Offseason Overview: Vikings Seem Ready to Take Another Step Up

QB Tavaris Jackson

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• S Mike Doss made little impact in first season with the Vikings; likely will be allowed to find work elsewhere.

• DE Darrion Scott had 2007 season ended early by injury after recording team-high 5.5 sacks the previous year.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• CB Ronyell Whitaker (not tendered as RFA) was used primarily on special teams.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• DE Jared Allen (trade Chiefs).

• WR Bernard Berrian: UFA Bears; $42M/6 yrs, $$5M SB/$8M RB; $3M RB ‘09; 2008 cap: $9.538M.

• S Michael Boulware: UFA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• QB Gus Frerotte: FA Rams; $4M/2 yrs, $1M SB.

• RB Maurice Hicks: UFA 49ers; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

• LB Derrick Pope: UFA Dolphins; terms unknown.

• CB Benny Sapp: UFA Chiefs; $705,000/1 yr, $100,000 SB.

• FB Thomas Tapeh: UFA Eagles; $6M/5 yrs, $1.2M guaranteed.

• S Madieu Williams: UFA Bengals; $34M/6 yrs, $13M guaranteed.

• DL Ellis Wyms: UFA Seahawks; $1.5M/1 yr, $500,000 SB.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• LB Heath Farwell: RFA; $1.47M/1 yr.

• WR Robert Ferguson: UFA; $1M/1 yr, SB unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• QB Kelly Holcomb (released).

• DT Spencer Johnson: UFA Bills; $17.5M/5 yrs, $6M guaranteed.

• RB Mewelde Moore: UFA Steelers; $4.95M/3 yrs, $1.35M SB; 2008 cap: $1.1M.

• FB Tony Richardson: UFA Jets; $875,000/1 yr, SB unknown.

• S Dwight Smith (released).

• LB Dontarrious Thomas: UFA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• S Tank Williams: UFA Patriots; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 WO.

• WR Troy Williamson (traded Jaguars).

The Vikings had a beat on the playoffs last season, but fell down the stretch and missed the postseason, but should be primed for a run at the “second season” as well as maybe a run at the NFC North Title. The key will be the offense, which got a big shot in the arm with rookie back Adrian Peterson, who had a monster rookie year with 1341 yards and 12 TD’s. He should have a good sophomore season, which will help developing QB Tavaris Jackson. The team also went out and got a play-making WR in Bernard Berrian, who will be a help as well. As the best rushing team in the league last season, it would be a big benefit to see the passing game give something back.

The team also was savvy in making a deal to get sack happy Jared Allen from KC for a first-round pick. Allen will provide pressure on opposing QB’s, and his play will give that front four of the Vikings a big boost. Last season the team allowed a league worst 264.1 yards per game through the air, but getting Madieu Williams in free agency will help that unit. Overall, it’s been a solid offseason for the Vikngs, and they seem ready to make a step towards being better in 2008

Offseason Grade to Date: B


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3 Responses to “Offseason Overview: Vikings Seem Ready to Take Another Step Up”

  1. Jon says:

    Matt,

    It’s not every off-season that a team pulls in a trio of the best free agents available at their respective positions, all of which happen to be team needs. The Vikings brought in Berrian, the best WR available not named Moss (who wasn’t really available). They nabbed the best safety that fit the cover 2 scheme in Williams, and they also added last years sack leader in Allen. This is all not to mention a slew of other solid FA signing like Tapeh, Frerrote, Hicks, Pope, etc, and a solid draft with the picks they had left after the Allen trade. What does a team have to do to get an “A”? Convince Payton Manning to leave the Colts while taking a substantial pay cut?

    Thanks for making mention of our up and coming team though.

    http://vikevision.com

  2. Russ Loede says:

    Vikings Still Have No QB & The Secondary Always Gets Burned No Matter Who it Faces!

    Berrian Is Destined To Letdown in Minnesota.

    Also, Teams are going to stack the line of scrimmage with 8-man fronts making it tough for AP to repeat the damage he did in ’07.

  3. MarkV says:

    Russ,

    I tend to agree with Jon. To state that the Vikings have no secondary should not reflect on the great offseason moves that they did pull off. Plus I do not understand your grading the Vikings great offseason moves as being equal to that of the Patriots and Raiders, which you also gave B’s. The Raiders were more aggressive and the Patriots did little. If you are instead saying the grade is a projection of how you think each team will fare in the regular season (which is what the “secondary always gets burned” argument implies), then it makes even less sense that the Steelers got a C+, the Patriots got a B, and the Dolphins got a B+. As a Browns fan, I think we had a great offseason, but it appears the grade should not be titled “Offseason Grade” if it includes a project or prediction of future success. If not, then the grade should reflect great signings, period. Even if you think the team will still struggle.

    Great Articles though…. I like the “All Undrafted Team” the best.