A Bonanza of Pro Bowl Caliber Receivers Available. Never Mind the Baggage.


Most agree that the Vikings could use another good wide receiver to flesh out their offensive attack.  Many argue the draft is the best way to go in filling this need, with guys like Percy Harvin and Hakeem Nicks potentially being available when the Vikes pick at no. 22 (Jeremy Maclin looks like he will be gone).  Others say the Vikes should pursue a free agent:  Maybe Bengals Pro Bowler T.J. Houshmandzadeh, maybe Antonio Bryant.  Not many people are advocating the third option – make a trade.  However, were the Vikings to look into this third, seemingly unlikely choice, there would apparently be no shortage of prime ball-catching talent for them to kick the tires on (if you believe the rumor-mongers).  Superagent Drew Rosenhaus alone has three guys he is reportedly shopping around:  Anquan Boldin, who is disillusioned with his situation in Arizona; Chad Johnson, who has thoroughly worn out his welcome in Cincinnati; and, according to a new report, Plaxico Burress, who remains on the outs with the Giants months after the infamous shooting incident.  And this list doesn’t even include a fourth Rosenhaus client, Terrell Owens, who has been rumored to be on his way out of Dallas since about two minutes after he got there (though Rosenhaus is apparently not actively peddling his services to other teams).

Any remotely savvy football observer realizes what the four above-mentioned guys have in common, besides their Pro Bowl credentials:  They are all massive headaches.  Any team that took one of these guys on would be rolling the dice in a huge way – gambling that what the player gave them on the field would balance off the cost of Tylenol, Maalox and frayed relationships with family and colleagues.  Personally, I think it would be unwise for the Vikings to pursue any of those guys.  Boldin is the only one who is still arguably in his prime, but the price of wresting him away from the Cardinals would be too great, and anyway, I don’t think the Cardinals will trade him.  Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens are both on the downside for sure, and Plaxico Burress, though still capable of maybe giving you a Pro Bowl-type season, just has way too much craziness swirling around him.  Wearing saggy pants in a club is one thing, but shooting yourself in the leg in a club?

In the end, the best way for the Vikings to improve their receiver corps would be to get a quarterback who more consisently puts the ball where they can catch it and make something happen.  They could still probably use another servicable receiver though; I’m in favor of them pursuing maybe a mid-level free agent – perhaps Mike Furrey, who was just let go by the Lions and says he can still play despite being put on IR last year.  It would also be helpful if Sidney Rice and Aundrae Allison started living up to their alleged potential.  And as for that first round pick:  They would be wise to go offensive line there.