Mike Zimmer on Vikings signings: “We needed to make some moves”

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The Vikings would have had high expectations going into this season anyway.

Then they signed a quarterback to a gigantic contract, which raised those expectations again.

But if you wondered whether the pressure they put on themselves this year is real, look no further than the three rapid-fire transactions after last week’s tie against the Packers.

“I texted [the front office] the other night and told all those guys thank you for trying to get some more players in here,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We felt like we needed to make some moves after that game.”

Cutting kicker Daniel Carlson (their fifth-round pick this year) was a big move and certainly understandable after his three missed kicks against the Packers. And replacing him with Dan Bailey — who turned down several other offers — certainly had a statement feel to it. They weren’t just signing a different kicker, but the second-most accurate kicker in league history, and they were tossing away a draft pick to do so.

They followed by signing wide receiver Aldrick Robinson and defensive tackle Tom Johnson the same week, adding some experience to a roster that was the youngest in the NFC entering the season.

The Robinson signing was particularly reflexive, after some shabby games by Laquon Treadwell and Stacy Coley. But on the whole, making veterans signings in bulk two weeks into the season, and admitting they were in direct response to one regular season result, should put every player on the roster on notice.

54 responses to “Mike Zimmer on Vikings signings: “We needed to make some moves”

  1. It was ridiculous to go into a season with such high expectations and be rostering a rookie kicker with shaky consistency. Spielman has been pretty good in drafts over the few years, but the players that have busted have been HUGE busts. Ponder, Kalil, Walsh, Patterson (for what he gave up to trade back into the 1st), Treadwell, and Carlson. All while neglecting to find effective O-lineman. Might be time to move on from him if we ever want to get over the hump.

  2. The Vikes aren’t messin around. They’re going for it this year. Definitely not shying away from the expectations and I think that’s awesome.

  3. “Then they signed a quarterback to a gigantic contract, which raised those expectations again.”

    Gigantic?

    Compared to Rodgers contract – it’s bargain basement pricing for a QB in his prime. Rodgers will actually get $80 million paid to him in the first 9 months of his new deal.

    Cousins won’t receive the last of his $84 million until week 17 of the season in 2020.

    Because Kirk signed such a team friendly deal – the Vikings were able to resign/extend several players after the “gigantic contract”.

    Diggs extended, Hunter extended, exercised the 5th year option on Waynes, Kendricks extended and Richardson signed – all after Kirk was signed.

    And they still were able to get Bailey, Robinson and Johnson this week.

  4. The Robinson signing was particularly reflexive, after some shabby games by Laquon Treadwell.

    Some shabby games? Have you even watched the Viking games for 3 years? Laquon has a total of 30 catches. And you say some?

  5. If the best they can do is tie the Packers…yeah, they need to make some moves. They are going to face some talented teams soon.

  6. Sebastian Thunderbucket got his money from Seattle and wanted to come home. He said it himself.
    Dan Bailey wanted to win and was available. The word is out that if you come to the Vikings you will be expected to win and be part of great organization. Players like that and are willing to eat a little cash for it.

  7. I really like the moves they made, except for the wide receiver who I don’t know very much about. But what I see is that they are not going to stand for anything less then your best. They were weak against the run, and brought in D line help. Their kicker got the yips and they brought in another, Wide outs need to catch the ball especially on third down and the backups weren’t. these are the type of quick decisive moves they need to make. I don’t know if they’re going to the Super Bowl. But I do know they are willing to do what it takes to get there I am still suspicious of their offense of line, and special teams may or may not be a problem

  8. I love it when a team/coach get proactive about improving the roster. Winning is a habit, and the best teams do what it takes to win. Kudos to the Vikes.

  9. What are they gonna do when the Bills win this week? Can’t blame a kicker for that one. Hey it’s a long shot, I get it…….

  10. “Should put every player on the roster on notice” – how is that? They cut a kicker who was a complete failure. They added some depth at WR where they have the best starting duo in the NFL. And they took advantage of the availability of an experienced former Viking. The only players who need to be worried about their jobs are the 3rd string guys and I drafted rookies.

  11. Seems like the last 2 years we hear: “Coming out of training camp, Treadwell is looking great”. Then the regular season hits, and he struggles. Who is evaluating the players in camp? Heck, I am just a fan, and I could probably be a better judge of performance.

