After months of deliberating over a roster that over-achieved to reach 10 wins and get in to the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings took a step to re-image their current selves by releasing one of the stalwarts on the offensive side. On Monday, wide receiver Michael Jenkins was released from the team, ending his amazing two year stint with the Vikings.
It was an abrupt end for a player who caught Christian Ponder's first NFL starting pass, a 72 yard reception that he was too slow to bring in the endzone, instead being tackled on the two yard line. Yet he remained a model of consistency. He followed his 3 touchdowns, 38 receptions, 466 yard season in 2011 with an explosion of offense in 2012, netting 2 touchdowns, 40 receptions, and 449 yards.
Despite this rock of consistency, the Vikings apparently decided to part ways. Jenkins was due a roster bonus of $2.425 Million in the coming weeks, and the Vikings decided that money could instead be better spent differently. Where, you ask? We explore:
$2.425 million doesn't seem like a TON of money in the NFL world, but it's a lot of money to mere peasants like me, Vikings fans, and VIKTOR the VIKINGS coke habit. By cutting the always reliable Jenkins, the Vikings are free to use that money elsewhere (*note, don't know if actually true). So where is the most likely place to spend that cash?
The Vikings may look to spend it internally, on their own free agents. The common suggestion would be to squeeze every penny you can and present an attractive new contract offer to wide receiver Percy Harvin. However, many Vikings fans seem to think Percy isn't worth that kind of money, despite playing in half the games that Jenkins did in 2012 and recording 200+ more yards and 20+ more receptions.
Instead, the Vikings may look to spend that money to strengthen the parts of their receiving corps that are already super, super strong. For instance, they may want to extend Devin Aromoshadu who is always a reliable catch, or emerging Stephen Burton who is such a great blocker on the outside during Adrian Peterson running plays (see; all the offensive snaps), or even buy new robotic parts for Greg Childs' new knees. We can rebuild him, we have the technology.
In reality, none of these things are likely to happen. And why should they? It appears Vikings coaches are finally getting smart to finally seeing their team for what they really are ... Adrian Peterson. Cutting Michael Jenkins doesn't mean they are trying to improve the receiving corps, it just means they are doing work to help the running game. It's addition by subtraction! Why tie up resources in a player who will never see the field when your best game plan continues to be to hand the ball to Purple Jesus for 52 carries a game? The other offensive possessions can go to Percy.
With this knowledge, expect additional cuts to be made in the coming weeks, including Stephen Burton, Toby Gerhart, Joe Webb, John Sullivan, Kyle Rudolph, Devin Aromoshadu, Matt Kalil, Rhett Ellison, Chad Greenway, Chris Cook, Leslie Frazier, Allan Williams, VIKTOR, Ragnar, and pretty much anyone who is not Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, or Chris Kluwe.
It's now a three man game, people. Let's roll.