Thanks to all the readers who submitted questions via Twitter for this morning’s Vikings Q & A session. Let’s get started …
Any O-line or cornerbacks left in free agency that would be worth the Vikings pursuing?
MC: The pickings are below slim after the big first wave and ensuing one-year prove-it deals. One head-scratcher is cornerback Logan Ryan, who’s 29 and coming off a solid season in Tennessee. The fact he’s still unsigned means his asking price is unreasonable and could drop as many teams have plugged holes at the position. Having discarded their top three corners, the Vikings must consider all possible options that remain. Meanwhile, at offensive line, Cameron Erving is an intriguing prospect at guard. In five seasons with the Browns and Chiefs, the former first-round pick has played all five O-line positions. The 6-5, 313-pounder helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl last year by starting eight games at left tackle when Eric Fisher was injured. He’s 27 and presumably affordable considering the Chiefs declined an option that would have paid him $3.25 million for this season.
Who is your favorite to win the NFC North prior to the draft?
MC: Green Bay. Sorry. The Packers have the best defense at this point, and they have a fella named Rodgers at QB. The Vikings have to answer a lot of question marks before I can dive all in on them. As for Chicago, is Nick Foles really the answer? And Detroit is, well, Detroit.
Is the Anthony Harris trade going to happen?
MC: I think he stays in Minnesota. Knowing Anthony’s personality, I think he signs an extension that pleases both sides. That would be ideal because the Vikings certainly don’t need another gaping hole to fill.
Do players on guaranteed contracts get paid if the season is delayed or canceled due to Coronavirus?
MC: Yes. But presumably they would have to wait until a season is played considering standard NFL contracts say payments are made in “equal weekly or bi-weekly installments over the course of the applicable regular-season period.”
Which position you think minn would draft first? CB or WR.
MC: I’ll say WR, but don’t rule out DE. Or DT. Or OT. The Vikings need to take the best player available at any one of those positions. Picking a potentially good WR over a potentially great player at one of those other positions makes no sense to me.
Are the Vikings still looking at trading for Trent Williams?
MC: I don’t see them investing the necessary draft capital and then paying $20 million a year to someone who will be 32 this season. They have too many needs.
What is your dream draft scenario for the Vikings in the 1st round?
MC: If I were you guys, I’d be dreaming of a dominant left tackle who’s good to go from Day 1 to Year 10. Yes, that’s a big dream.
Do you think the loss of Griffen will have an impact on the locker room?
MC: I don’t think so. And that’s no slight against Everson. NFL players are a resilient bunch. Each season, they adapt quickly to changing dynamics to form a new team.
Dalvin holdout or extension?
MC: Good question. The primary reason for Dalvin to hold out – risk of injury – also is the primary reason the Vikings should be hesitant to extend. Cook is an outstanding running back, but I wouldn’t overpay even an outstanding one in today’s NFL. Especially one whose durability is a concern. Can Cook trust NFL free agency to reward him for a great 2020 season if he shows up without an extension? Probably not since he’s a running back. It’s quite the pickle for the player and a team with multiple needs.
Assuming the requisite moves are made to free up cap space, could Jadeveon Clowney be a target in FA?
MC: Don’t think so. Not when he’s asking for $20 million a year. Not when the Vikings have multiple needs.
If the Vikings go to a hybrid defense how will that impact Danielle Hunter? Capers used Julius Peppers as an elephant in his defense in Green Bay. Is that the role you would see Hunter in?
MC: Danielle might be the best athlete on the team. I think he would excel in anything they ask of him. We’re just scratching the surface with how good Hunter will become.
Who will be the #2 WR when the season starts? Is he currently on the roster?
MC: I don’t think the No. 2 receiver is on the roster currently. Bisi Johnson surprised us last year and could take an even bigger step this year. Tajae Sharpe was a necessary signing. But I think the No. 2 WR will come from this year’s deep rookie class.
Anthony Harris photo by Carlos Gonzalez.