Odds on What Vikings Fans Will Complain About in 2018
In 2017, the Minnesota Vikings were just one win away from the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they came up short in the NFC Championship Game against the Eagles. This offseason, the team has been busy upgrading the roster through free agency and the NFL Draft while also saying goodbye to a few loyal teammates and coaches. Some of these moves have been publicly questioned by even the staunchest of Vikings supporters. With that said, let’s take a friendly look at some of the biggest complaints that Vikings fans currently have and how they will linger into the 2018 regular season. Additionally, I’ve added some fake odds to each complaint for your sports betting entertainment.
Laquon Treadwell Is a Bust (-1000)
There’s not another player on the Vikings’ roster who needs to step up their production in 2018 more than Treadwell. In his two-year career, Treadwell has 21 receptions for 215 yards. That’s it! Despite being a 1st-round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Treadwell has failed to contribute anything to the Vikings offense.
Treadwell had an excellent junior year for the Ole Miss Rebels in 2015. He finished the year with 82 receptions for 1,153 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He was considered the second-best receiver in the 2016 NFL Draft, which is why the Vikings took him with the 23rd overall pick.
His rookie year was an absolute bust with just 1 reception for 15 yards. His sophomore year saw a bump to 20 receptions for 200 yards. His lack of production has many Vikings fans calling Treadwell a massive draft bust. But don’t worry; Treadwell isn’t letting the criticism get to him. He’s also not letting the passes get to him, either, as he’s barely on the field. And this year, he’ll be lucky to be the #4 receiver.
Folks, it’s perfectly acceptable to complain about Treadwell. After two years, he’s clearly a bust. I expect these complaints to last as long as Treadwell is wearing a purple jersey.
Wasted a Draft Pick on a Kicker (-500)
Okay, so we all know that the Vikings have a very solid team and should compete, once again, for a playoff spot. With that said, the front office felt that drafting a kicker in the 2018 NFL Draft was a priority. Although it was in the 5th round, Minnesota’s selection of Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson was met with some criticism from fans. I have to agree. Who drafts a kicker anymore? Especially when you already have an experienced kicker on the roster.
Ironically, there’s a legit chance that Carlson will win the kicking spot by beating out the incumbent starter Kai Forbath. Carlson continues to outkick Forbath during OTAs, and he brings a fresh face to a team that was on the wrong end of a few bad Forbath kicks last year.
In 2017, Forbath only connected on 87.2% of his extra points, as he missed 5 of them. That earned Forbath the second-worst rating in the NFL. In the 1.5 seasons that Forbath has been with the team, he’s connected on only 88.7% of his field goals. In his Vikings career, Kai has gone 47-of-53, with all six misses coming in the 2017 season.
You can clearly see why the Vikings wanted some kicking competition. However, I still agree with the fan complaints over spending a 5th-round pick on a kicker. If Forbath ends up winning the kicking job, then that pick was an absolute waste.
Mike Remmers Is Overpaid (-250)
It seems like every NFL team has at least one offensive lineman that fans complain about, whether it’s their poor blocking, high salary, or combination of both. Well, Minnesota has one of these players, and his name is Mike Remmers. Last year, Remmers was signed as a free agent on a 5-year, $30 million deal after a few productive years with the Carolina Panthers.
In addition to his toughness, Remmers showed a great deal of versatility along the offensive line as he played both tackle positions. His versatility and experience at both tackle spots made him appealing to the Vikings, who desperately needed some o-line help. Unfortunately, he only played in 11 games for Minnesota due to a back injury and a concussion.
Despite his injury-plagued 2017 season, the Vikings relied on Remmers in the playoffs and moved him to right guard for two playoff games, where he had some success. It appears that the Vikings like the idea of Remmers at right guard, as he will be the odds-on favorite to start at that position this year.
However, his inconsistent play last season drew a grade of 69.6 from Pro Football Focus. Their grading scale places that score as below average and ranked him as the 40th-best tackle in the league. Ouch!
As of now, he’s already one of the highest-paid right guards in the league. Needless to say, unless Remmers really dominates at his position this year, fans are going to keep those complaints rolling throughout the season.
Should’ve Kept Jerick McKinnon (-100)
With Dalvin Cook working his way back from a torn ACL, which he suffered during the 2017 season, the second-year running back is expected to resume his duties as the top rusher for the Vikings. However, there are still some concerns from fans and pundits over whether or not Cook will return to his early-season form from last year when he displayed some impressive football skills. In fact, Cook looked great and had many people claiming he could be the best rookie running back in the league.
After Cook went down, the Vikings turned to McKinnon and Murray to keep the running game trucking along. For the most part, the duo did a great job running the ball, as they totaled over 1,400 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns, and over 500 receiving yards.
McKinnon’s increased workload led to many fans and coaches being impressed with his athleticism and dual-threat versatility. Ultimately, when he became a free agent in the offseason, the San Francisco 49ers swooped in and signed McKinnon to a 4-year, $30 million deal. He’s expected to be the team’s starter and could be a steal in fantasy football.
With that said, some Vikings fans posted and tweeted about their disappointment over the team not keeping McKinnon. In all honesty, Minnesota couldn’t afford to match what the 49ers paid the man.
As McKinnon tears it up in San Francisco this season, and despite having two other capable running backs, you can bet that Vikings fans will complain about the team not keeping him.
