Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy TWolves Opener

Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams will make their NBA debuts tonight for the Timberwolves, so I'm going to repost a Ricky Rubio article I wrote in the past. If you haven't really looked into Rubio's European career, I recommend reading it because some of Rubio's accolades are quite impressive.

Ricky Rubio: The Legend

And for the record, I still think Rubio will become a bigger star than Mauer here, although that doesn't seem so far fetched at this point.

Also, if you want to read a good season preview, I recommend Ball Don't Lie's preview on Yahoo, which can be found here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tim Tebow:
Quarterback, Winner, Not Jesus Christ

First, and foremost, I'm a big Tim Tebow fan. He doesn't have the best throwing mechanics and at times his passes look like my sister is quarterbacking the Broncos, but I like him because he's an extremely rare human being. In a world in which our favorite athletes eventually let us down, Tim Tebow doesn't appear to be like all the rest.

I grew up loving Kevin Garnett, but as I get older and learn more about the kind of teammate and person Garnett was to certain people, it's clear he wasn't this amazing person as some people in the media wanted to portray him while he was here. Sure, KG was fantastic in the community, talked about how much he wanted to stay in Minnesota for his career, and he was one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, so I'm glad he was a Timberwolf. However, sucker punching Rick Rickert during a summer scrimmage because Rickert was playing better is inexcusable and disgusting. Also, having such a poor relationship with Wally Szczerbiak that the team decided to make that ill-fated trade that brought both Mark Blount AND Ricky Davis to the Timberwolves. When you hear about these things as an adult, you understand that these athletes you once looked up to are just regular people as well. But as a kid, you are crushed. You look up to these players like they are superheroes of some kind, but the fact is a lot of the stars we fall in love with are nothing more than spoiled brats who use their athletic abilities to get whatever they want. (See Roethlisberger, Ben and Woods, Tiger)

Tim Tebow is young. So there's definitely still a possibility that over the next decade or more, Tebow will do something that lets down a lot of his fans. But if I had to bet on any one player staying out of trouble, doing the right things, and being a good teammate, Tim Tebow would be atop the list. I like Tebow because he's a great person and a good athlete. I'm glad the Broncos are 7-1 with Tebow leading the way.

What bothers me is when religion is brought into the discussion. I believe in God. I pray. That certainly doesn't qualify me to understand the workings of God, but I feel fairly safe saying most people who believe in God would agree that God doesn't care if the Denver Broncos win or not. There are children starving all across the world, people getting diagnosed with cancer at record rates, and I'm supposed to believe that the Almighty is working through Tim Tebow? A football player? That is ridiculous. I understand Tebow is a great kid and he's extremely religious, and that's great. If he wants to believe God is talking to him, fine. It's his life, his legacy, and if he has no problem being remembered as the religious quarterback, then neither do I.

But again, anyone that believes God is working through Tim Tebow baffles me. I would have a real issue praying to God every night if I believed He cared more about Tim Tebow and the Broncos beating the Chicago Bears than he does about clearly more important issues.

Now, as I write that, I understand we all have different beliefs in what God can and can't do. Tim Tebow clearly has a different understanding of the things the Lord will do than I do. I'm not saying Tebow's wrong, because when it comes to faith there is no right or wrong answer. But I feel pretty safe saying God isn't a Broncos fan, and he sure as hell doesn't care if Tim Tebow wins or not.

So, it's my opinion that the Broncos are not 7-1 because God wants them to win, but rather because they are playing much better over the last eight games than their first five. Seems reasonable, right? Let's take a look:

To me, football stats don't need to be as complicated as baseball. Total yards and turnovers are generally a good guide to see how the game went. Kyle Orton started 5 games, although he was pulled at halftime of the 5th game. For clarity sake, I counted Orton as playing 4.5 games and Tebow as 8.5.  Here are the Broncos' numbers per game with Orton under center:

Record: 1-4
Opponent's Winning Pct*: .615
Points Scored: 20.2
Points Allowed: 29.8
Passing Yards: 207
Rushing Yards: 91
Turnovers: 2.7
Passing Yards Allowed: 268
Rushing Yards Allowed: 114
Takeaways: 1.3

*Opponent's Winning Pct is based on every team's current record, as of Dec 15, not what their record was when they played the Broncos.

