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Monday Morning Mailbag - 3/01

Posted Mar 1, 2010

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the vikings.com Mailbag! Every Monday during the offseason we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag feature. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

To submit a comment or question to the mailbag, send an email to Mike Wobschall at wobschallm@vikings.nfl.net. Remember to include your name and town on the email.

Hey Mike, I’ve got a quick question for you about the Vikings draft. There’s no doubt that CB, DT and the OL must be addressed. Which one should they draft first? Personally, I think that they draft a DT first (Dan Williams or Brian Price) then address CB in the 2nd round (Patrick Robinson or Perrish Cox). I think there is a deeper pool of talent at CB than at DT. What do you think they should address first?
-- Brad, Laramie, WY

I know people get tired of hearing this, but the Vikings should draft the best player available – aka the highest player on their board - when it's their turn to select. While the Vikings may have a need at CB or S today, that might not be the case down the road. That's why it doesn't pay to draft by need.

For example, let's say the Vikings have a RB ranked high (early 1st round grade) on their board and it turns out he's still there at #30. Instead of taking the player they have rated right near the top of round #1 where they’re selecting, they should that RB even though RB isn't a "need." I'd rather have an additional good RB who I had a high rating on than a player at a position of need who I had rated lower. You never know when someone will get injured or suspended or sick or benched.

A good example of this philosophy is the Vikings 7th round pick last year, Jamarca Sanford. Safety was no a position of need for the Vikings during the draft, yet the Vikings had a good grade on Sanford and he was available when it was their turn to choose. So they took him, and it turns out he played a lot on special teams and even took some defensive snaps late in the season.

Hey Mike,
Big Vikings fan here. Do you know what free agency is going to look like for the Vikings? Are there any players that the Vikings are looking to pursue? I know that our DBs are hurting a little. Would we look into someone like Dunta Robinson? Thanks
-- Brandon K., St. Michael, MN

Because of the new rules in the Final League Year, I really don’t know what free agency is going to look like. There will be no salary cap or salary floor, so it’s difficult to predict how teams will approach free agency – they could spend wildly, not at all or somewhere in the middle.

In addition, much of what the Vikings will do in free agency centers on what tenders they assign to their restricted free agents, such as QB Tarvaris Jackson and DE Ray Edwards. Watch for the announcement on what tenders the Vikings offer these players in the next few days.

You mentioned Dunta Robinson – the Vikings will be unable to pursue him because he’s an unrestricted free agent (UFA) and the new rules of the Final League Year prohibit the Vikings from signing a UFA until they lose one of their own. And, even once the Vikings lost a UFA, they can’t offer a contract to another UFA that is larger than the contract signed by the UFA they lost.

What are the chances of the Vikings going after RB LaDainian Tomlinson? I feel he would be an asset if we cut Albert Young.
-- Erlynn M., Dumfries, VA

Tomlinson is a different story than Robinson in that the Vikings could actually pursue LT because he gained his free agent status by being released from his contract by San Diego. But with that said, I don't anticipate the Vikings signing him.

The Vikings first priority seems to be re-signing RB Chester Taylor. And if that happens, there would be no room for Tomlinson or any other veteran RB looking for much playing time. Even if the Vikings aren’t able to bring Taylor back, I think the draft might be a better option for them to fill the #2 RB spot than the free agent market.

With all of that in mind, I’m also not sure that Tomlinson would want to come to MN. I know he’s looking to win a Super Bowl and the Vikings do represent a chance for him to do that, but also consider that in MN he not only wouldn’t be the best player on his team anymore, but he wouldn’t even be the best RB on his team. His role would be as a backup, where he would play primarily on 3rd downs and whenever Adrian Peterson needed a breather. I don’t think that’s the scenario LT covets and I think he could find a better one for him with another team.

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