Should’ve Kept Teddy Bridgewater (Even)
Speaking of not keeping players, there was a great deal of Minnesota fans who were upset over the team letting Teddy Bridgewater leave as a free agent. The former 2014 1st-round draft pick and starting quarterback left the Vikings and signed a 1-year deal with the New York Jets for a contract that could pay him up to $15 million. Obviously, that’s too much for the Vikings to pay for a backup quarterback.
Unfortunately for Bridgewater, he’s now viewed as an expendable commodity with the Jets, as they also brought back last year’s starter in Josh McCown and drafted quarterback Sam Darnold out of USC with the #3 overall pick.
Despite Bridgewater looking good in OTAs, he’s likely going to end up as the #3 quarterback on the roster, and his salary would be too high to justify paying a 3rd-stringer that much. There’s a good chance that Bridgewater will be looking for a new team before the season starts.
You can expect the Vikings fans to shout from the rooftops for the Purple People Eaters to bring back Teddy if he becomes available. As for now, I expect fans to keep this complaint to a minimum once they see their new quarterback in action.
Bring Back Pat Shurmur (+250)
Last season, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur helped turn the Vikings offense into one of the league’s all-around best. They finished 6th in total yards per game (368 ypg), 6th in passing yards per game (285.5 ypg), and 10th in rushing yards per game (82.5 ypg). Additionally, Shurmur made Case Keenum into one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Shurmur performed so many miracles with this offensive roster that I wouldn’t be surprised if he walked on water, too.
His success with the Vikings last year and his overall professional reputation made him a highly-sought-after candidate for several head coaching vacancies. Ultimately, he landed with the Giants, and I can safely say that he will turn that team around in 2018.
Shurmur’s time with Minnesota has left a positive impression with the Vikings fans, and there are many who wish the team could’ve kept him. If the Minnesota offense falters under new coordinator John DeFilippo in any way, you can bet that Vikings fans will voice their complaints.
Time to Replace Kyle Rudolph as the Top Tight End (+400)
To those Vikings fans who took to social media to complain about Rudolph over the last few months, you guys just need to “relax.” And yes, I said that in my best Aaron Rodgers voice.
Rudolph has been banged up over the last few years, but he’s still producing on the field. In 2016, Rudolph had 83 receptions for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2017, his number fell some, as he only finished with 57 receptions for 532 yards. However, he did finish with 8 touchdowns, which was the second-highest total of his career. Rudolph also scored the only touchdown for the Vikings in their NFC Championship game loss to the Eagles.
Just calm down, Vikings fans. This one is a bit silly. Rudolph had offseason ankle surgery and is already back practicing with his team and new quarterback. The man is a rock for this offense, and he will become one of Cousins’ top targets. Just ask Jordan Reed.
Should Not Have Paid Kirk Cousins That Much Money (+1000)
Can you believe there were a few purple-and-gold knuckleheads complaining about how much money the Vikings signed Kirk Cousins for? I know that I wasn’t the only one who wanted to reach through Twitter and smack them.
It’s rare when a quarterback in his prime becomes a free agent. It’s even rarer when that quarterback chooses to play for Minnesota over the other big-market teams that were courting him. In reality, the Vikings are very lucky to have won the Cousins sweepstakes, and they certainly paid for it.
Minnesota gave Cousins a fully-guaranteed 3-year deal worth $84 million. That’s an average of $28 million per year, which was the highest contract in the league as of his signing. It was also the first fully-guaranteed contract in the history of the NFL. But, Viking fans, especially those of you who dare to complain over the financial details, this is the man that will most likely lead your team back to the promised land. So, the money shouldn’t really matter. Super Bowls are what matters.
In the last 3 years, Cousins has averaged 4,392 passing yards and 27 touchdowns per season. He’s been one of the top quarterbacks in the league during that span. And he’s done all of that with very little talent around him. Now, he goes to a Vikings team with superior receivers, a veteran tight end, a solid running game, and one of the best defenses in the league. I expect Kirk to easily surpass his 3-year averages.
Adam Thielen Is Overrated (+2000)
Okay, this one made me spit milk out of my nose after reading a few Vikings fans complain about Thielen on social media. The buzz over Thielen has been stirred up due to his ranking of #36 on the NFL Network’s Top 100 players. He became the 6th Vikings player to be on the list and the highest-rated as of this writing.
It’s a testament to Thielen’s hard work and rise from obscurity to becoming the team’s most dependable receiver and a fantasy football stalwart. One of the league’s top receivers, Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, stated during the NFL Network’s Top 100 TV show that Thielen is one of the top receivers in the league. That’s big praise for Adam, and he deserves it.
Thielen is a consummate professional who rose from the ashes as an undrafted player out of a Division II school in 2013. He was able to stick with the team as a special teams player. In 2016, Thielen busted out as one of the team’s top receivers with 69 catches for 967 yards and 5 touchdowns. And he did that by starting only 10 games.
In 2017, Thielen signed a 3-year extension with the Vikings, and it paid off in a huge way. The receiver posted his best numbers last season with 91 receptions for 1,276 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was named to his first pro bowl and is now entrenched with Diggs as the Vikings starting duo of receivers.
I can’t wait to see how Thielen does with Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball. No offense to last year’s collection of quarterbacks, but Cousins is better, and it’s going to show up on the field. Many NFL pundits declare that Diggs is on the cusp of becoming an elite receiver in the NFL. I say that Thielen is the one on the cusp. He might not be as explosive as Diggs, but Thielen has more receiving yards and receptions over the last two seasons than Diggs does. And he only has two fewer receiving touchdowns than Diggs.
Cue up the Thielen bandwagon, as I’m driving this thing and running over any complainers that get in the way.