someone else, or we can face the reality that we’re not going to see a regime change anytime soon.
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VikingLord
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by VikingLord » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:07 pm

MikethePurple wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:31 am
With the Cousins move, they seem to be straddling the fence rather than facing up to the fact that they are in a rebuilding mode. Does anyone actually think that with far less talent on defense and given the Diggs trade, offense, that this team will be better next year? Cousins clearly needs to have a significant supporting cast to be successful and they are taking plenty of those pieces away and expecting things to be different/better than previously? That just seems like a gigantic head scratcher.
Are they straddling the fence though?

One could look at the Cousins deal as a long term commitment to him at QB I guess, but I'm not sure I see it that way. If one assumes that there are no plans to elevate Mannion and given that the Vikings are unlikely to make a move for a different starting QB, Cousins gives them some longer term certainty at the starting QB slot, but I don't think that removes their ability to try to find a franchise QB to sit and learn behind him, be that in this year's draft or even next year's.

Put another way, one of those free agency period moves just scored them another 1st round pick. While most mocks have them dutifully searching for Diggs' replacement with that choice, I could see Spielman leverage his 1st rounders and perhaps some combo of his 2nd/3rds to make a move up in this year's draft for one of the top QBs. Not sure he could swing that or who he might target (my guess would be Herbert or Tua), but that might be enough ammo to make a move like that. Then, with Cousins in tow and expectations set appropriately for the next season, said QB could be brought along at a comfortable pace and developed along with whatever other young talent the Vikings secure this year, be that by draft, in FA, or via further trades.

One important point of note with the Cousins' extension that I think supports this theory is that it isn't all guaranteed. A big chunk of it is, but not all of it. It's not like the Vikings are committing to Cousins for a long time. It might just be "long enough".

This is going to be one of the more interesting drafts for the Vikings in recent memory I think...
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Re: Looks like Griff is gone

Post by Mothman » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:30 pm

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:34 am
You can disagree if you want with how they’re doing things, but to say they’re straddling the fence doesn’t make sense to me.

Why would the Vikings bring in a promising rookie quarterback with the idea that he’ll eventually be the man when they just extended the guy they think IS the man?
I'm not going to speak for Mike but the reason I think "straddling the fence" is an appropriate description is because, to me, it describes the overall approach they're taking (see below).
Obviously reasonable people can disagree about whether Kirk Cousins SHOULD be the man, but it’s hardly a straddle-the-fence move. Cousins’ old contract made him virtually impossible to release, and his extension is pretty much the same. They are putting their eggs in the Cousins basket, which is the polar opposite of straddling the fence.
That's one way to look at it. Extending Cousins was definitely a decisive move but I look at it this way: they've got a "leg" on one side of the fence trying to maintain continuity with Kirk, Mike and Rick and the other "leg" re-shaping the team. I think they recognize the need for significant changes but not the degree of change necessary. They're trying to stick with the comfortable and familiar and achieve new results. To me, that translates to fence-straddling. The Vikes remind me of the Bears in the latter half of the Lovie Smith era, overpaying a QB who has his moments but isn't worth the price, making changes to the coaching staff and roster every year and playing competitive football but clinging to familiar leadership and a strategy that just wasn't ever going to net them the desired result.

You're correct, Cousins' old contract made him impossible to release but they could have taken their lumps with it this year and then moved on with a young QB. They have the potential ammo to get one in this draft but re-signing Cousins makes that unlikely.
Finally, you can rail on the current leadership all you want, but the fact remains ... the Wills are true believers in Spielman and Zimmer. They’re not going anywhere. So we can all sit here and pine for someone else, or we can face the reality that we’re not going to see a regime change anytime soon.
I faced that reality a long time ago. I'm simply criticizing it. The Vikings haven't been to a Super Bowl in over 40 years and the Wilfs plan to get there is to stick with Spielman, Zimmer and Cousins, who have little to nothing on their NFL resumés to suggest they're the people to make that happen. Not only is current leadership not going anywhere, the team probably isn't either. I think we can safely expect to see more of what we've seen for the last 8 years.

This offseason was the perfect time to move on. The Wilfs decided to double down. Yes, that's reality but it's frustrating and disappointing.
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