The NFC North division is stacked with intrigue and the Minnesota Vikings are no exception. They made arguably the biggest splash in the NFL draft when they collected three first round picks in Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson. With such an influx of young talent it does create uncertain situations for some of the veterans on the roster. That normally means eventual release, but is there a possibility Minnesota could work a trade this season?
No one will admit it but there is no denying it’s in the air. All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen has the feel of a man who is ready to leave his team if they don’t make progress towards a championship in 2013. He is a free agent next year and could take his double digit sack production with him, leaving the Minnesota Vikings without their far and away best pass rusher. If that is the way things are going, a bad start could mean all the difference. That would force the Vikings to shop him elsewhere in hopes another team is willing to pick up his contract. The attraction is they would get him for half a season and have first crack at re-signing him in 2014. At age 31 the value isn’t quite as high as in years past but he could still fetch a nice price.
Who would’ve ever thought Matt Cassel could make somebody expendable? Yet that may be the case for Joe Webb. After a disastrous playoff showing against Green Bay, the stock for the 26-year old is at rock bottom as a quarterback. Having Cassel in as the expected backup means the team has no real need of Webb at the third string. On the other hand his sheer physical ability could entice certain teams. One might think Webb an ideal fit for the trendy pistol offense taking the league by storm. That means teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, and Kansas City Chiefs all could make good use of an athletic specimen like Webb. The most they would net is a low round pick but that is more than most teams could hope for from a third-string quarterback.
The curious case of Jerome Simpson continues. The Youtube sensation who showcased his freakish athleticism in Cincinnati had a forgettable first season for the Vikings. Hope remains high he can make bigger contributions as quarterback Christian Ponder develops but that is not looking good any longer. Minnesota signed four-time Pro Bowler Greg Jennings in free agency and then drafted Patterson in the first round. They also have promising youngster Jarius Wright waiting for more chances of his own. Simpson has to hope he can hold off the youngsters to keep his roster spot. The key to that his staying healthy and out of trouble. Otherwise he could end up on the block, where another team might throw away a late round choice to test his athletic potential.