1. What do you think of the Teddy Bridgewater knee injury and what do you think his future holds?
Kras: Tough break for Teddy, who looked like he was ready to lead this team back to the playoffs and possibly even further. Teddy looked good this preseason but he would have needed to have a spike in passing TDs this year to really say he took a step forward in becoming more of an asset to offense. That said, too bad for Teddy and the Vikings. The hopes that they had for Teddy will be put on hold this year and possibly even longer. The knee dislocation plus the ACL rupture will take some time to heal. Teddy is young and the ACL recovery time is about a year, so I think the big factor will be how he recovers from the knee dislocation and whatever other structural damages he has.
Nate Leer: I think, with modern medicine and the work ethic Teddy has shown to this point, he will be back and probably on the low end of the recovery time. That said, this is the type of injury that could lead to further complications so you never know.
2. What do you think of the Sam Bradford trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings?
Kras: Minnesota gets Sam Bradford and the Eagles get the Vikings 2017 1st round pick and a conditional 4th round pick in 2018 that has potential to be a 2nd or a 3rd depending on the success of the Vikings. To me, the aggressive move to get Bradford says one of two things: The Vikings believe they can win the Super Bowl this year or the Vikings are looking for a QB for a couple years because Teddy won’t be ready going into the 2017 season. Realistically, the answer could be both. I think it is possible Teddy is not 100% by the time 2017 rolls around and when you think you have the team that can get it done I think you have to go for it. Sam Bradford does have injury concerns himself, he is oft injured and that includes a pair of ACL season-ending injuries. I personally believe they gave up too much for Bradford, but if they win the Super Bowl what they gave up won’t matter. If they don’t, and they more than likely won’t, then you are at an instant disadvantage going into the draft next April. GM Rick Spielman had done a great job stockpiling draft picks but I think a 1st round pick is too much for a guy who very well might not play all 16 games this year.
Nate Leer: The Vikes definitely overpaid for a fragile, just decent QB. A major factor in what the Vikings had to give up was likely the amount of money that the Eagles ate to make the deal happen – reportedly more than $10 million. The Vikes would have had to make several big cuts to fit all of Bradford’s salary under the cap and that wasn’t going to happen. They clearly had to give up this ransom to get Bradford but I would have taken my chances with Michael Vick and/or Aaron Murray.
3. Do you think everyone on the Twins roster is up for trade for the right price this offseason?
Kras: I would think everyone should be looked at as someone who is tradeable for the right price. Sano and Buxton might be the exception to that rule but, for the right pitching assets, I would have to think the Twins would take a serious look at any and all offers that could possibly improve the rotation/bullpen. Ideally there is a team that can’t live without a second baseman who hits around 40 home runs and they have arm talent (proven and prospects) to trade. This team is in tough shape and it’s not looking good for the future either, from what I can see.
Nate Leer: Everyone can go! The Twins have a number of talented young offensive players and more on the way from the minors. Packaging a few of their best bats could bring in the type of young, high-end pitching that they sorely need. The reality is that there seems to be no way that this team competes next year so trading established vets like Brian Dozier for young arms makes a ton of sense.
1. How does the Teddy Bridgewater injury impact where the Vikings will finish in the NFC North?
Kras: Before the acquisition Sam Bradford I would have said they would be close to 8-8. After the Sam Bradford trade, I think closer to 10-6, either way the Packers are who I picked to win the division and I will be standing by that moving forward. That said I think the Vikings will finish second even if it is at 8-8. The Lions and Bears will have to show me something early in the season before I believe they have a chance to push the Vikings much less the Packers.
Nate Leer: With the Vikes bringing in an established veteran QB, I do not think much has changed as far as predicting how the season will go. Teddy would have shown improvement and Bradford will have to stay healthy for them to be an elite team. Both were/are big questions marks so we will just have to see what the season brings. I think 10-6 is reasonable with a possible swing of 3 games either way.
2. With the NFL season kicking off this week, do you think the Denver Broncos have what it takes to get back to the Super Bowl?
Kras: I think it will be interesting to see what the Broncos will do this year. They got the job done last year with spotty QB play and great defense led by Von Miller. Last year Peyton Manning was beat up, old and inconsistent for most of the season and I don’t think Brock Osweiler was in a good situation for him last year either. I think Brock being young he needed the confidence to know that he was “the guy” and with Manning still there that was not the case. The Mark Sanchez experiment was short lived this year and although Paxton Lynch looked pretty good this preseason, having him start out on the bench is the best move. Trevor Siemian has looked solid early and will be the starter going into week one. Siemian will be tested right away in week one when he will see a good Carolina Panthers’ defense. As for the overall outlook of the Broncos, I think they will be a playoff team again and they will look to make a push to another Super Bowl. The defense should be good again and the offense should be serviceable with a solid run game and if all else fails, throw it to Demaryius!
3. Who, if anyone was a surprise cut/release in the NFL?
Kras: The Justin Forsett release was the biggest surprise to me. Turns out this cut was more about the money than the player performance. Once Forsett cleared waivers, he was able to return to the Ravens, and I’m sure it is at a much more favorable cap number. The news of long time Bears kicker Robbie Gould being cut was also a bit of a surprise, it will be interesting to see if Connor Barth is the better option going forward, playing 8 games in the Windy City can be tough for a kicker and Gould did a great job for a longtime.
Nate Leer: I was surprised at the number of quality, veteran O-linemen who were released. The Vikings released C John Sullivan during the first round of cuts, the Packers released G Josh Sitton over non-football issues and the Seahawks released former stud G Jahri Evans. Clearly teams do not value interior OL players as much as OTs but it seems they undervalue these players that are capable of generating push in the running game and protecting QBs.