Welcome to another Star Tribune mailbag, answering your Vikings questions via Twitter or email. Send your questions to @Andrew_Krammer or Andrew.Krammer-at-startribune.com and he’ll answer a few each Friday.
Do you have any feelings or educated speculation if any Vikings game would be flexed to a late afternoon time slot or Sunday night?
A: That Vikings-Packers game at Lambeau Field a night before Christmas Eve sure is looking less competitive. But the NFL is locked into that one by virtue of it being a special Saturday night kickoff. As far as kickoffs moving into the later afternoon or night, I think the Vikings-Panthers Dec. 10 matchup on CBS looks like a prime candidate. CBS’ current 3 p.m. games that week lack flavor in the Titans-Cardinals and Broncos-Jets. Moving up the kickoff between two NFC contenders seems logical to me. Next week’s Vikings-Rams game would’ve also made sense, but the NFL needs to give these moves 12 days notice. So that’s out.
Low key free agents Vikings could target in 2018, low key young guys in second tier.
— Jorge cordero (@Jcord842118) November 9, 2017
A: As far as defensive tackles, where the Vikings have Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen on expiring contracts, the projected 2018 free agent market leans a little heavy toward nose tackles. And Minnesota is good there with Linval Joseph. The other spot, known as the “three-technique” defensive tackle which is often given more freedom to attack, has few proven options. There is former Jets first-round pick Sheldon Richardson, who is currently trying to jumpstart his career in Seattle. A couple “second-tier” free agents to watch include a couple Lions. Outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead has been a solid run defender for Detroit and could serve a similar role for the Vikings. Oft-injured defensive tackle Jordan Hill could also intrigue. He’s had two IR stints the last two seasons, but was a third-round pick by Seattle with 5.5 sacks in 2014.
Do the Vikings have submit an offer sheet to Sam in order to receive draft compensation? What round pick would Vikings be looking at if they are awarded compensation? Thank you
— Roger Hanover (@wyoming_roger) November 10, 2017
A: Sam Bradford is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so all he needs to do is sign with another team to factor into the Vikings’ 2019 compensatory pick formula. However, Bradford needs to clear a few major hurdles to do so. The feeling is he can still eventually recover to play again, but the timeline for recovery is murky. For awarding compensatory picks, the NFL factors a few things: how much does the player sign for? How much does he play with his new team? Does he win any postseason honors? Bradford may not get anything more than a short-term, prove-it deal, which does not factor kindly for the Vikings into this formula. He’d likely have to play, and play a lot and play well, for the Vikings to net more than a late-round pick. Of course, teams are only awarded picks based on free agency gains and losses. The Vikings would lose said pick if they signed an unrestricted free agent of the same value.