And here are those same statistics in the games Tebow's started:

Record: 7-1
Opponent's Winning Pct: .453
Points Scored: 20.9
Points Allowed: 19.8
Passing Yards: 137
Rushing Yards: 191
Turnovers: 1.1
Passing Yards Allowed: 214
Rushing Yards Allowed: 129
Takeaways: 1.3


A few things jump out right away. Of course the records are much different, as Tebow has brought the Broncos into first place in their division. What really surprised me was the winning percentage of the opponents the Broncos have played while Tebow's been under center.

With Orton, the Broncos did indeed go 1-4, but aside from getting blown out by the Packers the Broncos were in every other game down the stretch. Fourth quarter comebacks have long been considered a skill by those who work inside of football, while others who like to use stats have always wondered if it was indeed a skill or just a matter of circumstance. If you've always believed that some people are clutch and some people aren't, plain and simple, then the Broncos season would seem to support that argument. Tim Tebow continues to win incredibly close games, while Kyle Orton had a knack for losing incredibly close games. But it's important to remember that at least for this season, Orton's comeback attempts were against better teams. That doesn't mean Tebow would have failed, because we've learned not to doubt the kid, but it does make a difference.

Looking further into the stats, it's clear that the Broncos defense is not "influenced" by Tim Tebow. They aren't playing a lot better with Tebow leading the offense; the only defensive statistic that is considerably improved since Tebow took over is points allowed per game. With Orton, the Broncos were allowing more than 29 points per game. With Tebow, it's fallen 10 points to under 20. Some would say that's because the defense is "playing harder" for Tebow. I disagree. The defense is playing about as well as they were at the beginning of the season, getting the same amount of takeaways and allowing a similar amount of total yards, but the major difference is the Broncos rushing attack. Opponents simply aren't getting as many possessions, or short fields off turnovers, like they were with Orton in the game. Another reason is that the opponents haven't been as good, so naturally they won't score as many points as better teams.

While the Denver offense doesn't throw the ball well with Tebow, the fact is they weren't throwing the ball all that well with Kyle Orton playing either. The Broncos have sacrificed 80 yards per game in the passing game by switching to Tebow, but their offense has gained 100 yards rushing. For a team that was already among the league's worst in passing yards per game, it made a lot of sense to switch to Tebow and at least try to lead the league in rushing. The Broncos offense is extremely old-school, but it's working in large part because the team has consistently been running over teams.

I can't explain Tebow's fourth quarter comebacks. Logic would dictate that it can't keep happening; he can't always come through in the 4th quarter of a close game, right? I think it's a combination of Tebow's abilities and determination, but I also think the Broncos have been greatly helped by a weak schedule. Simply put, it's a lot easier to lead a game winning drive against the 4-9 Miami Dolphins than it is the Baltimore Ravens in January.

The Broncos made a colossal mistake letting Kyle Orton start the season as the starter, especially after the team was an abysmal 2-10 last season when he started. Despite all the "experts" saying Orton looked better in training camp, the fact was we had years of data to suggest Kyle Orton wasn't going to win football games for the Broncos. Nobody could have predicted Tebow would lead them to this many wins, and there's at least a chance the team would still be 8-5 even if Tebow started from day one, but to not give him the starting job after what Kyle Orton had done last season was wrong at the time and looks even sillier today.

Tebow has a big task this week. If he can lead the Broncos to a win against the New England Patriots, more and more critics will disappear. To this point the Broncos have a lot of thrilling wins, but they haven't beaten a true contender yet. Getting shellacked by both the Packers and Lions, arguably the two best teams they've played all year, isn't a good sign for the playoffs. But if they can defeat the Patriots, they'll have to be considered a Super Bowl contender.

Tebow might not be Jesus Christ, and God might not care if the Broncos win or lose, but I think even those two would enjoy watching Tim Tebow on Super Bowl Sunday. I know us mortals would love it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Vikings Are Going to Move to Los Angeles

I know, I know. For months, maybe even years, the rumors have been out there. When the lease on the Metrodome expired after the 2011-2012 season (Janaury 1, 2012, to be exact) the Vikings were going to move to LA. But every time someone has mentioned this, chances are you've simply rolled your eyes and ignored it. It's always been seen as a leverage play, something the Vikings ownership could use to get maximum state funding from for a new stadium. Nobody ever really believed that the Vikings would truly move to Los Angeles. As I write this, I think the sentiment among most Minnesotans is that there's no way the Vikings will leave, and they'll get a new stadium deal at the last minute.

