Spielman defends limited spending in free agency

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With more than $20 million in cap space as free agency began, plenty of Vikings fans expected the team to do something/anything to address the team’s many needs.

So far, the biggest move has been the addition of tight end John Carlson.  The Vikings also have re-signed multiple mid-level-or-lower players, along with a few other relatively no-name free agents from other teams.

G.M. Rick Spielman explained the team’s strategy to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

We’re again taking it slow,” Spielman told Hartman.  “I just don’t believe in going out and spending a lot of big money on one or two free agents.”

Generally speaking, it’s a good approach for the long-term growth of a team.  But with the Vikings sliding into the basement of the NFC North and with the gap between them and the Packers, Lions, and Bears potentially growing and with efforts to get a new stadium built in Minneapolis sputtering, the team needs a shot of adrenaline that can come only from creating the impression that the franchise is trying to inject some excitement into the operation.

Spielman thinks the excitement will come from within, eventually.  “I think the best way you continually build your roster is to have solid drafts,” Spielman said.  “We had a very good draft last year, and a lot of those young kids will come into their second year and have to contribute.”

Again, not a bad long-term strategy.  But perhaps not ideal given the current state and circumstances of the Vikings.

63 responses to “Spielman defends limited spending in free agency

  1. Hope he understands that next year he won’t be able to hoard the money under the NEW CBA…90% must be spent next year on whatever the new cap number will be. This year it would have been 108 mil of the 120 mil would have to be spent that number will go up next year.

  2. Vikings season depends on whether Christian Ponder produces. Every year we hear about these can’t miss 1st. round QB’s but we know from history most will be below avg at best.

  3. for a team looking for a new stadium, you think they would want to create some buzz !!! a new coach & and a good season turned 9ERS fans dreams of a new stadium, to reality in just a few months & that stadium idea was suppse to be dead in the water!!!

  4. As a Vikings fan, I am happy they didn’t throw big money at anyone. It would have been nice to see them land one or two mid-level guys, but even some of those players got big bucks. They have been bad for two seasons and need to trim the fat and start rebuilding. One or two free agent splashes wouldn’t help their record much and might hurt them in the future if stuck with bad contracts.

  5. It isn’t a bad strategy if someone competent is doing it like Ted Thompson. Rick spielman has yet to show in any of previous stops he is capable of building a good team in either the draft or free agency. This franchise, as much as I love it, is a mess both off and on the field.

  6. Its not always about down the road. Some times its about the “here and now”. After last season, “here and now needs” some motivation for the fan base. A star player, just brings motivation that you can’t get on the field and on the field is just extra. And that Rick my friend, is building for the future also. The fans need hope for the future, but they need some now to. GO VIKES!!!!!!!

  7. With the current state of the Vikings we have to build through the draft. Signing one or two big name free agents. Is not going to solve our problems.

  8. There’s nothing wrong with developing talent (building through the draft). Be the lack of activity, with the stadium situation tenuous, sends a bad message to their fans. Vikings fans deserve better than seeing their team sign slow-footed tightends and college basketball point guards.

  9. The Vikings stadium issue has been on the table for over 10 years. To think that 1 year of success means automatic stadium is somewhat far fetched. We had all the excitement with Favre and desperately needed a stadium then and nothing happened.

  10. Intelligent NFL fans realize that this is the right way to consistantly put a good product on the field. FA should be used as finishing touches to put a team over the top. In theory, the stadium wouldn’t be ready until the Vikings have finished rebuilding and are ready to put up numbers in the Win column. Again, In theory. Its obviously working for TT and the Packers, and they’re the Godd@mn devils!

  11. If you know how to shop in Free Agency, you can improve your team for years to come. Antoine Winfield, Pat Williams and Darren Sharper were all free agent signings, and all contributed greatly to the team’s success during their tenure.

    Spielman needed to add some quality to this team, especially its secondary. He could have landed a a couple of quality free agents without breaking the bank long-term. Instead, we get nothing but excuses.

    He’d better hope he has this team’s best draft in decades, or he’ll be out of a job a year from now.

  12. There’s no realistic way to address the needs of this secondary with the draft. Grab a proven player, Maybe not a superstar but at least ONE proven DB. You’ll be lucky to get one in the draft.

  13. The ‘create some buzz’ argument was the same we heard a few years ago. The Vikings brass bought in and went out and signed Favre. What did one of the greatest seasons in Vikings history get them on the stadium front? NOTHING. Now the team is in the hole because of that all in strategy.

