Welcome to the Access Vikings live chat with beat writer Matt Vensel. Submit your questions now for the noon CT chat. Get all of your free agency questions answered, discuss the upcoming NFL draft and get a glimpse of what's happening behind the scenes.
Good afternoon, folks. This is Matt Vensel here to chat about the "Bachelor" finale. I suppose I can answer some Vikings questions, too, if you guys would prefer that. Let's get rolling...
It was surprising and disappointing that Laquon Treadwell only had one catch as a rookie when there was such a void for him to fill, but I am not one to write off young players after one year in the league. The fact that his ankle injury from college still lingers is concerning, but if he can finally get past that, I think he will be OK.
Lacy is signing with Seattle. Latavius Murray will visit the Vikings today, per ESPN. So they are looking at FA backs, though I still believe they will turn to the draft to find a running back, too.
I have yet to see what the terms are for Cordarrelle in Oakland and I'm not sure what the Vikings offered him to come back, if anything. But the writing for Cordarrelle has been on the wall since last spring, when they drafted Treadwell and picked up his option. I know he had a nice bounce-back year in 2016, but this is a guy who has like 1,300 career receiving yards here. Let's not make him more than what he is. That being said, if Cordarrelle lands with a savvy coach who can find more clever wants to use him, he can find the end zone.
I wouldn't say Cordarrelle is a dime a dozen. He's a unique athlete who can score touchdowns. But with Diggs, Thielen and Treadwell, Patterson was expendable.
Perhaps, unless they took him off their board after Spielman and Zimmer got some facetime with him last week and came away unconvinced he had learned from what happened.
None of these departures were surprising, which is why I'm a little puzzled by the uproar over them, as if they came out of nowhere. Captain Munnerlyn was a good player but he turns 29 soon and they drafted Mackensie Alexander to potentially replace him. Patterson was completely out of the mix on offense before this past season. Audie Cole was a backup. Rhett Ellison was a backup. Jeff Locke was a below-average punter during his time here. They did not prioritize bringing those guys back because they can cheaply be replaced or even improved upon.
Yes, they got a lot of money, but the Vikings can get out of those deals after a couple of years without too much of a penalty. No, Reiff and Remmers aren't top NFL tackles. But they're average ones who have started a lot of games over the past few years. That's a major upgrade over what they had to trot out there last year.
I'd think that if the Vikings were going to cut Jarius Wright, they would have done it by now. But I guess we'll see what happens if they draft a couple more guys. I do think they will add a free agent at some point. They have to for depth/competition purposes.
I think it's worth monitoring for sure, but I wouldn't take Riki Ellison's recent comments at face value. He has said wild things before only to back away from them and he certainly does not speak for his son.
Beyond Alexander, who is the top internal option, they have expressed interest in former Bills slot specialist Nickell Robey-Coleman. Some other interesting names out there include Lardarius Webb, Leon Hall, Corey Graham and Jerraud Powers.
I have not seen that reported anywhere, but considering they had Lacy in and will have Murray in next, it would not surprise me if they had Charles in at some point, too.
They have a young punter named Taylor Symmank on the roster, but he has not punted in an NFL game. I'd expect them to bring in another punter via free agency or the draft.
This is just my read on the situation from the outside, without having talked to anyone in the know about their thinking there, but I don't necessarily see that as an indictment on Treadwell. It was an opportunity to try to get a big wideout who is one of the NFL's top red-zone threats when healthy, though Jeffery has not been healthy often enough in his young career.
The Vikings have eight draft picks.
I think it would have to be an especially ugly season for that to happen. The Wilfs had stood by Rick and they love Zimmer. But if all the losing and odd incidents we saw last year continues throughout 2017, I would not rule it out.
I still think they need to draft an offensive tackle early in the draft if possible. Reiff and Remmers are probably just short-term band-aids. They need to draft a guard to compete with Jeremiah Sirles and a running back. They also need to restock their depth at corner and linebacker. And if they could find a penetrating defensive tackle who can potentially replace Sharrif Floyd in 2017, that would be a big bonus.
Let's keep in mind that these decisions are ultimately up to the players. Maybe the Vikings made a big push for, say, Andrew Whitworth, but his family wanted to live in California? We don't know that. Money is still often the deciding factor when it comes to free agents picking their next time, but it's not everything.
I think Adrian is still a possibility, yes. But the longer he is out there, the less likely it seems he will return.
USA Today reported about 45 minutes ago that tight end Jared Cook, who played for the Packers last year, could visit the Vikings. That one is a little surprising to me. But if he comes at a reasonable price, it would not hurt to add another playmaker at the tight end position.