  12. It’s obvious the pressure got to Carlson and it looks as though it seems to eat up Treadwell. The NFL is not for the faint of heart. As a draft pick you are guaranteed only a chance to make the team. The Vikes make up for those misses with some quality UFA’s.

  13. This is perfect timing. Rick and Zim are taking the right steps, in order, and I love what the future looks like.

    They’ve built a very competitive roster, to the point where they are attracting talented players who are willing to take less for a shot at the ring. And this off-season, they rewarded multiple star players who lead the team and work hard every day with big contracts. Now, they are starting to churn the bottom of the roster a bit more, moving on from the guys who just can’t seem to get the job done.

    The message is clear. The coaching staff has taken undrafted FAs and 4th round picks, coached them up into starting jobs, and given them multi-million dollar contracts. Now they’re starting to cut draft picks and are putting a former 1st round pick on notice. I can’t think of a better way to create a culture of performance and accountability.

  14. Rate This

    lokalfuz says:

    September 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

    It was ridiculous to go into a season with such high expectations and be rostering a rookie kicker with shaky consistency. Spielman has been pretty good in drafts over the few years, but the players that have busted have been HUGE busts. Ponder, Kalil, Walsh, Patterson (for what he gave up to trade back into the 1st), Treadwell, and Carlson. All while neglecting to find effective O-lineman. Might be time to move on from him if we ever want to get over the hump.

    —–

    You have fallen off your rocker. EVERYONE ends up with busts, the difference with the Vikings is that they have one of the best, if not the best roster in the NFL top to bottom and most of those players were drafted or signed as UDFA (Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Wayens, Kyle Rudolph, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Marcus Sherels, Pat Elflien) Sure, we ALL criticize him for the OL, but we did draft Elflien, who is really good. He also made the moves to get Reiff and Remmers. He has been an exceptional drafter by all standards and is amazing with the salary cap.

  15. I’ll give Zimmer this; if something isn’t working, he isn’t afraid to admit, unlike so many of his predecessors. He’s not worried about his ego taking a hit because he’s focused on winning. After watching Brad Childress insist for years that Tarvaris Jackson was the next Donovan McNabb, and Dennis Green’s refusal to address a shoddy defense, fielding a defensive backfield with guys who wouldn’t make most other rosters, this is a refreshing change.

  16. As a Packer fan I hate saying this but good on the Vikings. Bolstering positions of need with veterans and adding real depth is key for any team looking to win it all.

    It’s good to have competition in the NFC North. Makes football more enjoyable for everyone.

  17. thegreenandcold says:

    As a Packer fan I hate saying this but good on the Vikings. Bolstering positions of need with veterans and adding real depth is key for any team looking to win it all.
    ###

    I respect you for posting that.

    It must have been tough for you watching TT avoid FA like the plague 99% of the time. Prudent use of FA just might have had some very rewarding results.

    Too early to tell how Gutekunst will do.

  18. I’m a long-suffering Vikings fan. One thing that separates fans from players, coaches, front offices, and owners is that most of the former expect results in a vacuum while the latter realize just how flipping hard it is to actually win. I’m a Villanova alum, and Jay Wright (winner of two of the last three NCAA Basketball Tournaments) always talks about how difficult it is to win. Expectation is there, but a season isn’t a failure just because you don’t win it all. And that’s from a champion. I truly feel that I am living in a golden age of Villanova basketball and Vikings football. The pieces are there. Now the games have to be played. I won’t criticize busts because every team has them. We aren’t the Browns. Heck, we aren’t even the Packers in that regard. Many, many of our drafts picks have gone on to sign long-term for this current team.

    I don’t know how Eagles’ fans look back on the Andry Reid era. My hope is that they think of it fondly becasue for about half a decade, they were either in the Super Bowl or in the NFCCG every.year. For that matter, same with the Packers for most of the Rodgers era. (And I hate admitting that!)