  14. MN fans are always in denial, and make excuses all the time to deny the fact that the team owners of all 4 sports are repeatedly butt f”ing the fan bases everyyear. The use the small market excuse that we all know is not true any more thanks to the marlins. Look at the twin last year trading away half their team in August so they didn’t have to pay them, I would’ve hated to be a season ticket holder and then be stuck with tickets to two months of games with no 1 left on the roster. The twins always let their players go for nothing too. This yr the vikes only have “all day” and “Jared Allen” and all day ain’t guaranteed to be fully recovered. The same doctor that did the knee surgery on “ad” did a surgury on my cousins knee and forgot to connect certain things, so goodluck Adrian. Well maybe the vikes are saving money on the payroll to use it on the new stadium. Ha ha

    All the vikes would’ve had to do is sign every big name free agent and the vikes fan base would’ve been Ji$$zing in their pants, then the vikes would’ve gotten a new stadium deal, then they could’ve traded away te new signing and saved the money before the season started lol

  15. SOME Vikings fans are so worked about the 2009 NFCCG, and so busy bashing Saints fans that they forgot their team still sucks. Get ready to suck for Barkley.

  16. @cashisking4life. You cousin had Dr. James Andrews do his knee surgery? The most respected surgeon in sports? He does all the star players surgery. And did your cousins? And forgot to connect things? I’m a little skeptical of your post.

  17. @iamwhodat: the reason some Vikings fans are worked up about it is that they felt this way back in 2009. They were called crybabies and told to suck it up and accept that their team lost. Now their feelings/suspicions have been validated by the Leagues findings and suspensions. Fans like me, let go of the dissapointment approximately 3 years ago and are more concerned with rebuilding this bitch and worrying about making it to a future NFCCG

  18. I like mr. speilmans approach. we are not one or two players away from competing for the divsion.look how everyone in gb wanted thompson’s head a few years back because he was not going after big name players in free agency. building championship teams through the draft is is the proven way.now whether or not mr. speilman can build the team through the draft remains to be seen. I sure hope so I am tired of the revolving door front office and coaching staff. good luck going forward because we sure have enough bad luck behind us skol! skol! skol!

  19. The Vikings had a team made for a Super Bowl over a number of a years just a short time ago. The thing missing was a QB. They had rushing records on offence and defense. The Lions were finally putting together a few wins. The Packers were building into what they are now. The Bears were staying steady.

    If signing free-agents for millions of dollars is what it takes to get a stadium, the Vikings would already be playing in one or have it half built by now.

    Just like every team, it’s time to rebuild.

  20. Spielman is an absolute fraud. John Carlson! Are you freakin kidding me! What a low rent organization. 3-13 again sounds about right. How many pick six’s will Ponder throw this year? 10-11 maybe.

  21. @cashisking4life

    It’s the old “The same doctor that did the knee surgery on “ad” did a surgury on my cousins knee and forgot to connect certain things” story. I’ve heard it a million times. btw i looked up “certain things” in my anatomy books. Funny, I couldn’t find that term in there.

  22. @uncommon1
    I see your a fan of football and not spewing ignorance, so with that being said I wish the Vikes the best in rebuilding a once proud organization.

  23. @ iamwhodat

    Your bitterness about your dirty cheating team is quite evident. If your fanbase wasn’t behaving so poorly both during your Super Bowl run and now in defense of your team’s reprehensible actions we all might just feel sorry for you. Instead we’ll stand off to the side and watch you embarrass yourself, just as we would any train wreck.

  24. The Dolphins decline can be traced back to the time Spielman spent here, starting in 2000. He was responsible for trading for A. J. Feeley and Joey Harrington, to name a few. He also passed on DT Vince Wilfork in the draft. He resigned from the dolphins in June of 2005.

  25. They are doing the approach used in the movie Major League. Getting a bunch of no names to lose so they can slink out of town without a fuss.

  26. The Vikes were so bad last year, that for the GM to not use a major tool(free agency) to upgrade your teams talent level, is handicapping the rebuilding process. Speilman’s approach has been compared to that of Green Bay, New England or Pittsburg. They are ALREADY talented teams. That approach to FA is easy to take then. What message does it sent to Jared Allen, A.P., and Percy. We are wasting years of your prime with this plan. Same message sent to the fans. Use ALL the tools given to you rebuild your team.

  27. Viking fans, look at the position the dolphins are in to see what your future with Spielman is. Perhaps you will fire him and hire Jeff Ireland, we would gladly give Ireland to you.

  28. To everyone stating things such as “We’re not a couple of players away from competing”, “Signing free agents is not going to solve our problems”, “We’re not going to be good next year anyways”: You sign significant free agents not for just the next season or two but for years down the road when you hope to be competitive.

    Good teams use both the draft and free agency to fill the holes on their rosters. Free agents CAN solve some of a team’s problems. Free agents CAN help a team to be competitive in the future.

    The money the Vikings didn’t spend isn’t going to help them improve. It’s not going be carried over to be used in future years.

