Finally, the NFL owners (Billionaires) and NFL players (Millionaires) came to an agreement and the lockout was lifted with not a moment (Or dollar) to spare. (Seriously, was there any doubt the NFL would allow the lockout to continue risking the loss of billions of dollars?)
However, now that the lockout is over all 32 NFL teams are scrambling to sign players and rework contracts to get under the $120 million salary cap set for 2011. (Hank Baskett should be worried)
* One good thing that came out of the new CBA is the rookie salary cap. No more rookie holdouts and $50 million signing bonus deals. The Vikings signed all ten of their draft picks before camp opened. I cannot remember the last time that happened.
* With the opening of training camp so began the drama. Surprise! Bryant McKinnie showed up to camp out of shape and over weight. He reminds me of the Talking Heads tune, Once In A Lifetime,
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself-Well…How did I get here?
Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
McKinnie reportedly spent the off-season training and conditioning with Venus and Serena Williams so he would be in tip top shape for camp. I’m guessing his workout and fitness video collaboration won’t sell many copies.
* Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, so does the Brett Favre annual retiring watch begin. Hell, the media whore king has already been linked to Philadelphia. Perhaps he can hook up with Randy Moss again. (That worked out well last year) Worse yet, Joe Webb has been linked to Favre in Mississippi working on his mechanics. Favre was quoted as saying he is ready to embrace the role of mentor. (If only I had sharks with laser beams attached to their heads)
* The only number four I want to see on the field is Vikings punter and Twitter extraordinaire Chris Kluwe. You can find Chris on the field practicing his craft by day and being a star on Twitter at night. Check him out here. ChrisWarcraft. (See, he’s like a super hero. Punting by day, Twittering by night, and playing in a band called (Tripping Icarus.) (No Chris, Donovan did not put me up to mentioning your band. Yet!)
* Reports have been coming in from our Grassy Knoll Institute operative assigned to the Viking training camp that several hundred Philadelphia Eagle fans drove across country and have arrived for today’s 3pm practice. They intend to BOO McNabb mercilessly when he takes the field for the first time. The sentiment among the Eagles fans are that they just want Donovan to feel at home.
* Do you think the Vikings panicked when Sidney Rice signed with Seattle? Let’s find out. The Vikings now have 14 receivers, not including tight ends on the roster right now. But do not fret Viking fans. The passing game will be fine. Face it, Rice was hurt 3 out of 4 years on the Vikings. His stats prove this. In his four year stay here, he averaged 36 catches a year, for an average of 532 yards, and 4.5 touchdowns per year. Compare those to Jenkins stats and you got a very good replacement. Jenkins averaged 39 catches a year, 501 yards receiving, and 2.8 touchdowns per year.
For the rest of the receivers, Harvin is a super star, Berrian is now in a contract year, (Can you say motivated) Camarillo is a good possession receiver, Johnson adequate backup, Arosmahodu back up as well. And the other assorted receivers plus Joe Webb, the new “Slash” who will line up at receiver and quarterback.
* Does anyone else have the gut feeling that Randy Moss will be in purple again this season. Just saying.
* Side note: The Grassy Knoll Institute scholars have been busy deciphering the complete works of world renown psychic Nostradamus and his quatrains of the centuries. If you recall, two years ago we believed one particular quatrain referred to the Minnesota Vikings but alas, a minor translation error from French to Latin to English made the quatrain fail. Nostradamus Predicts Vikings To Win Superbowl
However, this year, we have a master linguist in house and a new quatrain sheds significant light on the fate of the Minnesota Vikings in 2011-2012 (Coincidentally also the supposedly the end of civilization as we know it) All will be revealed before the start of the season as the Vikings prepare to do battle once more.
* Every year at this time, I make my standard prediction on the fortunes (Or misfortunes) of the Vikings.
Here is what I see:
A new head coach.
A new Offensive Coordinator.
A new quarterback.
A new Left tackle.
A new receiver.
A new D Tackle.
A new linebacker, (Hope Leber signs but…)
A new corner.
A new safety.
A new defensive end.
But, no new stadium.
With all that in mind, here we go….
McNabb returns to form and has an outstanding season. 3500 yards passing, 30 TD’s, 12 INT’s.
Peterson amasses 1500 yards, 12 TD’s
Jenkins hauls is 40 catches, 605 yards, 5 TD’s.
Harvin amasses 1150 yards receiving, 250 yards rushing, and a combined 12 TD’s.
Jared Allen ropes 15 sacks.
Robison 8.5 sacks. (Didn’t miss Edwards)
Longwell wins two games for the Vikings with clutch kicks.
Kluwe elevates to all pro status averaging over 45 yards per punt, (Net)
The Vikings go 10-6, wanted to say 9-7 because of the lack of mini and training camp, but the pieces are there. They split with the Slackers, Bears, and Lions, but go on to win 7 more games outside the division making them a wild card selection. From there, well, Nostradamus knows….
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL