Wide Left is written by Vikings superfan Blair Anderson, who convinced Bring Me The News that it was a good idea to give him a platform to unleash his emotions.
Two years ago, the Minnesota Vikings were in a position to go all in. For a team that just went to the NFC Championship game, General Manager Rick Spielman saw a chance to go for the jugular on the way to try to capture the Vikings’ first Super Bowl appearance in over 40 years.
With the pressure mounting, Spielman did the best thing he thought he could at the time by signing Kirk Cousins to a monster free-agent deal and the rest is history.
Just 18 games into Cousins’ tenure with the Vikings, it’s clear that some fans have buyer's remorse. While there’s still roughly two seasons to go before the Vikings can sign their next gun for hire (Hello, Andrew Luck!), Spielman’s current task is to make sure the Vikings get to the playoffs after missing that goal in the first season with Cousins at the helm.
So what would put this team over the top? Would it be trading for Trent Williams to replace Riley Reiff at left tackle? Would it be adding another receiver so that Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen don’t run in to double teams each and every week? Actually, it’s none of the above because Mike Zimmer runs this team and there’s only one thing that would make him happy.
In all fairness, the quest to draft all the cornerbacks has worked to an extent. With Mike Hughes coming back from a full knee explosion last October and Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes being just meh, it’s a good idea to load up on everything they can in the secondary.
But let’s add one more, shall we? And the latest cornerback on the market is a doozie as Jalen Ramsey had made like everyone else that has been to Jacksonville and wants out.
On the surface, the opportunity to add Ramsey is a golden one. Just two years ago, Ramsey was one of the best cover corners in the game, collecting four interceptions while leading the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game. However, the wheels came off in Jacksonville last year as the predictable implosion of Blake Bortles led the Jaguars back to the top of the draft order.
After a year trying to mend fences, everything fell apart once again when Ramsey decided to go one-on-one with head coach Doug Marrone on the sidelines. After a postgame conversation with ownership went horribly wrong, Ramsey wants to be somewhere else.
Adding Ramsey to the Vikings secondary is a no-brainer until you realize that it’s going to cost a lot to get him in a purple jersey. Reports have already suggested it will take multiple first-round picks to bring him to Minnesota, but the Vikings don't seem to be frontrunners for his services anyway.
So let’s be the voice of reason here. After the Cousins deal, the Vikings have had to be shiftier than Dalvin Cook when managing the cap. Rob Brzezinski basically has the ability to be like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia after orchestrating large, cap-friendly contract extensions with Danielle Hunter, Adam Thielen and Anthony Barr in the past year.
The reality is it’s been more like a teenager maxing out their first credit card. The Vikings are projected to be $3 million over the cap in 2020, but would have to squeeze in Ramsey’s $13.7 million cap number in order to make this deal happen.
That could be knocked out with a contract extension, but the Vikings would have to cough up a king's ransom to get Ramsey (hence the first-round picks). While this team looks good now, this may be a team that also needs a new quarterback in a couple years. Unless they can actually get Andrew Luck out of retirement, they’re going to need those first-round picks to either get a new quarterback post-Cousins or maybe some assets to protect him up front.
While the Vikings may think that’s next level thinking, it bears truth. If the Vikings feel that Ramsey is the missing piece for a Super Bowl, they should go ahead and do the deal if they can make the numbers work. If not, they may want to hold tight and try to think about their future.