The Vikings are still attempting to recover from the dire straits of when former head coach Brad Childress left the team. With players that showed little to no improvement over the years, the Vikings are re-evaluating whom they should be keeping or letting go. On that note, unless your name is Adrian Peterson, you can bet your job is anything but secure.
With an offensive line that requires a major overhaul, a secondary seeking an identity, and not to mention a franchise quarterback, the Vikings needs are stacked pretty high. Fortunately, the money may be on their side.
Mr. Controversy himself Brett Favre takes with him a $20 million contract into retirement, a significant portion at this juncture. Add in the likeliness of players like WR Bernard Berrian (2011: $6.9 million), LG Steve Hutchinson (2011: $6.68 million), FS Madieu Williams (2011: $5.4 million), Anthony Herrera (2011: $2.65 million) and possibly even LT Bryant McKinnie (2011: $4.9 million) that are due big money in 2011 may be let go due to lackluster performance or simply (as in the case of Hutchinson and McKinnie) pay that isn't worth their true value.
With that said, combined, the Vikings could be due approximately an extra $46.5 million in cap room if all these players were let go and/or traded away. Otherwise, certain contracts would preferably have to be restructured. Ultimate chances of that happening: Unlikely...
Which leaves the Vikings with a large amount of salary cap to spend, a free agency period ahead and short a draft pick, the Vikings could do some wheelin' and dealin' with draft picks to make up for the likes of a failed Moss trade that cost a 2011 third round pick.
First option, the Vikings could potentially trade down their first round pick and take a chance at stocking a pick or two to make up for missed youth and to focus more on the build than salvaging a broken team and making a "quick fix" for a Super Bowl team.
It is quite true the Vikings could make their big quarterback pickup in free agency, yet head coach Leslie Frazier has made it pretty clear that he wants to draft a young quarterback to develop a franchise around. With that said, it remains unlikely the Vikings will trade away the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallet, Cam Newton and Jake Locker headline a QB class in 2011. Gabbert and Mallet will likely be long gone by pick 12, Locker might also be gone. Newton is a wild card, but comes with raw talent. His abilities, however, don't come with a proven ability to succeed at the next level.
The Vikings would likely trade up for Mallet or take a shot at Locker if he lasts till pick No. 12.
So with that said, what about the second round pick?
With so many needs at center, possibly both guards, possibly tackles, defensive tackle to replace Pat Williams and not to mention a murky secondary, the Vikings will either need excessive help in free agency or build up with draft picks. It is quite doubtful six picks will be enough, especially with one missing in the third round.
Trading down may appear to be a wise investment in order to get a lower second round pick and possibly a third to fourth round pick in order to stock pile more talent and make up for a lost pick. It may be a small price to pay when in a time of rebuilding...then again, maybe not...
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