    Finding a couple of mid-level (or the right top tier) free agents can help other players on the roster to be better as well.

    Sure you can make a bad signing, but you can also make bad draft choices as well.

  29. As a Vikings fan, I think the least they coul have done is TRY to sign someone… anyone. John Carlson doesn’t count! Then again, the best way not to be labeled as a free agency loser is to stay away from free agency.

    The Vikings better have a plan for the draft or we could be looking at another 3-13 season.

    Incidentally, memo to Rick Speilman. It’s hard to trust you when you look like Napoleon Dynamite minus the bad hair, as is the case on the picture shown!

  30. This franchise (my all-time favorite, by the way) has become a joke. The rationale used by Spielman INSULTS my intelligence!!!!!

    No one said to ONLY use Free Agency to magically transform your team. WHY can’t the Vikings use some prudent yet aggressive strategy and sign a handful of impactful Free Agents (and I do now mean Point Guards and pedestrian Tight Ends, etc.) PLUS also plan on drafting well? The team has WAY too many holes and weaknesses to not utilize every conceivable option to improve. And, last time I looked, plenty of other, smarter organizations are signing some very solid players – and not all of them come at prohibitive prices.

    The Vikings have become the punch line to more jokes than they are ever mentioned with respect or admiration. Please, don’t try to tell me – with ALL the gaping holes this team has – you can’t do w lot better in Free Agency AND also have the brilliant Draft you so sorely need.

    This team looks exactly like a 1-15 squad, when you examine their roster and the season schedule. How many teams actually have a crappier Roster? Seriously!!!!!! LOOK with your mind open, and I challenge you to name more than one other team nearly as bereft of talent and good coaching. I do not believe Ponder is a good starting QB; BOTH running backs are rehabbing serious leg injuries; they have ONE decent WR, and he is best suited to the Slot; the Defense is aging and has one of the most porous secondaries in the NFL (understatement); the best player on this team is possibly the Punter. YOU tell me how they win more than one game, if that. I don;t see it and that is hardly going to help them get any sympathy or support for the long-awaited stadium deal.

    Sad and pathetic is what my favorite team has become. Anyone who denies that is delusional or a liar. USE FREE AGENCY + HAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE DRAFT!!!!!! Idiot, ferret-faced GM will last only until Wilf finally unloads the team to the investors who want to move it to another state… or country.

  31. If they are bombin’ games again this season then I will continue to lmao at their incompetency. On the sidelines leslie looks like he doesn’t have a clue and when he talks it’s just the same old lines. Yikes!

  32. Thank goodness for redzone. The defense was horrific, ponder had too many int’s to the outside, wr’s couldn’t catch and the lb’s missed way too many stuff. Greenway is overrated, EJ was absent and erin didn’t have a clue many times. What a dive from 2009.

  33. Perhaps the plan is to trade out of the three spot for a later 1st rounder and additional compestation then trade the late 1st round pick to the Steelers for Wallace…

  34. Yeah my cousin had that doctor do a surgury on his knee, because he was supposed to be on of the best surgeons who also did surgurys on mn twins and different Vikings players like Sidney rice, and that dr didn’t properly connect different ligiments and some other parts of his muscles during the surgury and he’s had nothing but problems and they said that he may not be able to fully run at full speed again. All I know Is that I believe he got some settlements out out of the deal to hush it up. You haven’t really heard Adrian Peterson bragging about his knee progression since the original surgury. Go ahead and draft “ad” first on your fantasy football teams, and see how that works out. Peterson won’t admit but I bet u he goes out there an takes one hit and pop goes the weezle on that knee, and he’ll be done. I don’t know all the specifics on the situation with my cousin but he had some complication with he knee that shouldn’t have happened if these guys is as good as he said he is. Adrian Peterson has super freak genetics so everyone said that he’s healing fine, but u haven’t heard any updates on his situation, makes u wonder. My cousin was a genetic freak and great athlete as well and was recommended this doctor when he got back from a tour of duty over seas

  35. Still glad that even though Im from minnesota originally I rarely admit and even when the lions were sucking I still admitted being a fan, because atleast they tried to change but made mistakes.. Mn Viking win totals this ur over/under 1.5 games ha ha …..twins win totals over/under 30 games? It sucks when you might have to admit honestly that the browns, bills, dolphins, rams, redskins will finish the season better than the vikes and the season hasn’t even started. It’s sad when you would rather admit that you would rather have norv turner or wade Phillips as your head coach then leslie Frazier ha ha! Enjoy not the bottom of the NFC north but the button of the nfl Vikings fans

  36. Will somebody smack this fool. That is the most ridiculous justification I’ve ever heard for not going after quality players who can help you win. As much as I love my vikes, I hope this fails miserably so we can get somebody in there with a clue. Bad move Wilf’s, bad move.

