Apr 19, 2007
I’m embarrassed to say that the signing of Cortez Hankton slipped past me this week. Everyone’s making a big deal about New England’s off-season, and I suppose they have a point. Adalius Thomas, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker, Sammy Morris, and Kelly Washington are decent players.
But check out this off-season bonanza: Bobby Wade, Vishante Shiancoe, AND Hankton.
In your face, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli.
I know they are not, but the Vikings off-season would appear to support the notion that Brad Childress and Rick Spielman are functionally retarded. They certainly seem to lack the necessities to effectively manage their football team.
I’ve said from Day One that Childress will go down as an 8-8 guy. He’s not horrible, like Mike Tice was, but he’s still mediocre. Speilman, however, is an abomination, and the 1-2 punch of Childress and Spielman could set the Minnesota franchise back five years. This Spielman guy makes Matt Millen look like the NFL’s version of John Schuerholz. Spielman knows football, or else he wouldn’t have a job in the NFL, but he is severely lacking in the decision-making department. Like when he traded a 2nd round pick for A.J. Feeley, for example. The Eagles got Reggie Brown with that pick. He severely overpaid for Lamar Gordon, when Ricky Williams retired. Gordon is out of the league. Spielman also traded away a 4th round pick to Minnesota to move up one spot. No, he didn’t take Miami DT Vince Wilfork; he took Vernon Carey, a desperation move.
There’s no way you can look at the Vikings’ acquisitions and think Spielman must be sitting in his office each day with a huge grin on his face, thinking he’s made coup after coup in free agency.There’s no way Spielman can believe, in his heart of hearts, that he’s put his football team in the best position to succeed. Which leads to a question: What the hell are they doing?
I honestly don’t know, but I do know the Vikings, known for offensive juice for over a decade, are looking at a 2007 season in which their offensive hopes will lie with the following players:
- Tarvaris Jackson – Do not fear; they have Brooks Bollinger if Jackson struggles.
- Vishante Shiancoe – He looked great on his 12 career receptions. Hire that man!
- Bobby Wade – Before you rip the pickup, keep in mind the Vikings got this role player for only $15 million.
- Cortez Hankton – Charger RB Michael Turner can’t crack his starting lineup, so let’s not get too down on Hankton, who has been behind two all-time greats in Matt Jones and Reggie Williams.
- Billy McMullen – The Vikings make a nice 7th round pick last year in WR Hank Baskett, but McMullen’s upside was too tantalizing to resist, so they traded him to Philly. It’s hard to argue; when was the last time an offensive player excelled under Andy Reid in Philadelphia?
And then, today, the coup de grace. The Vikings signed Todd Lowber, a former Division III college basketball player and high-jumping champion, to a three-year contract after he worked out for the team Wednesday. Lowber (6-3, 205) has never played organized football, but this is especially comical to me because Lowber starred in basketball at the one and only Richard Stockton College, located just miles from my house and also the offices of this company. This college is so lame in all areas that I have made it very clear to my oldest son that if he decides to go there, I’m not paying. If he gets accepted to Princeton, I’ll pay. Room, board, books, expenses, and more. But I won’t pay a dime if he goes to this school.
Lowber reportedly ran a 4.3 40-yard dash when he worked out for scouts a few weeks ago. “He has such freakish talent,” said his agent, Jim Ulrich. “Who knows what’s going to happen when he puts the pads on?”I’d like to venture a guess: he’s going to get his ass kicked. Really, there’s only one explanation for all this insanity. Clearly, Spielman and Childress are trying to pull off the old opposite trick made famous by one George Costanza.
And if they keep this up much more, Mr. Childress, bald like Costanza, may be uttering the following line somewhere, to someone, very soon:
“My name is Brad. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.”