I'm not among the majority. My thoughts are much more cynical. Now, it's worth mentioning I'm not a cynical person by nature; heck, I predicted the Twins to win the World Series when they were swept by the Yankees two years ago, I predicted the Vikings to go to the Super Bowl the year after they lost in the NFC Championship--clearly, I was letting my bias toward my favorite teams cloud my opinions of them. That's not a sign of a cynic. However, I've thought ever since Zygi Wilf bought the Vikings, he's been scheming to get the team to Los Angeles. Why? It's simple. Money. He'll get a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium in one of the biggest markets in the country. The Vikings are currently near the bottom of franchise value among NFL teams, and there's no doubt that moving to LA into a sparkling new stadium would turn the Vikings into one of the most valued franchises in all of sports.

Does that seem far-fetched? Maybe to some, but not to me. Zygi Wilf grew up in New York, as a Giants fan. He made his money out east. Prior to buying the Vikings, Wilf had no ties to Minnesota, and no real reason to feel inclined to stay. Of course, Wilf spent money and reenergized the fan base with a couple winning seasons, but even that played into the big picture. By getting some elite level players, like Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson, they ensured themselves that they would have two legitimate superstars on their roster in their primes for the 2012 season. Coincidentally enough, the 2012 season is the first season the Vikings could play somewhere other than Minnesota. Hmmm.

Now, simply acquiring Jared Allen as a 26-year-old and drafting Adrian Peterson are hardly signs that Zygi Wilf has been scheming to move our favorite team to Los Angeles. No, it's what the team continues to do behind the scenes in this stadium issue that has me convinced Zygi Wilf is doing everything he can to make sure a stadium deal does not get done. That seems far-fetched, right? It shouldn't. The Seattle Supersonics were purchased by Clay Bennett, and emails that have come out in the last few years have proven that Bennett had planned to move the team to Oklahoma City from the get go, even though he continued to tell Seattle he was trying to build a new stadium for them to stay. He proposed such outrageous stadium deals that the city had no choice but to reject the offers, and when the Sonics were finally able to move, they did. To Oklahoma City.

Why couldn't that have been Wilf's plan? Or why couldn't it have become Zygi's plan after a few years of owning the Vikings? Let's look at what the team is trying to get for a stadium, and how their mixed signals are creating the kinds of problems Wilf wants.

The Vikings continue to back the proposal offered by Arden Hills. The Wilfs continue to say that they prefer this proposal to the other proposals located in Minneapolis because the Arden Hills location would provide a better "fan experience" than the others. That's ridiculous. These fans have sold out the God-awful Metrodome for 14 consecutive seasons and counting, they will be happy with any new stadium. How easy it is to tailgate shouldn't even be considered when picking a location. That is ridiculous, and there's no way the Wilfs are that stupid. They have a plan.

The Wilf's also understand that the Arden Hills site is the most expensive of the four proposed sites, expected to cost slightly more than $1.1 billion. The cheapest is a renovation on the current Metrodome, which would cost about $900MM. The Wilf's continue to say they will offer $425MM to the construction of a stadium on the Arden Hills site, but considerably less for a stadium that gets built in Minneapolis. The Vikings continue to push the notion that the Wilf's are offering the most private money ever in the building of a new stadium; which is true. But what they fail to mention is that the stadium cost is so great that the Vikings are also asking for more money from the state of Minnesota than any other professional sports team in history. Think about that for a minute. As much as the Vikings want you to think Wilf is offering to pay $425MM, Wilf understands it's almost impossible for the state to come up with over $600MM to fund a stadium.

Even with the state's surprise surplus, the city of Minneapolis is willing to pay $300MM. So that would require Zygi Wilf and the NFL to pledge about $600MM, just to get the Metrodome renovation plan, which is one Wilf doesn't like anyways. Wilf is willing to $425MM of a $1.1B plan he allegedly loves; there's no way he'd pay $600MM of a $900MM plan he hates. The city of Minneapolis could also raise another $300MM or so from a sales tax, which would mean Wilf would only need to pay about $300M. That is significantly less than the $425MM they've pledged to Arden Hills.

But I don't think Wilf would be willing to pledge even that much. He wants the Arden Hills plan to be the choice because he knows that Arden Hills is going to have a lot more difficult time implementing a sales tax than Minneapolis. That's a massive amount of money. Arden Hills had planned to implement a half-cent local sales tax to raise $350MM, which would have meant they'd need about $400MM from the state. At that point, the stadium planned seemed possible. However, the sales tax was vetoed by Governor Dayton, and has no real chance of ever getting passed. That would require the state to come up with an extra $350MM, something they simply won't do. So look for the state to continue to back the Minneapolis proposals, but look for Zygi Wilf and company to continue to say they won't propose nearly as much money for those proposals.

