February 27, 2008
DE May No Longer Mean Dead-End

On Monday, I discussed who the Vikes may be targeting in the upcoming 2008 NFL Draft. That would be Limas Sweed out of Texas. That may not bode well with the defensive minded Vikings fan but just because the DE position may not be addressed with the first round of the draft one must not forget the Vikes are a billion dollars under the salary cap this year.

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I really wanted the Vikes to be able to pursue Jared Allen. But then along came the nasty viral tag and it could be closed...or is it?

Allen was given the Franchise Tag by the Kansas City Chiefs. But more importantly, the Chiefs used the "non-exclusive tag", meaning that Allen could still be in play. Dumb, methinks, on the part of the Chiefs. Clearly they are not serious about keeping Allen. Why is the non-exclusive part of the equation so important?

Had the Chiefs used the "exclusive" tag, it would have paid Allen more money (for one season) but makes it impossible for other teams to even try and get him. With the "non-exclusive", other teams can sign him, in return for two first round picks. Tempting, but perhaps too much of a gamble. Still worth a consideration.

There are two other note-worthy names that I wanted to put forward for consideration. One is Antwan Odom of the Titans. Odom is a 6-5, 274 lb John Randle-esque of a man who burst onto the scene in 2007 accumulating eight sacks in limited duty. I worry that the Vikes could get into a bidding war and over-pay for the services of Odom as he has already stated that he'll give the Titans the first chance to sign him before free agency begins. In addition, prior to the 2007 campaign, Odom never had more than two sacks. Lastlly, Odom's production could have been a product of teams focusing on Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The other name could be off the board before long: Chris Canty. The Dallas Cowboys are expected to tender Chris Canty at the highest level. What that does is force other teams to pay compensation of first- and third-round picks to get them in the event Dallas didn't match an offer sheet. Not impossible, but I'd hate to lose two draft choices for a player you may be rolling the dice on.

Whichever route the Vikes take to address DE and WR will be fun to watch. And it will give bloggers enough fodder to make it to spring.

Coming Later This Week

- a podcast with Foge Fazio from prior to the 1997 season. Fazio was the Vikes defensive coordinator

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at February 27, 2008 1:02 AM