  19. Every player they replaced needed to be. Coley is getting a new start with the Giants. That will be good for him. Carlson is the victim of Blair Walsh’s pathetic fragile ego, chip shot misses & that sniveling wimp Forbath missing multiple PAT’s and not being trusted over 50 + yards. 3 yrs back they would have stuck with him not now. If he made that game winner they would have stuck with him and he would have blown it when it’s win or done just like Anderson/Walsh have in the past. Now will Bailey make the kick if needed? Hope so but if he follows the Vikings lore, he will miss in the most gut wrenching heart stomping way possible. Tom Johnson eats up double teams and is a good fill in across the D-line. Knows the system. He’s a huge asset. They can’t get rid of Treadwell because his cap hit is not only his salary but his signing bonus. Plus Treadwell can block really well and plays special teams. He’s been getting wide open this year. Too bad he drops it! I for one am hoping this tiny step back in tying the pack leads to a giant leap forward with the new players that finally takes the Vikings back to the SB maybe even win it. Please!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. The reason Barr hasn’t been signed long term is because he’s inconsistent. Last year he played well for some games and disappeared in others. 2 years ago Zim accused him of coasting. He just stood there last week and got run around for a TD. It wasn’t like he was juked, he just put in zero effort.

  21. Desperation is most unflattering! I can’t wait till they fail, after going all in on this year. They were a lucky play away from being one and done in the playoffs. Let’s not pretend they didn’t get rolled by the Eagles.

  22. It really wasn’t a good performance against the Packers. Great comeback, but there were too many breakdowns earlier in the game. Nevertheless, they’re still unbeaten and they would have won if they hadn’t blown it with that kicker. We shouldn’t have to worry about kickers anymore, but all areas of the team need to improve from what we’ve seen so far. They got off to a slow start last year too, so I’m hoping they get things figured out and settle into a groove soon. Two tough games coming up after this week’s game.

  23. Things to do against a bad Buffalo team:
    1.Cook has a hamstring injury, sit him against Buffalo. Let the two UFA RBs see the field and gain some experience.
    2. Figure out what you have in Brandon Zylstra and Aldrick Robinson and which one can be the #3. See if Treadwell can provide water for the players.
    3. Let Griffen have the day off and see what the young guys can do (Bowers, Weatherly) and throw Barr into the mix at DE.
    4. Work on some trip plays, flee flickers, HB passes, fake punts, onside kicks. What better game than Buffalo.

  24. Liberalsruineverything says:
    September 20, 2018 at 8:40 am
    Sebastian Thunderbucket got his money from Seattle and wanted to come home. He said it himself.
    Dan Bailey wanted to win and was available. The word is out that if you come to the Vikings you will be expected to win and be part of great organization. Players like that and are willing to eat a little cash for it.

    LOL, Bailey held out for the biggest pay day. You are a moron if you think he signed with the vikings to win

  25. @Rob4Rams this was in an article posted by Chareen Williams two days ago. Who’s a moron?

    He must really want to win a Super Bowl and believes the Vikings provide his best route of getting there, because the NFL’s second-most accurate kicker turned down several offers that were double what the Vikings offered on multi-year deals, according to Rapoport.

  26. gtodriver-

    Cousins contract is gigantic. Comparing it to Aaron Rodgers (whom no one brought up but you) doesn’t make it any smaller.

    But since you’re making comparisons, Cousin’s cap hit in 2018 is 24 mil, 2019 is 29 mil, and 2020 is 30.5 mil.

    Rodgers is 20.9 mil in 2018, 26.5 mil in 2019, and 32.6 mil in 2020.

    Cousins’ cap hit exceeds Rodgers in 2018 and 2019. Rodgers cap hit is just over 2 million more than Cousins’ in 2020. For the 3-year period from 2018 to 2020, Cousins’ has a larger total cap hit.

    The dead cap money for 2018 is similar, with Cousins’ accounting for 83 mil, Rodgers about 80 mil.

    Cousins’ contract is not more team-friendly than Aaron Rodgers’ as it pertains to the salary cap. Although Rodgers gets a boatload of cash upfront for his signing bonus, the cap hit is spread out over the next 5 years.

    The Vikings have done a good job of signing and extending players. They probably have the best overall roster in the NFL. Poor Adam Thielen got royally screwed and will be making roughly a third of what Diggs averages per year. Thielen should fire his agent.

  27. I like how young this team is. Lots of good years to look forward to as they get better and we will need it because of the division we are in. The Bears are on the rise and the Packers now have a very talented defensive coordinator.

  28. Carlson is the victim of Blair Walsh’s pathetic fragile ego, chip shot misses & that sniveling wimp Forbath missing multiple PAT’s and not being trusted over 50 + yards.

