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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Jan 28, 2013

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.

 

Do you think it's a possibility that we could trade for NY Jets CB Darrelle Revis?
-- Tosin
Maryland

This is easily the most common question I received over the past week. But I will be surprised if Revis is dealt to another team this offseason.

Keep in mind, Revis is currently rehabbing a serious knee injury (a torn ACL). It’s unusual for a team to trade for a player who is dealing with such a severe injury, especially when the compensation required to acquire that player is thought to be so high. It’s likely the Jets will have a difficult time finding a trading partner (largely because of the injury), and it’s perhaps even more likely that if the Jets do find a trading partner they will be disappointed in what that partner is willing to give up in order to acquire Revis (because of the injury).

As they do with all players who become available or who are being shopped around by their team, the Vikings personnel staff will discuss this issue internally. What they decide to do about it is unknown at this point. But one thing we do know is this: trades involving high-end players such as Revis happen rarely. I don’t believe this situation will be any exception.

Now that the Senior Bowl has finished, and most (if not all) players who intend to have declared for the draft, can you give us an idea about which positions should have the most quality depth in this year’s draft? How does that compare to the Vikings positions of need?
-- Kent

We’re still not to the point where we know the answer to this question yet. Remember, the Senior Bowl is not necessarily an accurate representation of the entire draft class because the crop of player who attend the week’s festivities are limited to the senior class and are a small subset of the senior class. While NFL coaching and scouting staffs are closer to the end of their pre-draft process than the beginning, observers and fans are still getting acquainted with the class.

With that being said, my perception at this point is that this will be a strong class for defensive players, particularly the defensive line. I also am sensing, based largely on what I saw at the Senior Bowl, that there will be a solid pool of defensive backs from which to choose. I will also not be surprised if this year’s class contains a productive group of receivers.

If those projections turn out to be accurate, I think it’s a good match for the Vikings based on their positions of need. You can never have too many good defensive backs, and while the strength of the Vikings defense in recent seasons has been their defensive line, it’s never a bad thing to have too much depth there, either.

What are the chances the Vikings go after a big-name receiver like Dwayne Bowe this offseason? With Greg Childs coming back from injury and already-proven weapons such as Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph, a guy like Bowe could take Christian Ponder to the next level, or at least prove if Ponder is the guy or not.
-- Seth E.
Dyersville, Iowa

I wrote in the January 14 edition of the Monday Morning Mailbag about how I think Bowe would impact the Vikings offense. The term “go after” is a tricky one – remember that just because a team doesn’t acquire a player doesn’t mean they didn’t “go after” that player. The Vikings will consider their options at receiver and at every other position during free agency. As tempting as it can be to make a splashy move in free agency, I'm not usually a big proponent of trying to improving the roster that way. While gems can be found from time-to-time, I think free agency is mostly fool's gold. Many times, free agents are free agents for a reason – their teams chose not to re-sign them. There are of course exceptions to that rule, for example players who were franchise tagged the year prior and had an agreement with their team that they wouldn’t be franchised again in the future. But generally speaking, I'd rather invest in the draft and in re-signing players currently on the roster than invest big money in a free agent.

What do you think the Vikings will do to bolster the backup quarterback position?
-- Brian B.

As they do with all positions, the Vikings will keep an eye open during the waiver period, free agency, the draft and undrafted free agency to scoop up talent when it becomes available. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Vikings add a quarterback via one of those channels to compete with McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Joe Webb for position on the depth chart behind Christian Ponder. The Vikings experienced first-hand in this year’s playoffs how important it is to have a backup who can come in and give his team a chance to win.

What is the Vikings plan at quarterback? There is some good talent we can pick up. Christian Ponder showed he is capable on some days, but I think he would be a great backup, not a starter. Alex smith would be a cheap, experienced option, and I believe we could get him. We might be able to trade for Matt Flynn from Seattle or Kirk Cousins from Washington. I would like to see the Vikings go for a franchise-caliber quarterback. With the exception of good quarterbacks at the end of their careers, we don't chase talent at this position.
-- Jason M.
Belle Fourche, SD

It’s not accurate to suggest the Vikings haven't tried to acquire a franchise quarterback. All you have to do is go back to the 2010 draft to find the team’s latest attempt – Ponder, taken with the 12th overall selection.  To this point, the Vikings haven’t found success. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried.

Additionally it's premature to say Ponder can't become the franchise-caliber quarterback teams covet. He's only been a starter for one full season, and if you go back at look at some of the current franchise quarterbacks’ performances in their first year as the starter, you'll see that their numbers weren't great and that many people were pushing those quarterbacks out the door prematurely. In fact, a player Jason included his question – San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith – is a great example of this. Many in San Francisco gave up on Smith after each of his early seasons. And now, some fans who perceive their teams to be quarterback-needy want their team to acquire Smith, the very same quarterback who so many fans gave up on so early in his career.

The point is that patience is often the key to finding a quarterback to lead your franchise for many seasons down the road. NFL teams can’t afford to make premature judgments because they've invested in their quarterbacks, and they owe it to the franchise and to the players on their team to continue to invest in the young quarterback by acquiring players who can provide adequate support.