Did a Ballooning Sharrif Floyd Prompt Vikings to Pursue Henry Melton?


May 29, 2013; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (95) runs through drills at organized team activities at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings’ sudden and seemingly very serious pursuit of former Bears DT Henry Melton had to qualify as one of the more surprising developments of the free agency period.

Most of us went into free agency assuming the Vikings already had a locked-down starting 3-tech in 2013 first round draft pick Sharrif Floyd. Which made their interest in Melton seem rather inexplicable.

Some tried to explain it away as a case of the Vikings going for rotational depth behind the still-developing Floyd. But a lot of us didn’t really buy this argument, believing that if Melton came in, he would by virtue of his superior ability earn starting snaps over Floyd, relegating Floyd to a second-fiddle role just a year after being taken in the first round.

Normally, you don’t go after starting caliber players at the same position where you just spent a first round pick the year before. Unless you think the player you picked in the first round the year before isn’t a scheme fit for your new coach.

Or, if you think the player isn’t taking good enough care of himself?

It now seems that concerns about Floyd’s physical conditioning may have played a part in the Vikings’ pursuit of Melton. In a Saturday Pioneer-Mess story, we learned that Floyd has given up meat and since March 7 has dropped from 330 all the way down to 305.

It just so happens that, not long after Floyd began his new weight-reducing diet, the Vikings made a hard push for someone who was good enough to move Floyd out of his starting spot.

It doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together on this one. It seems the Vikings were worried about Floyd’s conditioning. Worried enough to not only insist that he lose weight but give him a little incentive.

Ultimately, the Vikings were unable to land Henry Melton, who signed with Dallas.

If the pursuit of Melton was at least partly a means of motivating Sharrif Floyd to get his weight down, it seemingly worked, as he has now dropped 25 pounds.

Hopefully this wake up call was enough to ensure that Floyd will be more serious about his conditioning from now on. The last thing we need is a defensive tackle version of Bryant McKinnie on this team

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