Holler: Are Vikings willing to overspend?

The Vikings have a history of disciplined spending when it comes to most veteran acquisitions, but with Redskins owner Dan Snyder potentially involved in the Vincent Jackson sweepstakes, the dynamic could change.

The moratorium on the availability of Vincent Jackson to be traded ended Friday afternoon and, depending on whose opinion you trust/believe/adhere to, the two teams at the forefront of the Jackson pursuit are the Vikings and the Redskins.

Jackson going to Washington makes sense on many levels. A last-place team in the competitive NFC East, he would be an ideal candidate to go to Washington and give Donovan McNabb a true go-to receiver. Throw in Daniel Snyder's endless capacity to toss away money, it seems like a glove fit.

Snyder's willingness to share his wealth with those willing to cash his checks is legendary. He has given coaches like Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier huge contracts, only to cut them loose when they didn't live up to expectations – yet paid them in full not to be his head coach at a clip of $5 million a year. He has had several Hall of Fame players on his roster, except that, by the time he got them, they were long since past their primes and nobody else was willing to pay them the kind of money Crazy Dan was willing to pony up. Ask Bruce Smith. Or Deion Sanders. Or, to a lesser extent based on his track record (not his ability to cash 10-figure checks) Albert Haynesworth. Snyder has a track record of making foolish decisions with his wealth. Jackson, while seemingly too young to be overpaid Snyder style, would seem to fit in his M.O. of doing business.

It would appear that, if the Vikings indeed make a run for Jackson, it would be based on medical opinions that Sidney Rice isn't going to be available in the second half of the 2010 season. Brett Favre has made it clear that this will be his last season. If the plan is to stack the deck for a one-year run at a championship, then it makes sense to mortgage a premium draft pick to get it done. But the ramifications of such a move could have an impact on the franchise far beyond the 2010 season. The next time there is a contract dispute, it will be a Vikings player demanding a trade. That is something new to the Vikings experience. When Mike Tice was head coach, if a player wanted out, he got rid of them. That hasn't happened in the Childress Administration.

In the short term, the signing of Jackson would be a positive. He could provide an offensive threat currently missing from the Vikings roster. But, if the Vikings give in to signing a player that has his last team hostage, the only question casual observers can ask is, "Will he do it again?" The best thing for the long-term health of the Vikings franchise, albeit not in the short-term best interest, is to let Snyder overpay for Jackson. He can afford to get scorched yet again. The Vikings may not have that luxury, considering the key players nearing the point of contract extensions/re-negotiations.

If the goal of the Vikings is "2010 or bust" they may get both with signing Jackson. It may help their standing in 2010, but it may also cause – dare we say – a schism among those who have given their all for the franchise only to see the big money paid to an outsider. That is a Snyder model, not a Wilf model.


  • Four Vikings are listed as questionable on the final injury report. Percy Harvin (hip), Cedric Griffin (knee), Chris Cook (knee) and Jimmy Kennedy (knee). Four more – Brett Favre (ankle), Bryant McKinnie (finger), John Sullivan (calf) and Toby Gerhart (knee) – are listed as probable.

  • The Dolphins injury report was brief but significant. DE Jared Odrick and ILB Channing Crowder, both starters for the Dolphins defense, have been ruled out for Sunday's game. DE Ikaika Alama-Francis is listed as questionable after missing Wednesday's and Thursday's practice with an illness. However, he practiced fully Friday, which would indicate he will be available to play.

  • For the second time in just two weeks, the Vikings and Twins will both be playing in downtown Minneapolis on the same day. However, the city isn't issuing the public warnings about potential traffic jams as it did Sept. 2. First, the Sept. 2 game was on a Thursday when fans arriving early to tailgate or hit a local bar were contending with thousands of commuters who work in downtown Minneapolis. With both games on Sunday, the business traffic will be all but nonexistent and with the Twins-Oakland game starting at 1 p.m., Vikings fans will be settled in at the Dome by the time Target Field starts filling up.

  • The Friday NFL fine cops made their first presence felt in the 2010 season and Vikings OT Phil Loadholt was front and center on their blotter. Loadholt was fined $10,000 for a pair of unnecessary roughness violations, both of which involved grabbing and yanking a facemask.

  • Gizmo, a Florida-based capuchin monkey that correctly picked 50 percent of the games in Week 1 – which would be logically expected from a monkey – has incensed the locals by picking the Vikings to beat the Dolphins. The good news for South Beach football fans, those who can beat the prognostications of monkey are eligible to win a flat-screen TV. For those primates that lose to a monkey, the shame is obvious. The bad news for Miami fans is that Gizmo picks the Vikings to beat his adopted hometown team. Four of five monkeys surveyed agree with Gizmo. Bank on it.

  • Rapper Lil Wayne, who is in the final couple of weeks of an eight-month jail sentence, was recently quoted as saying that Favre has been a reason for keeping his spirits up while incarcerated. Lil Wayne is said to be a friend of Bryant McKinnie and, according to reports, Favre has told McKinnie to tell Lil Wayne that he is "praying for him."

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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