NFL free agency is right around the corner, but while most fans are dreaming of what they hope their teams by, not every team is going to be in the market to acquire a big name, big money player. The Minnesota Vikings have made it known in the recent past that they’re a real contender when it comes to attempting to bring in name talent, from Steve Hutchinson to Jared Allen and Chester Taylor. But according to Vikings beat reporter Judd Zulgad, the days of free spending in Minnesota seem to be over.
Last year the Vikings appointed Rick Spielman as the teams new general manager. Prior to Spielman’s appointment, owners Mark and Zigy Wilf were in charge of cutting checks for players and they seemed to be pretty liberal in how they went about spending their money. But after the Brad Childress era came to an end, the Wilfs have become much more conservative and the build through the draft mantra that soaked the Vikings offseason last year is still in place as they prepare to enter Spielman’s second offseason in charge of the front office.
Zulgad notes that the Vikings philosophy is to use free agency to supplement their roster, not build it, and while there are areas that could use improvement the team isn’t going to break the $15 million bank. Remember, the Vikings needed a wide receiver last year as well and did make a run at Pierre Garçon until he exited their financial comfort zone.
Despite the fact that the club may be forced to deal star wide out Percy Harvin, this season may be no different when it comes to luring in the likes of Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings or any other top free agent talent.
This year’s free-agency period will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday, and the Vikings have a variety of areas at which they could use an upgrade. This includes wide receiver, defensive line and linebacker. … This could result in the expectation that the team will dive headfirst into the bidding for a class of wide receivers that will include Greg Jennings of Green Bay and Mike Wallace of Pittsburgh. Don’t count on that happening. … It’s likely Jennings and Wallace will be too rich for the Vikings’ blood.
Vikings fans have been waiting for their team to get into their old spending habits, but until the current philosophy pays off it seems the money will be kept in-house. Remember that the Vikings were a playoff team last year, and even though they may not have deserved to be there and their exit from the postseason was beyond ugly, the only thing the front office cares about is the fact that the roster last year made it to the playoffs.
As Zulgad says, don’t blame Spielman for this, blame the blueprint.