After watching a very poor and upsetting performance by the Minnesota Vikings offense against the Miami Dolphins defense today at home in the Metrodome, it was evident that the Vikings have serious wide-receiver issues that need to be resolved immediately. Therefore, I am providing my opinion about how the Vikings could resolve their wide-receiver problems while Sidney Rice is injured.
Resolution #1 – Trade for Vincent Jackson
Obviously, this contradicts my previous article about the Minnesota Vikings trading for Randy Moss. But, it is clear that Moss and Belichick have resolved their issues for the season and are on the road to the Super Bowl. Therefore, it would be imperative for the Vikings to trade for Vincent Jackson with a 2nd and 3rd round draft pick, along with Bernard Berrian going to the Chargers.
My reasoning for trading Bernard Berrian (6'1 & 185 lbs) or at least releasing him, instead of trading him to the Chargers; would be because it would free the Minnesota Vikings salary cap from his ridiculously overpaid and compensated contract. His contract terms according to Rotoworld.com are that he "signed a six-year, $43.4 million contract. The deal contains $16 million guaranteed, including a $5 million signing bonus, a first year roster bonus of $8 million, and a second-year roster bonus of $3 million." (Rotoworld.com). That means his remaining contract terms are as follows:
2011: $3.9 Million
2012: $6.9 Million!
2013: $7.9 Million!
2014: Free Agent
By the Minnesota Vikings trading or releasing Berrian, they would be able to effectively sign Vincent Jackson to a long-term deal and the trade wouldn't be wasted by banking everything on a single season, which hasn't been looking good so far. This is because Vincent Jackson (6'5 & 230 lbs.) could receive a contract like Bernard Berrian's, but has proven to actually be a Pro Bowl receiver and deserves the kind of money that Berrian is making. So, we could easily provide Jackson with $5 million in compensation this year, and descend his contract like we did for Bernard Berrian's contract to obtain him under the salary cap restrictions. Which, if Jackson was smart would accept and sign, because his current salary this year from his tender that he refused to sign is suppose to only be $626,630.
Resolution #2 – Release Greg Lewis & Sign Javon Walker
This is an obvious no brainer. If the Vikings would release Greg Lewis (6'0 & 180 lbs), and replace him with Javon Walker (6'3 & 215 lbs), it would provide an immediate resolution for the wide-receiver impact for the Lions and Jets game. Plus, it would provide him an ample amount of time to review and relearn the Vikings playbook during the week 4 bye.
My reasoning for wanting to sign Javon Walker is because of his size and that he displayed some great playmaking abilities, and had a vendetta for returning to the NFL as a comeback wide-receiver. But, Javon would have an immediate impact with the Vikings, especially with Favre. This is because he could be signed under the veteran tender contract of approximately $720,000 (according to NFL minimum salaries), which would pay him week to week of $40,000-$45,000; until the return of Sidney Rice. As, Greg Lewis is signed to a one-year $805,000 with a $50,000 signing bonus (according to Rotoworld.com).
This would provide us depth at wide-receiver if Sidney Rice isn't completely healthy after his hip surgery and expected return of week 6. Because, how do we know that he wouldn't be able to return until week 8, 9, or even 10? This would be a great benefit, having Javon Walker on the roster, as this would allow Sidney to return to the team when he is completely healthy.
Resolution #3 – Trade a Defensive Lineman
We all know that the Minnesota Vikings are carrying a ridiculous 10 men for the roster spots of Defensive Linemen. Therefore, we could utilize one of these defensive lineman for the trade with Jackson and we would be able to retain Javon Walker, when Sidney Rice returns! This would make the Minnesota Vikings a deadly receiving corps as it would be as follows:
#1 – Vincent Jackson
#2 – Sidney Rice (PUP)
#3 – Percy Harvin/Javon Walker/Greg Camarillo
#4 – Javon Walker/Percy Harvin/Greg Camarillo
#5 – Greg Camarillo/Javon Walker
This would be a ridiculous wide-receiver corps to provide for Brett Favre and with allowing Walker to stay on the roster it would allow Harvin breathing time and not having to "force" him to play with his consistent weekly injuries, and actual be able to get healthy, before returning to the game. Plus, the Vikings need to do something quickly for not pursuing TJ Houshmandzadeh, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens for one-year $855,000! This was an opportunity lost by Childress's stubbornness as a head coach.
Therefore, I believe that if the Vikings would utilize all three of these resolution options could easily return to the competitive super bowl team that the Minnesota Vikings are with our championship defense; and Brett Favre wouldn't be forced to try to make something out of nothing.