The Minnesota Vikings Offseason 2020 will likely be determined by the draft and the player who leaves the team. Key members of the Viking defense last year – Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, among others – have signed (or will sign) with other organizations.
While general manager Rick Spielman did not have much salary space to work by bringing in top-level free agents, he did make a number of significant steps in the offseason by signing midfielder Kirk Cousins to contract extension and wide trading receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. The Vikings also made a pair of signing the impact on the open market by carrying defensive tackle Michael Pierce and broad recipient of Tajae Sharpe.
FOX Sports North collects scores and reactions of Spielman’s movements from all over the NFL world and collects average point-values at the bottom of this story. Let’s dive into:
Pete Prisco from CBS
Michael Pierce: B +. “Pierce replaced Linval Joseph, who was released by the Vikings for hat reasons earlier this week. Pierce is a good runner when he keeps his weight in check. He had a problem with that last year. ”
Bill Barnwell from ESPN.com
Kirk Cousins extension: C +. “The structure of this agreement is what keeps the Vikings in the cousin’s business. As is the case with Ryan Tannehill’s extension, Cousins has a basic salary of 2020 and 2021 guaranteed now, while his basic salary in 2022 of $ 35 million is fully guaranteed at the start of next season. The Vikings could theoretically cut their cousins next spring, but they would still owe $ 56 million in guaranteed base salary for the next two seasons. Antonio Brown’s trade broke our hopes of what the team was willing to absorb in terms of dead money, but Minnesota almost certainly didn’t cut off cousins. ”
Trade Stefon Diggs: B. “If the Vikings will move from Diggs, this might be the time to do it. This trade freed $ 5.5 million in the cap room for them to try to work on a long-term deal for the safety of Anthony Harris, which was unexpectedly maintained with the franchise tag Monday morning. The Vikings now have two first-round picks (No. 22 and 25) and two third-round picks in what appears to be a broad receiver class. ”
Michael Pierce: B. “The Vikings basically exchanged Linval Joseph for Pierce, and while Pierce does not offer Joseph’s reverse-rushed pass, I like this swap. Pierce was four years younger and completely immobile in his time with the Ravens. He is usually just a two-down defender, but he might be the best in the league in that role now because Damon Harrison has declined. ”
Stefon Diggs trading: short term – D; long term – B-. “Diggs has been unhappy for a long time in Minnesota, and it’s only a matter of time before he is traded. The Bills have just made Josh Allen some serious weapons on offense with the 26-year-old Diggs, and the Vikings got the first round choice. Compensation was heavy – far more than Texas managed for DeAndre Hopkins. ”
Michael Pierce: short term – A; long term – B +. “Pierce is only 27 years old, and is one of the league’s top run feeders after entering the league as a free agent who has not been registered in 2016. He will be very compatible with Minnesota’s already starred defense, which had some problems stopping the process last season, especially in playoffs against 49ers. ”
Kirk Cousins Extension: D. “I feel this step is very stupid. Vikings made a big mistake when they initially signed Cousin for a deal that was fully guaranteed. They have experienced pedestrian quarterbacking ever since, standing zero chance against 49ers in losing the division round playoffs. It’s clear that cousins aren’t good enough to lead the team deep into the playoffs, but the Vikings are somehow unaware of this. Conversely, like drug addicts, they come back to get more, even though what they are doing is obviously terrible for them. ”
Michael Pierce: A. “Pierce is not the same type of player as Linval Joseph in his heyday, but he has better talent now because he is four years younger. Pierce didn’t offer some kind of rush pass, but he was a terrible run-stuffer. Minnesota will be very difficult to run as long as Pierce clogs the trench, so adding it is a good idea. He signed a contract at a low price, so I say this step is worth an “A” value. ”
Tajae Sharpe: B. “I have seen some people praise this as a replacement for Stefon Diggs. I see this more as a replacement for Laquon Treadwell. Tajae Sharpe is not a very good recipient. He runs the route well, but he is not very talented. The last time he caught more than 26 passes was his 2016 rookie campaign. Indeed, Sharpe has never played with a good passer, but that will continue to be the case in Minnesota. However, this is only a contract worth $ 1 million, so there are absolutely no losses. Sharpe is the third recipient that’s okay, so the price is right for him. ”
Kirk Cousins Extension: A. “Cousin came from the best playoff season of the best career and deserves to secure his future in Minnesota beyond the 2020 season. The Vikings could not mess with the rumors of 49ers and Kyle Shanahan might be more interested in signing a cousin. next offseason.
