The Minnesota Vikings have shocked both Vikings fans as well as “experts” across the league. The bruising running game of Adrian Peterson, elusiveness of Percy Harvin and the tough Vikings defense have been the sole factors to the success of the Vikings. Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder hasn’t been anything special, but continues to do enough to help lead the Vikings to victories. One thing Minnesota is missing on the offense would have to be the inability to throw the long ball. The Vikings haven’t seen someone for the job since Sidney Rice went to the Seahawks in free agency, and are looking for a receiver to take the job. Current Kansas City Chief wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been talked about as a possible trade candidate come the trade deadline, mostly reported as a “good fit” for the Dolphins. Here are five reasons the Vikings should take a look at luring Dwayne Bowe via a trade.
The Vikings need deep threat support
Over the offseason the Vikings made there attempt to try and find quarterback Christian Ponder a reliable split end receiver. Wide receiver Jerome Simpson was brought in from the Cincinnati Bengals to try his hand at being the deep ball man. Simpson is most notable for his dangerous vertical jump and will be famously remembered for his front flip touchdown he pulled last year on Christmas Eve. Simpson’s stats have been nothing to frown upon knowing that he was suspended the first 3 games of the regular season and sat out week 6 with a back injury, something Simpson wasn’t happy about. In the three games he’s been active, Jerome has five receptions for 58 yards. At first sight it looks like Jerome Simpson hasn’t helped the team in any shape, but he has drawn three pass interference calls for a total of 84 yards. It’s possible to say that Jumpin’ Jerome has 142 receiving yards if you include his pass interference yardage added. But you can’t run an offense that’s dependent on flags.
Percy Harvin is one of the best receivers in the league but his height doesn’t give him the advantage to win jump-ball passes deep down field. He is great in the slot and in screen passes which allow him to use his speed and versatility. A deep threat and legitmate #1 receiver would help take pressure off Percy Harvin and possibly open him up more in the screen game. Percy is not known for his down-the-field plays, but can take the top off the defense every one in awhile (See Joe Webb to Percy against Eagles and Redskins and Ponder to Percy against the Falcons).
Through week 7 Minnesota is tied for 23rd in the league in total receiving yards with 1,492 total yards. Whether you put that on the quarterback or not, the bottom line is your receivers need to find way to get open and create some separation for themselves in under four seconds of the snap. Christian Ponder is excellent at escaping pressure in pocket, although his accuracy quickly dwindles. Minnesota has a great advantage in the play action game with the talented run game of Adrian Peterson and the offenses ability to fake runs. The longest completed pass for the Vikings is only 45 yards and that goes for 29th in the league. Establishing a deep threat in the offense will take pressure off everyone including Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and most importantly Christian Ponder.
Dwayne Bowe is among the best in the league
The big 6 foot 2 inches split end wide receiver could be rated in the top 10 across the NFL. The Pro Bowl receiver is still finding ways to cause major problems to defenses all around the league. With three touchdowns, 34 receptions, and 427 receiving yards Dwayne Bowe leads the Chiefs in all three categories. Bowe, 28, is still young enough to warrent a semi-long contract that will yield big bucks. In previous years, Bowe was once 7th best in receiving yards (1,162), 1st in touchdowns (15), and has a career long 75-yard reception. His elite status as a wide receiver is simply portrayed in his stats, speed, and great hands. Bowe has made the highlight-reel catches several times with his spectacular ability to adjust to the ball while it is in the air. The Minnesota Vikings haven’t seen a superstar receiver on their roster since their days with Randy Moss. Even Sidney Rice showed off his talents consistently but due to injury he was never able to keep things going with the franchise.
Bowe is looking for a winning team
The Kansas City Chiefs are struggling this season to say the least. Their defense and unacceptable play at the quarterback position was led them to a 1-5 start. Starting quarterback Matt Cassel suffered a head injury in week 5 of the regular season this season and hasn’t returned since. In the 5 games he started, Cassel threw 5 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and completed only 58.5% of his passes and led them to only one win. His lack of production was disgracefully expressed by the Chief fans as they cheered when he suffered a serious head injury. Chiefs tackle Eric Winston expressed his thoughts on the scene of the injury and the cheering fans after the game.
“It’s 100 percent sickening,” Chiefs tackle Eric Winston said. “I’ve never, ever — and I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams — I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there. I get emotional about it because these guys, they work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people.”
With Matt Cassel going down with a concussion, don’t expect Brady Quinn to be a offensive savior and lead the team back to their once winning ways. In Quinn’s one start against the Buccaneers in week 6 he threw two picks (one for a touchdown) and no touchdowns in a 38 to 10 loss. Despite Cassel returning from his concussion, Chiefs personal have announced Brady Quinn as the Kansas City starting quarterback. With no support at the quarterback position and inability to win games, Dwayne Bowe has been a hot name around the NFL as a potential trade piece. The Minnesota Vikings are not an elite team, but they do have a lot of talent surrounding themselves and are showing great young potential. They do have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs and provide a quarterback that if given the opportunity will complete passes deep down field. The Vikings are very capable of winning any game this year and can provide Bowe with a great opportunity as a local and national superstar.
Both the Vikings and Bowe will help each other
One of the only missing pieces to the Vikings offense that has been reiterated is the lack of deep threat. Dwayne Bowe brings that force that is needed to help to offense run more effectively. To have Jerome Simpson, Percy Harvin, and Dwayne Bowe as starting receivers gives a hidden talent in each of them and helps create confusion to opposing defenses. In Bowe’s case, the Minnesota Vikings offer him a winning record team, a solid player quarterback, a top notch running back, and a defense that can take pressure off the offense. Adding Bowe to the receiving core will likely create one-on-one situations with Bowe and defensive backs as Peterson will gash defenses that don’t keep an extra man in the box. If Peterson is tearing through defenses, Bowe will get his shots down field. It is a win-win for the Vikings offense. The Vikings opted not to go for the big name receiver in the offseason, but now might be the perfect time to land a talent like Bowe.
Minnesota has the cap space
The Minnesota Vikings didn’t go crazy in free agent acquisitions this offseason leaving them with a healthy amount of cap space. Opting not to sign free agents to long contracts, the Vikings opted to go with mostly one-year contracts. With the most expensive signing being tight end John Carlson from Seattle (5 years $25 Million), the Vikings were very conservative in maybe keep there eyes open for a trade. The Vikings currently sit at $8.516 million under their adjusted 2012 salary cap, per Tom Pelissero, but it will be important to keep enough space for the future of Percy Harvin, who is playing his way to a massive contract. Acquiring Dwayne Bowe through trade is possible for management to pull off, assuming they are willing to part will draft picks. The money may not be the issue for the Vikings immediately, but considering Percy Harvin is playing himself into a whopping new contract, it is hard to believe the Vikings would be willing to spend over $20 million a year on wide receivers alone.