Prognosticators who said they didn’t expect the Vikings to be very active in free agency were right on the money. In fact, to say the Vikings would be “inactive” would’ve been a gross understatement – they have been downright moribund. There’s a combination of factors at work here I’m assuming: 1) The lack of really worthwhile talent on the market; 2) The team’s belief that some of their own younger guys are ready to step in at key positions, and; 3) The availability of solid draft prospects at places like tackle, receiver and quarterback. In other words, the Vikes made up their mind that they weren’t going to spend a bunch of money just to spend it, and certainly weren’t going to concern themselves with our perception of their lack of aggressiveness. That they pursued T.J. Houshmandzadeh at all was, I still believe, a sort of what-the-heck shot they decided to take after Housh’s ESPN remarks about liking Adrian Peterson (remarks I still think Housh only made as part of a ploy to crank up his asking price). Unfortunately, I think the failure to secure Matt Birk might have been a case of underplaying a little too much. It’s fine to go with an overall strategy of fiscal prudence, especially when most of what’s out there ain’t worth having, but when it’s your own guy, and the price tag is hardly ridiculous, and you’re way under the cap and you’re getting dangerously thin along the line? That might be a time to buck your own strategy and just give the guy his money.
There’s one thing I know for sure: It’s now officially too late for the Vikings to make any kind of splash in free agency. The guys that could’ve mattered are all gone. There’s nothing left but crap to pick up for depth. Maybe they’ll be active on draft day…or maybe some guys will get cut in cap moves later on. Maybe it’s just hangover from the Housh disappointment, but it’s pretty hard to get psyched about any of it right now. Frankly, I’m ready for baseball.