    ++++++

    Kai Forbath went 7-10 with the Vikings on fg’s over 50 yards. And was 11-17 from that range in his career. Which is better than Dan Bailey’s career percentage from that distance, by the way.

  29. Or you could take the Packers approach from last year. Move along, nothing to see here, everything is fine with Brett Hundley at QB.

  30. cheeseisfattening says:
    September 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    look no further than the three rapid-fire transactions after last week’s tie against the Packers.
    —-
    When you tie a garbage team like the Packers changes need to happen.

    +++++++

    The first change should be recognizing your roster is nowhere near as good as you like to proclaim.

  31. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    September 20, 2018 at 10:52 am
    Two tough games coming up after this week’s game.

    —————————

    Looking past the Bills, eh? What could go wrong?

  32. You would think that the only PFT fans were Viking and Packers trolls. News flash…there are 30 other teams in the league.

  33. frank

    With all due respect, the only reason Rodgers cap hit is where it is, is because they have amortized it over the full length of the contract.

    The Packers are stuck with Rodgers for a long time and they need to hope he plays at least 5 more years.

    But you need to factor in the time value of money.

    Cousins got a $3mil signing bonus.

    Rodgerrs stole $57.5mil in a signing bonus, but that wasn’t enough for him, he will total $66.9mil by the end of 2018 and then $80mil by March of 2019.

    That’s $5mil per game for the 2018 season – if he can play all 16 games.

    The Packers aren’t owned by a billionaire, that’s why the time value of money is important. With all the money given to Rodgers, that reduces the amount available for the rest of the roster.

    At a 10% investment rate (I sure hope Rodgers can do that – I average 12%), Rodgers is making $8mil per year just on his first year extortion payments…

  34. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    September 20, 2018 at 10:52 am

    It really wasn’t a good performance against the Packers. Great comeback, but there were too many breakdowns earlier in the game. Nevertheless, they’re still unbeaten and they would have won if they hadn’t blown it with that kicker. We shouldn’t have to worry about kickers anymore, but all areas of the team need to improve from what we’ve seen so far. They got off to a slow start last year too, so I’m hoping they get things figured out and settle into a groove soon. Two tough games coming up after this week’s game.

    ——————–
    This is were we really miss BRobs presence and experience in the locker room !!! He kept the team grounded and loose … His 96 questions segment obviously was a great way to keep everyone loose ………….. We already miss u BRob !!!

  35. packertruth says:
    September 20, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Kai Forbath went 7-10 with the Vikings on fg’s over 50 yards. And was 11-17 from that range in his career. Which is better than Dan Bailey’s career percentage from that distance, by the way.
    ________

    This is getting kind of old, but again I have to point out a false statement made by “packertruth.” Kai Forbath’s career percentage from 50+ yards is 64.7% (11-17). Dan Bailey’s career percentage from 50+ yards is 67.5% (27-40).

    #math

  36. gtodriver-

    Of course the cap hit is only what it is because they amortized the bonus over 5 years of the contract, not the entire contract.

    The total cash payout to Rodgers this year (66 million plus) is huge, no doubt. The amount of money given to Rodgers only affects the rest of the roster if the Packers don’t have cash available to competitively sign and bonus players in the upcoming years. My guess is that they do.

    Time value of money means very little here, unless you’re looking at how the Packers were going to invest that money in other vehicles or the value of giving the bonus over several years vs. the lump sum payment now, or in the case of Rodgers, as to what the value of receiving the bonus now is vs. receiving it over several years.

  37. Vikings legitimately upgraded at ALL THREE positions

    Bailey is a proven big time kicker vs Carlson, a rookie
    Robinson is a speedy WR with a history with Cousins vs Coley who rarely played on offense
    Johnson was with MN the past several years, knows the system and has been productive for them vs Parry who just joined the team a few months ago

  38. “Time value of money means very little here…”

    If the time value of money doesn’t mean much, why not pay everyone their entire contract up front?

    Oh, the the time value of money actually is important…

  39. packerlies says:

    The first change should be recognizing your roster is nowhere near as good as you like to proclaim.
    ###

    We already admitted that. Our kicker didn’t measure up and demonstrated that by missing 3 FG’s. We cut him and replaced him.

    Next story…

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