Analyzing the Vikes' off-season moves

MIKE MULLEN | Updated 3/27/2013

Early takes on a busy Vikings off-season.

Greg Jennings
Photo by Carlos Gonzalez

This off-season, the Minnesota Vikings are shedding and adding players at a truly Kardashian rate. Here’s the best and worst possible outcomes of the three biggest moves to date.
 
Percy Harvin
WR, traded to Seattle

 
Best-case scenario: Harvin needs the ball and, nearly as often, a stern talking to, as when cameras caught him shouting at head coach Leslie Frazier last year. The disappearance of hungry hands and a loud mouth might rid the team of any festering identity crisis. Everyone already knew this is Adrian Peterson’s team. Now Harvin knows it, too.
 
Worst-case: Harvin’s a jerk, but sometimes you’d rather have a player be your jerk than someone else’s. When Minnesota travels to Seattle, Harvin might take the chance to slash and jaw his way to a big, painful game against his old team.
 
Greg Jennings
WR, signed from Green Bay

 
Best-case scenario: Greg Jennings circa 2010 would be the Vikings’ most productive receiver since Randy Moss. Jennings also starred in the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl that year. Talent and experience, along with more smiling capacity than Moss and Harvin put together, could make Jennings a major asset to his new team and town.
 
Worst-case: Jennings missed half of last season with a groin injury. He’s also only caught passes from guys named either Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. A less-than-healthy Jennings catching balls from a less-than-great passer might mean the Vikes just laid out $45 million to hang out with the friendly guy from the Old Spice ads.
 
Matt Cassel
QB, signed from Kansas City
 
Best-case scenario: With Frazier announcing that Christian Ponder is still the starter, Cassel will serve as a comforting insurance policy. Then again, Cassel’s heyday came as a backup. Formerly Tom Brady’s understudy in New England, he stepped in to replace the injured Golden Boy, leading the Pats to the playoffs in 2008.

Worst-case: If Ponder’s year is anything like last year’s roller coaster, the team could fall into a classic QB controversy, in which Frazier’s decision would determine the team’s fate and his own future career. Would he stick with the mercurial Ponder? Or opt for Cassel, 30, who’s recovering from a concussion and a 1-8 year with the Chiefs? Advice to both: Turn around and hand it to No. 28.