Last week, we brought up the concept of the NFL players being incensed by the capricious annual countdown of what the league’s official network views as the top 100 players of 2016.
The only good news for the Minnesota Vikings was that they couldn’t get any worse than they were disrespected in 2015. Last year, the Vikings had just one player on the list – Adrian Peterson at No. 62 – just three spots ahead of breakout journeyman Justin Forsett.
When the inexorable NFL Network countdown began, the focus of our examination of its history and alienation was that the Vikings had nothing but good things coming. Peterson will clearly be in one of the last (if not the last) grouping of 10-player installments.
That alone is a sign of improvement.
But, at the same time, we speculated as to how many Peterson teammates would be included on the 2016 list.
Maybe the world hasn’t seen Anthony Barr enough to give props. He should be on the list, but will he? If so, it better be quick or it might not happen at all.
What about Everson Griffen? The best thing you can say about his chances of making the list is that when San Diego went “off the board” of the conventional draft wisdom and took Joey Bosa with the third pick, the comparison player most pointed out was Griffen – who, for the sake of clarity, should be remembered as fourth-round pick who more than panned out. If he isn’t on the list, there’s something wrong.
Still no word about Harrison Smith. If Dirty Harry isn’t on the list, Mike Zimmer will be wearing a backwards beret leading the charge on NFL Network studios to “make things right.” Or maybe Zimmer will embrace the disrespect and fuel his players’ fire.
Barr’s name had better show up soon or it’s not going to. The longer Griffen and Smith wait, the better … for now.
But the dark web portion of the Top 100 is that, if you have been disrespected, it will continue one painful week at a time. For Vikings players, the longer they wait could be a good thing at this point. For those who have been given a glove slap across the mouth already, it continues to be a weekly punch to the mouth.
Last week, Andrew Luck checked in at No. 92. Wednesday night, Kirk Cousins landed at the No. 85 spot and Alex Smith followed him at No. 81. Does anyone actually believe that Cousins or Smith are better than Luck? Nowhere else other than the mythical Top 100 list.
And the beat goes on.