If you needed a break the last couple of days, from COVID-19’s quest to rule the world, hopefully you are a fan of the NFL. As the legal tampering period got underway around the league, there were news breaks happening on Twitter, faster and more furious than Vin Diesel’s next movie.
While things on the ground were unfolding rapidly and even while one of the most popular players on the team was shipped out for future investments to be named later, the Vikings still found a way to become even more…. Vikings-like.
Well, more Kubiak-like.
If you are sick of the way the Vikings run their offense or if you have something against play-action passing…. you might want to take the next handful of years off, as a Minnesota Vikings fan.
Well, when the Vikings made the Diggs trade Monday… it became very clear that players aren’t exempt from that idea either
Let’s take a closer look:
Kirk Cousins’ 2-Year Extension : The only thing that isn’t guaranteed about Kirk’s new contract, is the vanishing of his no-trade clause. If all shit hits the fan in 2021 or 2022 and the Vikings bottom out in the NFC, Timberwolves-style, we’ll see Kirk traded, Spielman and Zimmer fired, and the entire roster blown up… More likely, Cousins will be our QB for the next handful of years.
As I wrote in my blog at that time, the $41 million it would cost to cut Kirk before next season, all but seals his fate in purple for the long haul. In fact, if our rock-pile, death-calendar QB bring us to the playoffs a couple times… he’s much more likely to get ANOTHER extension than he is to leave before the end of his contract.
CJ Ham Extension : The Ham extension was another giveaway, in the Vikings future offensive game plan. It seems as though 97% of today’s offensive schemes have given up on the fullback so there would be no point in 3 more years of ham, if the plan wasn’t to over-use Dalvin Cook and then play action all over secondaries.
Stefon Diggs Trade : Out of all the players and personnel in the Vikings organization, there seemed to be one guy that hated the way the Vikings operate, and that was Stefon Diggs. He touches the ball during just 7% of the Vikings offensive snaps (Cook = 32%), was being paid too much for that ratio, and was causing problems in the locker room. Instead of changing their offense around, the Vikings got rid of him.
No Reilly Reiff Cut : Something that didn’t happen before FA festivities kicked off on Tuesday, was the cutting of Reilly Reiff. If the Vikings had made that move, they would have saved $8.8 million toward their 2020 salary cap.
However, when you want to focus your offense around running the football… it’s not usually a good idea to cut your 3rd-best offensive lineman from 2019. I am still expecting a restructure of some sort between the Vikings and Reiff, though.
Seeing the Future
Dalvin Cook Extension is Coming : It’s been a bit quiet on the Dalvin Cook holdout front and that’s probably because the Vikings are planning on extending him this offseason and he and his team knows it.
It’s very important for these elite running backs to set an NFL standard on early extensions at the position. Running backs will never get paid properly if they don’t. Their shelf-life in the league just isn’t long enough to get to that 2nd contract, in most scenarios.
The Vikings need Cook and they are planning an offense around him. He wants a new deal… so he will get it. It’s smart and it’s the right thing to do. Cook represents nearly 1/3 of our offense. He deserves to be paid for it.
Zimmer and Spielman will get extensions too : At this point, why wouldn’t you extend those two. With the moves they’ve made with on-field personnel, it’s clear they aren’t changing anything for the next few years. Why leave any doubt? Insiders around the Vikings were told about pending extensions for both guys right after the season. The delay has raised some eyebrows… but yesterday showed us that those coaching extensions are still likely.
After looking over all of the options since 2019 came to a close…. I’m in on keeping things the same. We are too fast to throw the baby out with the bath water in today’s age of professional sports. I’m not sure Kirk is a bona fide top-10 QB still… but with Brees, Brady and others long past their prime…. I’m not sure you need an “elite” quarterback to play in a super bowl anymore.
Hell, if Jimmy Garoppolo can make a Super Bowl…. anyone can, right?
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan