McNabb Acquisition The Best Of Both Worlds For Vikings

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 29, 2011 – 5:22 pm

The much-anticipated trade between the Vikings and Washington Redskins involving QB Donovan McNabb was finalized on Friday. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the Vikings come away with a six-time Pro Bowler and a passer who is playoff tested (16 career playoff games) and eager to get back to the postseason.

This is the second time Vikings fans have welcomed a new QB to town this offseason; Christian Ponder was selected by the club in the first round (#12 overall) of last April’s NFL draft. In addition to McNabb and Ponder, Vikings fans are also anxious to see Joe Webb play, especially after he flashed some promise late in the 2010 season.

With a couple of young QBs already in the fold, some Vikings fans would prefer the team stick with the young guns in an attempt to develop a long-term plan. Yet others are enthusiastic about the prospects of landing McNabb because he gives the team a legitimate shot to reclaim division supremacy and make it back to the playoffs.

But I think both camps should feel satisfied. In the short-term, the Vikings are in it to win it. The roster has talented players in key spots – DE Jared Allen, WR Percy Harvin, RB Adrian Peterson, DT Kevin Williams and CB Antoine Winfield – and now another huge talent was added at perhaps the game’s most important position.

At the same time, can you think of another veteran QB who was readily available this offseason who would’ve been a better example for Ponder and Webb? There’s nothing wrong with a young QB sitting back for a bit and watching an experienced veteran work his craft. Assuming McNabb grabs a hold of the starting job, there will be no pressure on Ponder or Webb to step into the starting lineup on the road against San Diego in Week 1 and lead a talented roster full of Pro Bowlers back to the playoffs.

The acquisition of McNabb is a “best of both worlds” proposition for the Vikings. It gives them the experience and talent at the position to be a winner this year and it gives Ponder and Webb (and Rhett Bomar) a veteran influence in the meeting room, in the locker room and on the field.

What do you think of the move, Vikings fans?

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Vikings A Suitor For WR Michael Jenkins?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 29, 2011 – 8:01 am

It was just over 24 hours ago that we took a look at Sidney Rice’s departure and where the Vikings would go from there. In doing so, we listed 13 WRs on the market and assessed if and how they would fit in well with the Vikings.

In a sign of how quickly things can change, especially in this hyper-active environment of player movement because of the lockout, there is a WR on the market who might jump to the front of the line – Michael Jenkins.

Jenkins was a first-round pick (#29 overall) of the Atlanta Falcons back in 2004, but he was recently released by the Falcons and is now free to sign with any team. Jenkins became dispensable because the Falcons made a blockbuster trade in last April’s draft to jump into the Top 10 picks and select WR Julio Jones.

In seven seasons with the Falcons, Jenkins never quite produced up to the level you expect from a first-round WR. He did have 7 TDs in 2006, but he never caught more than 53 passes in a season and then his opportunities really decreased when Roddy White came onto the scene.

So why is he a potential fit in Minnesota? For starters, the Vikings do have several bodies on the WR depth chart who are capable of proving themselves in training camp. But it never hurts to add more talent, and there’s no denying Jenkins’ talent and there’s also no denying that Rice’s departure to Seattle leaves a vacancy on the Vikings depth chart.

Digging deeper, though, remember that the Vikings new offensive coordinator is Bill Musgrave, who came to Minnesota after five seasons as an assistant coach in Atlanta. Also, I’ve often described Vikings WRs coach George Stewart as one of the best in the business, and he was the Falcons WRs coach for four seasons from 2003-06.

If you go back and read the last three paragraphs closely, you’ll discover that the only season Jenkins, Musgrave and Stewart were all in Atlanta together was Jenkins most productive campaign in terms of TDs.

So in summary, there is an opportunity at WR for Jenkins with the Vikings and he’d be working with a pair of familiar coaches. I’m not privy to his injury history and I certainly haven’t watched enough film of him to diagnose how much he’s got left in the tank, but on the surface level a union between Jenkins and the Vikings makes some sense.

We’ll see what happens, so stay tuned…

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