Unless you were living in a cave last night you saw or heard that the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Houston Texans moving their record to 2-13. This throws a wrench into the equation of which team secures the top pick in April’s draft for the rights to select Stanford phenom Andrew Luck. The debate rages on today of if the Vikings sit at number one do they select Luck moving on from Christian Ponder at quarterback or stick with Ponder trading away the Luck pick to the highest bidder, which could fetch a boatload of other draft picks. All this being said, it is much more complicated.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf’s number one goal is to secure a stadium within the state of Minnesota. In doing so he must create hype around the team with promise of a bright future. If the Vikings finish the season with their worst record in franchise history of 2-14, which of the two options gives the public more hope — Cleaning house of everyone (including Ponder & the entire coaching staff) and rebuilding around Luck or sticking with the current regime? There are those who say that if the Vikes fire Frazier that Wilf wouldn’t want to pay a second coach’s severance in as many years, but several million to go away is chump change compared to the $400+ million Wilf’s pledged towards a new stadium. On top of that there’s the squabble this teams problem is more along the offensive line, yet the Vikings could just as easily trade Ponder (who would figure to fetch a 2nd or 3rd round pick) and target offensive linemen after selecting Luck.
The other man in the equation would be agent Tom Condon. Luck has yet to hire an agent to represent him; however it is widely assumed he will go with Creative Artists Agency that is run by Condon and other fellow super agent Ben Dogra. Most Vikings fans recognize Dogra’s name as he represents running back Adrian Peterson. Yes, Adrian is under contract to the tune of $100 million over 7-years; yet it is asinine to suggest our All World running back won’t be in Dogra’s ear this offseason voicing how he feels about the current state of the Minnesota Vikings. Would the Vikings really run the risk of alienating one of the league’s most popular who’s tied to CAA and already voiced his frustration after last week’s 6th straight loss only receiving 10 carries? Running backs do have a short shelf life, Adrian will be 27 when next season begins & the Vikings must show they’re committed to rebuilding quickly to avoid more vocal outbursts.
In the end, all of this could be meaningless if Vikings win one of their two last games and end up picking anywhere but first. Rest assured that Ponder, Leslie Frazier & Bill Musgrave were paying as much attention to last nights game as anyone and now have the goal of winning one to save their employment with the purple. We don’t know how this will all play out (no pun intended), but for the first time in a little while we’re actually interested in watching.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig