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Monday Morning Mailbag: Free Agency Week Is Here

Posted Mar 12, 2018

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Is there a reason you see as to why the Vikings are not more active in the trade frenzy taking place this year?
-- Chris Kulak

Yes. In many cases, teams active in this year’s trade frenzy are doing one of two things: dumping salary because they are in cap peril or filling big holes in their roster that they feel can’t be filled. The Vikings are in great cap shape and they have no major holes to fill that can’t be filled in the draft or free agency. I, for one, am glad the Vikings are staying out of the fray because it indicates to me the roster is in great shape.

Just waiting to see who the Vikings will get to play quarterback. Being a fan since the Purple People Eater days, I hope they beef up the No. 1 defense and the offensive line. Several teams with dominant defenses have won rings with rather pedestrian QBs. I feel they are very close to the absolute shutdown defense and have the running attack to have success with whomever is under center.
-- Roger Schroeder

I agree the Vikings roster is stacked and that this team will have success with any of the quarterback candidates being tied to Minnesota. But that doesn’t take away from the importance of the quarterback decision and it doesn’t mean the Vikings can be deferential about the decision. They should identify their target and aggressively pursue that option. Also, a great quarterback can cover up a lot of flaws on a roster, including injuries to key players and being forced to use inexperienced players. As good as the Vikings are right now, they aren’t exempt from facing these challenges and so the task of finding “the guy” at quarterback is as important for them as it is any team.

I don't know how the quarterback situation will play out and I have confidence the GM and head coach will do it right. But I will say this: While it is important for the Vikings to decide who they believe in, maybe everyone should remember Case Keenum has demonstrated that he believes in himself and, yes, if I played I would be happy to go to battle with Keenum.
-- Sandy Hawkins

Very true, and I agree. I don’t think that sentiment will be lost on Vikings fans. They saw Keenum step up and have his best season as a pro at a time when the team needed him most. Who knows who will be where when the music stops on ride of quarterback musical chairs, but some team, whether it’s the Vikings or another team, will have a great competitor and a true team-first leader in Keenum.

Why is it that Richard Sherman can get a contract from another team when free agency hasn't started?
-- Terrel
Honolulu, Hawaii

.The free agency start date of March 14 applies to players with contracts that expire on that date; the contracts expire and the new League Year begin simultaneously. Sherman is a different case because his contract wasn’t expiring. He was simply released by the Seahawks. Players whose contracts are terminated are eligible to sign with a new team immediately.

I spent three hours at work yesterday watching condensed versions of a few early games from last season on NFL.com. I just needed to get excited about Dalvin Cook again, and it worked. The energy he brought to the field and the touchdown he scored before getting injured in the Lions game was infectious. He was truly jacked about being out there and playing for the Vikings! 2018 is going to be freaking awesome! Skol!
-- Chris Dow
Cave Creek, Arizona

Because the Vikings had to play over 75% of the season without him and because of the success the team still had, it’s easy to forget about how good Cook looked before his injury. Chris is right that Cook provided a spark and energy to the team, plus I remember the feeling of anticipation in U.S. Bank Stadium early in the season every time he touched the ball. Hopefully his rehab and comeback continue on the current trajectory because a healthy Cook back in the lineup should mean great things for the offense in 2018.

In the Saints and Eagles games, when Andrew Sendejo was out the defense gave up huge points. Is it possible to trade up and get Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick or pick up someone in free agency?
-- Ken Olson

Yes, adding talent and depth to the secondary and, specifically, to the safety position is a likelihood for the Vikings this offseason and Fitzpatrick would seem to be an awesome addition given his success at a great program such as Alabama. I’m guessing he’ll go early in the draft, so it would take a significant move forward to be in position to select him. With all of that being said, let’s also remember that Sendejo is an important part of the defense and his synergy with Harrison Smith and reliability with coach Zimmer give him a big advantage in any sort of competition with another player. I’m not saying he can’t be supplanted, I’m just saying we’ve seen draft picks and free agents every year come in to challenge Sendejo and every year Sendejo wins the competition and remains a starter on what is the NFL’s best defense.

How's the new place? I looked through the photo tour. Wow. Phenomenal. Cool that Coach Grant has a space. Hopefully you can post a short walking tour at some point? The Vikings Entertainment Network accommodations must be tremendous. Skol!
-- Jeff

Monday will actually be my first day working at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, so I’ll be able to tell you more in a few days. Most others have been in the place for a week now and the reviews are off the charts. The opening of TCO Performance Center is a significant milestone for the franchise and it will help enhance the business and football operations significantly.