VU: Let's work on the Vikings' free agents and get your opinion on them and their value to the team. Chester Taylor tops their list of unrestricted free agents.
BL: I think he's underused and I think he's such a great third-down back as far as a pass receiver. He does so many things. I've said this before, but I like the idea of Taylor and Adrian Peterson in the backfield together, and Taylor has such great hands. I think you bring him back no matter what.
VU: There have been rumors of the team considering putting the franchise tag on him, which would cost them $8 million. What are your thoughts on that?
BL: If they are going to put the franchise tag on him, then use him. I'm thinking back to the Hershel Walker trade when they traded 2,412 picks to get him and then the first game he runs for almost 200 yards. Then they think they've got a football player and they want to use him as a decoy. To this day, that move confused me. Same thing here. If you're really thinking about giving him $8 million, then use him.
VU: Artis Hicks is the next unrestricted free agent they have to consider.
BL: I would bring Artis Hicks back because he plays all the positions (along the offensive line except center). Being the Benchwarmer Bob I am, there is a value to having a backup at all four of the positions on the offensive line. His attitude is contagious and when it comes to crunch time and somebody goes down you're still going to be in good shape. Definitely bring him back.
VU: Benny Sapp.
BL: I see him make a lot of mistakes at different times and he is one of those that if push comes to shove, I'd kind of pass on him. He's got a lot show me yet. You can't make the mistakes that he's made periodically. I watch him and see him on the replay and I go, ‘That's not football smart.' There's a time that you have to be football smart and not football tough. I'd rather have a teammate that is football smart than football tough.
VU: Jimmy Kennedy.
BL: Kennedy has got a great attitude. I've talked to him on many, many occasions. He's a hard worker and if Pat Williams goes down I think they need somebody like Kennedy to fill in there. He's not as good of a run stopper as Pat Williams, but he's a much better pass rusher, so you kind of give and take if you lose Pat Williams. I would want to bring Kennedy back.
VU: The last unrestricted free agent is Greg Lewis.
BL: One-catch Lewis. Considering the receivers the Vikings have, I would pass on going after him aggressively. I would much rather have the money to keep the weapons that they have in a starting role and keep the stability of the receiving corps that they have. I think they have a good receiving corps now, so I would pass on Lewis.
Bob Lurtsema registered 57 regular-season sacks and three in the playoffs during his 12-year career as a defensive lineman in the NFL, playing with the Baltimore Colts, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, and was the longtime publisher of Viking Update. He joins VikingUpdate.com for a weekly Q & A session, and his monthly column appears in the magazine.
Lurtsema's Reaction: The Vikes' unrestricteds
Viking Update Top Stories
Vikings try to keep the faithThe Minnesota Vikings are in dire straits with their playoff hopes, but they believe they have the “grit” to win out and make the playoffs.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 12:12 PM
Zimmer returns to work, expected to travelThe Minnesota Vikings got head coach Mike Zimmer back on Monday.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 7:20 AM
Just Win (Four), BabyThe Minnesota Vikings need some help to make the playoffs. They didn't get much Sunday as Detroit and Tampa Bay improved their own postseason stock.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 5:52 AM
Sunday slant: Don’t blame BradfordSam Bradford has been getting criticism from some fans and observers, but a look at numerous analytics, and an overall view of the game, shows just how good he has been without…
Viking UpdateSunday at 1:57 PM
NFC North a M*A*S*H* unitThe Minnesota Vikings have been hit harder by injuries than any playoff contender this year, but Green Bay and Chicago aren't far behind.
Viking UpdateSaturday at 9:26 PM