Monday Morning Mailbag: Free Agency Recap

Posted Mar 24, 2014

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the 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 Remember to include your name and town on the email. 

Is it easier and faster to turn around a defense or an offense in the NFL?
-- Kim W.

It takes more steps to turn around a defense, but the most important step required to turn around an offense – finding a franchise quarterback – is perhaps the most difficult step for an organization to make. With that in mind, I’d say turning around a defense is typically a faster process than turning around an offense because it’s so hard to find “the guy” at quarterback.

Do you believe Captain Munnerlyn will play on the outside at all, or is he just going to be a nickel cornerback?
-- Christian P.

Munnerlyn is a big-time signing for the Vikings because I believe that pairing him with Xavier Rhodes gives the Vikings an excellent starting pair of cornerbacks in their base defense. Another reason Munnerlyn is a big-time signing for the Vikings, in my view, is because he does perhaps his best work moving inside over the slot receiver in sub packages. When the Vikings go with their nickel or dime package, Munnerlyn can move inside and cover those quick receivers as well as come up and support the run with a fury.

Is it possible that a hard-hitting safety like Harrison Smith or Andrew Sendejo could transition to strong safety? I was very impressed with their hitting ability and would love to see the duo on the field together.
-- Kade T.
Grand Rapids, MN

Typically, the free safety has some range and is good in coverage and space, whereas the strong safety can play in the box when needed and bring the hammer versus the run game. Ideally, you’d like to have your two starting safeties be interchangeable to give your defense more flexibility. With Smith, I see a player who could be either a free or strong safety, depending on what type of athlete you have in the other spot. With Jamarca Sanford as the other starter, I like Smith as the free safety. But if the Vikings acquired or trained someone to play free safety, then I also think Smith could slide over and play strong safety.

Many agree an outside linebacker is the remaining piece missing on the Vikings roster. Based on the players still remaining in free agency, I suggest picking up an early-round linebacker in the draft. What are your thoughts on that?
-- James W.
Maple Grove, MN

I’m certainly not opposed to a linebacker being one of the Vikings early selections. The Vikings already have bodies in place to stage some good offseason and training camp position battles, but it’s never a bad idea to add more talent to the mix. By most accounts, CJ Mosley is the draft’s top inside linebacker, so if you’re one who believes the Vikings need a MIKE (middle) linebacker then perhaps the Alabama product is your guy. But if you’d rather see the Vikings move on an outside linebacker, players such as UCLA’s Anthony Barr and Buffalo’s Khalil Mack are early first-round considerations and then players such as Wisconsin’s Chris Borland, Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier and BYU’s Kyle Van Noy are late first or second-round possibilities.

If Jared Allen signs elsewhere, will the Vikings get a compensatory pick in this year's draft? And if so, in what round?
-- Tom F.

No, if the Vikings receive a compensatory selection because of Allen signing with another team, it will come in the 2015 NFL Draft. Compensatory selections (maximum of four per team) are awarded to teams that have lost more (and better) free agents than they signed during the previous League year’s free agency period. These compensatory selections are determined based on a formula developed by the NFL Management Council that takes into account several factors, including the value of the contract signed by the lost free agent(s) and the performance of the lost free agent(s) with the new team.