The Vikings‘ offense was far from being in top form last night against the Saints, but does this mean the Vikings must now try for a major fix, or can they simply wait for Brett Favre and his receivers to get on the same page?
The Vikings do have talent at receiver, even without Sidney Rice. However, on the evidence of last night’s game, neither Bernard Berrian nor Percy Harvin is likely to ascend to #1 status anytime soon. Outside of those guys, the team has only journeyman-types like Greg Lewis and Greg Camarillo to rely on.
Favre has a reputation for getting the most out of whatever receiver talent he’s given, so you have to believe he can squeeze enough out of Berrian and Harvin to keep the team afloat until Sidney Rice is ready to return.
Then again, Favre isn’t as young as he used to be. Can we really rely on an old, gimpy quarterback to carry so much of the load? Or does Favre need more talent around him to take the pressure off?
The Vikings may not be in a position to wait and find out if Favre can get in sync with the receivers they have. And this may be why, according to reports, they are once again talking to the San Diego Chargers about wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
Rumor has it that the Vikings inquired about Jackson a couple of weeks ago, but backed off when they learned of Jackson’s outrageous contract demands. There’s no indication now that Jackson is ready to come down from the 5-year, $50-million contract he reportedly wants. But the Vikings may now be so desperate that they’re willing to wildly overpay.
The argument in favor of trading for Jackson and giving him his money is simple: Brett Favre will only be here for one more year, and barring some unforeseen stroke of good fortune (Donovan McNabb becoming available in free agency, for instance), it’s unlikely the Vikings will have anything like a championship caliber quarterback on their roster next season. That being the case, the Vikings need to go all-in for this season, and worry about the financial consequences later.
The arguments against are twofold: One is the money, the other is the fact that Jackson is suspended for at least three games of the season under the league’s personal conduct policy, pending a Thursday hearing, at which point the suspension could be extended to a total of six games. Clearly, if the suspension winds up being six, all bets are off. But if Jackson is required to sit for only three, I see no reason for the Vikings to be scared away.
So what’s the verdict? To me, if you can get Jackson for a second-round pick, you pull the trigger. Yes, the money he’s asking for is more than he’s worth, but then again, he may be the only guy out there who can salvage this season. Of course, the Vikings could always elect to wait and see on Harvin and Berrian. Maybe, with more practice time, one of them will step up and become a dangerous downfield target.