Glazer: Vikings' Cap Situation Good

In the course of talking with four NFL writers for national media outlets last week, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer laid out a very positive outlook for the Vikings' salary-cap situation for 2005 and into the future, where he expects the team to be and how Rob Brzezinski & Co. are doing it. See what he had to say about the Vikings offense, defense, their 2005 cap number, Red McCombs and Mike Tice.

Jay Glazer is the NFL Insider for Fox Sports

VU: What has the Vikings offense learned while it's had to play without Randy Moss?

They've learned that no matter what happens in this league, you can't sit and sulk — you have to move on. And they've learned the importance of having a good running game. The old Vikings teams would lose Robert Smith and they'd just go air, air, air. This team can fall back on a good running game.

Also, a lot of times when you have great player like Randy Moss, it allows some players to use him as a crutch. Now I think some of their complementary players realize that they're able to walk on their own.

VU: What do you make of the struggles of the Vikings defense?

I think they still need some better personnel on that side of the ball. Obviously they've sunk some money into their offense — lots of it, in fact — and they've drafted pretty well over there, but I still think you have some holes there personnel wise. Ted (Cottrell) is actually a terrific coach for that squad. A lot of times, teams have to play catch-up a lot, and that's what this defense is still doing. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is the Vikings defense.

VU: Assess the performance of Mike Tice to this point in his career.

First of all, let me start with the organization as a whole. What they have done there, guys like Rob Brzezinski and Dave Blando, they've done an unbelievable job of setting this team up to be the Goliath for the next five years. If you had an owner in there who was just willing to open up wallet and spend a little bit … they're set up capwise for next five years.

One thing people might not know is that in the players' contracts, they've got a number of bonus clauses and incentives that won't be earned this year, but that money is already locked up for next year's cap, so it's going to roll over. So next year, they're going to be nearly $30 million under the cap, and they'll be in great shape for years. If you had an owner who was willing to open up the wallet and pay for defense like he does offense … my goodness.

As far as Mike, he's a guy who keeps control over there. Mike has a lot of respect around NFL. A lot. I can tell you from talking to other teams, they think it's unbelievable and ridiculous that he has not been locked up yet. But I guess business-wise, Red's going to say, ‘I've got a great deal, a great bargain.'

But this year, you look at a team that's lost all of its running backs, lost maybe the top offensive player in the NFL, lost its starting right tackle, lost Kleinsasser which is huge, they've still done a tremendous job of preventing people from going into tank, and that happens a lot around this league. The Giants lost (Michael) Strahan and everybody was down. The Dolphins lost Ricky Williams and everybody down there said, ‘We're done.' The Bears lost Brian Urlacher and they might not win another game. That hasn't happened in Minnesota, and I think that's a direct tribute to Mike Tice.

Opinions and analysis from Sports Illustrated's Peter King and Don Banks, and USA Today's Larry Weisman can be found in this week's issue of Viking Update's print edition.

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