Stefon Diggs trading: B +. “This deal is very good for Minnesota, considering that Diggs doesn’t really want to make it work with Cousin and coach MIke Zimmer. For the bill, not too much, because they have to give up the first round, fourth round, fifth round and sixth round. ”
Michael Pierce: A. “The Viking moved quickly with the younger substitute Linval Joseph after cleaning some of the hat halls by cutting Joseph and the others. Pierce is a solid force for the defense run by Ravens and will act as MIke Zimmer. ”
Doug Farrar from Touchdown Wire
Michael Pierce: A. “One of the best defense tackles ever in the NFL, Pierce had to give Linval Joseph an increase in the Minnesota defense after Joseph was released in a salary restriction movement. Weighing 6 feet-0 and 345 pounds, Pierce brings strange strength and surprising speed to the field, and although he is not a formidable defender, he is very good at what he does. He will be a valuable addition to the Viking defense that has undergone many changes. ”
Kirk Cousins extension: C. “It’s hard to know exactly how it feels with the Cousins extension. On the one hand, he finished the 2019 season with an overall score of 84.1 which is one of the better signs among quarterbacks in the league. But, at this point, it seems unlikely Cousins will be the one to increase the offense regardless of the talent around him. ”
Trade Stefon Diggs: D. “On the other hand, this is not a bad deal for the Vikings. Regardless of his talent, Diggs clearly wants to get out of Minnesota, and unlike Texas, the Vikings did indeed choose the first round pick for Diggs along with some final round choices – However, it is difficult to feel great by handing over a legitimate top-level wide receiver, and now the Vikings are left with conspicuous holes in positions with unproven depth behind Adam Thielen.
Michael Pierce: C. “The Vikings have to part with old starter Linval Joseph, but it seems they don’t waste time to find a replacement. Pierce is a classic space eater in the middle of defense. He had a bad year by his standards in 2019, but he got a run-defense score of 80.0 or higher in each of his first three seasons with a run-high-career 92.0 run-high score in 2018. Elite play against the run makes it one of the 25 most valuable interior defenders per PFF WAR in 2017 and 2018. With an average annual salary of $ 9 million, this is a bit on the expensive side, but Pierce will definitely play a definite role in Mike’s defense Zimmer ”
Kirk Cousins extension: C +. “Given their cap situation, working on extensions that lower cousin cap numbers for 2020 is always in the Viking’s best interests. The alternative is soft rebuilding and resetting in the quarterback position. Now Minnesota is committed to two more years of cousins at a reasonable price. ”
Trade Stefon Diggs: B – “Getting rid of elite talent in valuable positions is rarely a good thing, but Diggs is fed up in Minnesota so I’m not sure the Vikings have many choices on this issue. At the very least, they did not attract Houston and gave a male recipient for a bag of stale potato chips. Diggs left a gaping hole in the receiver, but now the Vikings have an extra first round on the draft full of accepting talent. That could be much worse, Viking fans. ”
Kirk Cousins extension: 2.32 (note: 5 values)
Stefon Diggs Trading: short term – 2.2; long term – 2.54 (note: 5 values; we use D for PFF below the average)
Michael Pierce: short term – 3.47; long term – 3,37 (note: 7 values; we use C for the average PFF)
Tajae Sharpe: 3.0 (note: 1 class)