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Monday Morning Mailbag

Posted Feb 13, 2012

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.

 

What is the possibility the Vikings trade for Eagles CB Asante Samuel? The Eagles expressed interest in trading him last year. A possible scenario the Vikings could do is trade their 3rd overall pick in the NFL draft to acquire more draft picks, and then use one of those picks to trade for Samuel. Hopefully the Vikings can get him fairly cheap. There is no doubt in my mind that he would make an instant impact and be a great fit for the Vikings. With that being said, I realize there are good CBs in the draft that can make plays for the Vikings, but they’re rookies and will make mistakes. Those are mistakes Samuel probably won’t make because he is a good veteran CB that knows what to do in the NFL. So, what do you think about the Vikings possibly trading for Samuel? And do you think he is a good fit for the Vikings?
-- Noah P.

Swaledale, IA

I see it as an unlikely scenario, especially given the depth of this year’s CB class in free agency. There’s no doubt Samuel has been a solid pro during his career and he could still have a few solid years left in the tank, but I’m of the opinion that the Vikings would be better-served to use their resources to select a CB in the draft and/or acquire a CB in this year’s free agent class. Samuel is 31 years old and has 9 seasons of wear and tear on the tread. Meanwhile, several of the top CBs scheduled for unrestricted free agency this offseason are younger and have less wear and tear, including Brandon Carr (age 25, 4 seasons), Brent Grimes (28-5), Cortland Finnegan (28-6), Aaron Ross (29-5) and Terrelle Thomas (27-3).

I have a two-part question: First, I am still in shock that Cris Carter has yet to make it into the Hall of Fame.  Is there a specific reason for this? I think he should have been in on the first ballot. Secondly, with the poor play of the Vikings secondary last year and with the recent release of Stanford Routt from the Oakland Raiders, is there any chance that the Vikings pursue him? I think he'd be a great fit alongside Antoine Winfield. We've seemed to have a weak secondary in recent years and haven't made too many big acquisitions. This would be a great one.
-- Josh W.
Eagan, MN

On Carter, I’m with Josh that it’s surprising that Carter has not been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame yet. I’m sure there are several factors that have resulted in Carter getting snubbed, and one of them that isn’t often discussed is that he’s probably splitting votes with former Buffalo Bills WR Andre Reed. To me, Carter was the far superior player, but I think there may be voters who don’t see the gap as being that big.

As for the question about Routt, I agree with Josh that Routt would be a nice acquisition for the Vikings. In my judgment, he would upgrade the Vikings secondary, and I also like that he’s on the right side of 30 years old (he’s 28). Granted, he will turn 29 before the season starts and he will be entering the 8th year of his career, but I still view him as a player currently on the upswing of his career with a lot of gas left in the tank. The big question on Routt will be affordability.

I would like to know how the offensive line as a unit was graded out by the staff at the end of the year. From what I have read, I heard that C John Sullivan has improved. Thanks for the Wobcast, and keep us posted on prospective draft picks. I know Coach Frazier will turn things around. Also, I wish we could wear the throwback purple every week we are home (I believe against Green Bay and Detroit this year); that purple is so much better looking!
-- Bill

Canastota, NY

To be honest, I don’t know how our coaching staffs or scouting staffs graded the offensive line individually or as a group last year, but my best guess is that as a group the run blocking was very good and the pass protection needs improvement. As for Sullivan, I believe Bill hit the nail on the head in saying that he has improved. He was our best offensive linemen last season, and he was appropriately rewarded with a contract extension.

I was wondering what the odds are that we’ll see DE Everson Griffen playing LB next season? After watching him as a gunner on the punt team, the dude is a freak and looks like he could fill-in at middle LB or possibly at outside LB, as his speed seemed to be off the charts for a man his size. With both Hendersons being free agents, this seems like it could be a good fit. If not, do Leslie Frazier and the Vikings plan to use him more next season?
-- Zach S.
Fergus Falls, MN

Regardless of what position he plays in 2012, I do believe Griffen will be on the field much more for the Vikings defense. It’s interesting that Zach brings up the potential of a position change for Griffen because it’s a thought I had earlier in the offseason and I’ll be curious to see if the coaching staff has the same idea. I’m hesitant to promote the idea too much because it’s predicated on one or both of the Hendersons to not be brought back, and I don’t want to see either guy leave the team. It’s a tough call for the Vikings to make on several different levels, but that’s also what makes it such an interesting decision. I believe Griffen has the athleticism and football instincts to be able to pull off this type of position switch.

I feel this offseason is important for the Vikings, especially after three years of strange offseasons with the Favre circus and the lockout last season. Do you agree that a normal offseason with Organized Team Activities, minicamps and training camps is important for this team?
-- Paul S.
California

I couldn’t agree any more with Paul’s opinion on this one, and in fact, this subject will be one of my talking points in this week’s Wobcast. Every team had to deal with the negative ramifications of the lockout last year, but I feel the Vikings felt those ramifications strongly, especially with Leslie Frazier entering his first season as the full-time head coach and with Christian Ponder entering his first NFL season without the benefit of a normal offseason. Other rookie QBs such as Andy Dalton and Cam Newton also didn’t have the benefit of a normal offseason and they played well, but those QBs were also the starters for their teams from Day 1. Ponder began as a backup to Donovan McNabb, and was thrust into action midway through the season in an offense that wasn’t designed for his specific skill set. I’m not trying to make excuses for Ponder, but there’s no denying that this offseason will be huge for Ponder’s development because he’ll have plenty of exposure to his coaches and teammates during the offseason program.

I was wondering if the Vikings would sign a veteran WR like Reggie Wayne and also draft young WRs either with their first pick or in the later rounds? Actually, they could have Wayne tutor the receivers and build a strong receiving corps. I've seen scenarios in which older receivers can either help build a strong receiving corps or build a star receiver – Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens; Cris Carter and Randy Moss; Wayne himself was actually tutored by a veteran receiver (Marvin Harrison). Now, do you think veteran receivers like Wayne have a chance of doing what Carter, Rice and Harrison did?
-- David T.

This is an interesting idea by David and I think he has a good point. But I don’t believe the Vikings will break the bank for a veteran WR at this time. Again, I could be wrong, but right now my sense is the team is looking to add young talent. Veteran free agents such as Wayne and Marques Colston will make great free agent signings for some teams, but I think the Vikings are more likely to spend free agent money on WRs who are in their younger years, such as Dwayne Bowe, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Mario Manningham and Robert Meachem.