  37. I’m thinking the Wilfs are planning to sell the team. What better way to sell than to cheap out the Vikings Corporation. No big free agency contracts to contend with, the greater chance the team will be sold. Isn’t that the philosophy behind any corporation wanting to sell? Damn, Damn the Minnesota legislature for blowing the stadium issue for the Wilfs.

  38. Really there were only 2 real spots to go after in FA. Mario williams and a wr. Dissapointed they go after a wr. Any of those guys wlda helped Ponder. Mario, maybe the price wld be worth it but probalby not… They at least shlda fot 1 wr.

  39. Lowering payroll makes the franchise more attractive to a potential buyer.

    With the new stadium Guadalajara it looks like the ideal place for the NFL’s first international team. The commissioner want’s to go international.

    It will be great for the NFL to be in a new market like Mexico. It will be good for the franchise to have the a whole country cheering for them. It will be profitable for the new owner as well as the rest of the league.

    Minnesota is not a big enough market for the NFL.

  40. I’m happy the Vikings are doing nothing in free agency … we have to play them twice a year.

    I feel bad for Vikings fans. Speilman doesn’t seem like the kind of guy I’d want as a team’s GM.

    You don’t have to sign the big name/big money free agents, but bringing in some undervalued guys with talent has a lot of benefits — especially when your team is losing its edge.

  41. Say what you want, laugh till it hurts, but I have an intuition the Vikes are gonna be NASTY this year. Read me stats till your blue in the face and Ill tell you to watch the tape and remember who was injured. It dont take much for momentum to build either in a positive or negative direction. We are building depth with youth and actually have some skilled veterans in key posistions. I WAS BORN A VIKING FAN AND WILL ALWAYS REMAIN ONE. That being said, I know when we’re lost and not. I like Rick Spielman and our ownership. Enjoy

  42. bobnelsonjr says:Mar 25, 2012 9:14 PM

    Minnesota is not a big enough market for the NFL.
    What does that say about the 15 markets that are smaller than the Vikings?

    Using your informed brilliance we should just have 6 teams, 4 on the east coast and 2 on the west!

  43. The future is not bright if Speilman thinks that last year’s draft was “very good”. Who from last year’s draft class is worthy of justifying calling it “very good”?

  44. I’m ok with the approach. Although I wouldn’t blame the Vikings fans for being hacked off. The fact is the Vikings are a team on the downward trend. AP’s serious injury not withstanding the last thing the Vikings need to do is overpay Mario Williams. I’d say lay a foundation in the draft put some pieces around Ponder and hope some stuff breaks right for you. Hopefully, the Minnesota legislature gets off its hump and AP heals up. Free Agency ain’t going to win you a tough division this year. Stay the course, and don’t jump into free agency unless you have to fill in for what you didn’t get in the draft.

  45. I’m excited to see young talent perform while we become a contender. The best teams have a top QB, defenses that are peaking and offenses full of playmakers with a strong OL. We’re far from that now but a GM gets about 10-15 moves a year and 3 years from now we’ll be 40 moves deep, a completely new roster. I say build around Ponder and if he ain’t the one then attract a top QB with your rising team.

  46. All I know is that Rick had better draft that kid from USC to help protect Christian this year or we will have the same sorry a$$ offense we had last year. Our secondary will be ok not great but ok now that we got rid of Cedric and with Chris coming back that kid from the Bears played descent better than most of our CB’s,but take a look at the Patriots their defense is not that great either but they have a strong offense and they are in it every year. We may get 2 or 3 good starters from the draft if we are Lucky and Smart which as a DIEHARD fan I certainly hope we are both. We could’ve added some good CB’s via Free Agency without breaking the bank had we only went after them like Tracy Porter he would not have cost us that much but we’ll see how it turns out I really do think we are about 5 years out from being competitive in our div. To all those Saint fans saying we are WHINERS I’d rather be a fan of a team like the Vikes than a fan of a dispicable team that bounty hunts like the LOWLIFE SAINTS

  47. well he essentially has to or he is telling himself publicly he is doing a terrible job

    the writing on the walls is becomer increasinly clearer, get stadium deal done or wilfs dump team, aint any different than what big red did b4 wilfs, smart business decision but will be much harder to sell tix, have to rely on season tix holders to float the revenue

  48. Minnesota is definitely NOT too small a market for the NFL. (or the NBA or MBA or the NHL) We have scads of loyal fans and NO blackouts like so many other teams. Our problem is a non-effective state legislature that can’t get their ducks in a row on this stadium issue. Alot of these legislators will find themselves out of a job if they don’t give Minnesotans what they want, and what they want is the VIKINGS.

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