In the Minnesota Vikings week 15 48-30 upset over the Philadelphia Eagles, neither Michael Vick or Adrian Peterson saw the field. Peterson missed the game due to a foot injury, while Vick held a clipboard and watched Nick Foles play quarterback. If Adrian Peterson has his way, the two will be on the same field in 2014—with both wearing Vikings jerseys.
@MikeVick would intently make the vikings a playoff team!
– Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 6, 2014
Earlier this off-season, I projected the top five potential destinations for Vick this off-season, and listed the Vikings as the number two option. (The other option was the Houston Texans, but that doesn’t seem likely as they own the number one pick and appear to be targeting a pocket quarterback.) The Vikings are one of the few circumstances in the NFL, where going with a young quarterback doesn’t necessarily make sense given the team that they currently have constructed.
Adrian Peterson is still a top-five running-back in the NFL, but given the fact that he will be 29 later this month, and has had more than his fair share of wear and tear, it’s fair to wonder how much longer he can play at this current level.
Looking around the rest of the offense, the Vikings through a good chunk of change to Greg Jennings to leave Green Bay, likely in the hopes that he would improve their passing attack. That didn’t necessarily come to fruition in 2014, but when you have Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, and Matt Cassel throwing you the ball, it’s fair to wonder how much of that was his own doing. The aerial attack also features promising tight-end Kyle Rudolph, and two insanely athletic receivers in Jerome Simpson and Cordarrelle Patterson. Offensively, they seem to be a solid quarterback away from being a pretty damn good offense.
Defensively, they appear to bet set to lose Jared Allen this off-season. The future hall-of-fame defensive end is coming off of his seventh straight season in which he posted at least 11 sacks (had 11.5 in 2013), but is set to hit the free-agent market next Tuesday, and he doesn’t sound like he has any intention on re-signing with the Vikings.
“I think for my next team it will come down to a chance to win, a good organization, as well as getting a fair contract,” Allen said in a Sirius XM NFL Radio interview.
So defensively the Vikings still have a guy like Chad Greenway, but new head coach Mike Zimmer, who is one of the better defensive minds around the league, has his work cut out. If he was in a situation where he could turn a veteran offense over to Norv Turner, and just build his defense the way that he envisions, I think that would be the best scenario for the Vikings both short and long-term.
If Norv Turner could get back to his roots of running the ball, which made him a hot name as the Cowboys offensive coordinator in the 1990’s, then Vick would make a ton of sense for the Vikings. They wouldn’t be asking him to drop back and throw the ball 45 or 50 times, like he did unsuccessfully in the Andy Reid/Marty Mornhinweg offense in 2011 and 2012, but rather throw the ball 25-33 times per game, hand the ball off to an elite running-back, and use his athleticism, like he did fairly successfully in Chip Kelly’s offense in 2013.
All of this is on paper of course. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport joined 97.5 The Fanatic’s Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes today and called it ‘unlikely’ that the Vikings would have serious interest in Vick. Rapoport believes that Vick will have to compete for a job wherever he goes, which would be interesting if the Vikings decided to sign both Vick and Cassel. You would think that Adrian Peterson would lobby for Vick to start, and I think it’s fair to say that his opinion would carry some weight in the organization. So maybe the Vikings flat-out stay away from Vick to avoid a situation where Norv Turner wants a pocket quarterback, and Peterson is publicly campaigning for Vick to start. But, should the Vikings be an option, they sure seem to make a lot more sense for Vick than a team who has a bare cupboard of offensive weapons, like the New York Jets or Oakland Raiders.