Larry Fitzgerald speculation seems to be the big thing in Viking Nation right now. Okay, I’ll bite. Let’s talk about Larry Fitzgerald going to the Vikings. Why not? Anything’s better than more analysis of what’s wrong with Christian Ponder. (Did you guys notice that Ponder’s footwork tends to get out-of-whack?)
Let’s start with the most obvious question: Where the heck is all this coming from anyway? Well it appears to have begun with some comments from Larry’s father, Twin Cities journalist Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. Senior was at his son’s game in Seattle this weekend and watched the Seahawks destroy Arizona 58-0. Afterward Senior made some pointed remarks about Arizona’s effort. He tweeted, “Definition of team quitting? 9 losses n a row. 9th loss 58-0! Injuries handling of offense worst n NFL. Adrian Wilson & Darnell Dockett situations!”
Senior then recalled a time in high school where he also thought his son’s team had quit. He remembered his response to the frustration. “I transferred [Larry] to Holy Angels,” he tweeted. “This is the NFL. Humbling embarrassing frustrating angering disappointing painful. What happens when u quit!”
Obviously Senior can’t transfer Larry out of Arizona. But you know what he can do? Unwittingly (or maybe wittingly?) start a rumor about his son wanting out of Arizona. Even though his son is currently under contract to Arizona through the 2018 season.
The pointedness of some of Senior’s comments – especially that part about the handling of injured players – has led some to conclude that he was actually speaking for Junior. But Junior has shot down this idea. Junior made it clear that his father is speaking only for himself in this matter. “I enjoy playing for the Arizona Cardinals and I want to continue to play here and try to win,” the receiver said. He also refuted the notion that his teammates quit. He said, “We’re professionals. That will never happen.”
But is that Junior really refuting his father’s comments, or is it Junior playing good cop to his father’s bad cop? You do have the best of both worlds in this situation. Junior can say all the usual stuff to stay in his team’s good graces while his father plays hatchet man by planting stuff in the media.
In the end though, all this talk is really irrelevant. Maybe Junior is disgruntled in Arizona. Unfortunately he’s signed in Arizona through 2018. Unless Arizona is willing to accommodate his wishes for a trade or outright release, he’s not going anywhere.
But would Arizona in fact consider trading Larry Fitzgerald? And might the Vikings have enough to make such a trade happen? Naturally any time you bring up the subject of Vikings trades, the name Percy Harvin is going to come up. Harvin’s unique talent would make him a good trading chip. At least that’s how people see it. The speculators immediately threw out a Harvin-for-Fitzgerald swap with the Vikings graciously throwing in a high draft pick. Cause who needs draft picks when you’re trying to rebuild?
This is the usual ridiculousness. The part about Fitzgerald coming to the Vikings. It’s not happening. The Harvin part though, that I could actually see. In fact I would not be shocked at all if the Vikings are seriously considering floating Harvin in a trade. I don’t know what you could get for him at this point. Certainly not a first. Maybe a second? If some team is really desperate for a receiver and doesn’t mind taking on a malcontent who is seeking a lucrative long-term contract.
But back to the Fitzgerald situation. Look, I know the Vikings’ passing game is terrible. And it’s always fun to fantasize about adding great players. But the Fitzgerald stuff is all just connect-the-dots nonsense. Fitzgerald having ties to Minnesota doesn’t give the rumors any more actual validity. Maybe there’s a team out there willing to cough up a package of picks for Fitzgerald, but that team is not the Vikings.
Rick Spielman just doesn’t operate that way. Haven’t we learned that? Draft picks are precious to Spielman. So is cap space. The Vikings are trying to lose big contracts, not add them. Maybe the old fiscally irresponsible Vikings would’ve tried to make this happen, but the new Vikings? No chance.
And by the way, I don’t know if you noticed, but the Vikings don’t exactly have a reliable quarterback right now. Some might argue that a receiver of Fitzgerald’s caliber would automatically make Christian Ponder better. But are you sure about that? Are you 100% certain that it’s mostly about the receiver talent and not Ponder? Cause I’m not certain. I think it’s at least half Ponder. Obviously Fitzgerald alone doesn’t make for a great passing attack, or Arizona would have a great passing attack even with the garbage they’re running out at QB. And yes I realize Arizona has a terrible offensive line. But the Bears do too and they can still pass the ball. Because they have the QB (Cutler) to go with the top-of-the-line receiver (Marshall).
Even if you did pick up Fitzgerald, you’d still have the QB issue to face. And if the trade involved Percy Harvin, you would no longer have that great weapon in your arsenal. So would you really be better off? I’m not so sure. Fun to speculate though. Beats hammering on Ponder’s lack of pocket presence for another day.
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