Unless the city of Minneapolis, the NFL and the tax-payers literally give Zygi Wilf and the Vikings a free stadium in Minneapolis, one in which Wilf doesn't need to pledge a single dollar, the Vikings will move. Financially the team is better off in the LA market, and they will undoubtedly move from the league's worst stadium to one of the league's best by 2014. They'd likely play 2012 in the Rose Bowl or the LA Coliseum, but they'd move into the soon to be built state-of-the-art stadium.

When the Vikings announce in early February of 2012 that they have reached an agreement with the city of Los Angeles and the NFL to move to LA effective immediately, just remember I warned you guys. The Los Angeles Vikings. Yet another Minnesota team hijacked by LA, with a nickname that makes no sense. And, when they move, the NFL will be dead to me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Vikings Should Trade Adrian Peterson

The Minnesota Vikings, an abysmal 2-10 this season, are clearly several years away from competing in a suddenly stacked NFC North. The best way to find starters at new positions is with draft picks; if the team can succeed on most of their draft picks over the next two years, they might be ready to contend again. A lot will depend on the development of Christian Ponder, and whomever they select with their first round pick this season.

But to me, one thing is clear: You don't need to have a good running back to win in this league. Having a good running back doesn't even guarantee a winning season; several great running backs are playing for terrible teams. Other than Adrian Peterson, runners like Steven Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew and LeSean McCoy all play for teams that are no threats to make the playoffs this season.

So I think the Vikings should think seriously about trading Adrian Peterson. The cap ramifications are probably pretty bad, but the team is rebuilding and they could afford to have some dead money on the cap during next season. There's no doubt he's the best running back in the league; he's truly an elite player at a position that lacks them. He makes plays that other running backs simply aren't capable of; however, AP clearly can't carry the team on his own. He's a tremendous asset if the rest of the offense is good as well, but a great running back can only do so much to effect the outcome of a game.

If the team was able to get multiple young players and multiple draft picks from a team, they'd need to pounce on it in my opinion. I'm not sure if a team would be willing to give up the farm for a running back after the Herschel Walker trade fiasco, or even the Ricky Williams draft day trade in which Mike Ditka traded the New Orleans Saints entire draft and a first round pick the next season to move up and draft the University of Texas star.

Now, Peterson is loved here, and rightfully so. He stays out of trouble, he doesn't throw his teammates under the bus, other players respect him, and he's a good guy in the community. He's the best player on the team and one of the league's top 10 players overall, so the team would undoubtedly need to be blown away to justify trading such a popular star.

Are there any teams that would be willing to give up a lot of talent to acquire someone like Adrian Peterson? I'm not sure. Let's take a look, by division: (I ruled out the NFC North, because there's no way they'd trade him in the division, even if the Packers make a lot of sense.)

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys - Jerry Jones loves to make blockbuster moves, and he may be tempted to try to acquire the star. However, DeMarco Murray has looked great over the last two months, and I'm sure Jerry Jones still thinks highly of Felix Jones, so I think we could rule Dallas out. No reverse Herschel trade, sorry Vikes fans. Dallas is a No.


New York Giants - Eli Manning, Adrian Peterson and that ridiculously good core of receivers they have? They'd be fun to play with in Madden, but in all honesty I can't imagine the Giants giving up what they'd need to, because their offense is and always will be focused around Eli Manning's arm. Peterson would be a luxury, and they just wouldn't have any reason to give up a ransom for him. The Giants are a No.


Philadelphia Eagles - LeSean McCoy is one of the best running backs in the league. Not happening. Philadelphia is a No.


Washington Redskins - The Redskins love to make big moves, or owner Daniel Snyder used to at least, so they'd at least be a darkhorse in any Adrian Peterson sweepstakes. And while Mike Shanahan has a reputation for using several running backs during the season (because he does), he's shown what he can do with extremely talented running backs. Terrell Davis ran for over 2,000 yards in Shanahan's offense, and I think everyone would agree Adrian Peterson is more talented than Davis ever was. Washington is a possibility.


NFC South

Atlanta Falcons - They showed during last April when they moved up for Julio Jones that they are willing to give up assets to acquire someone they want. However, Michael Turner is a very good running back, so the Falcons are a No.


Carolina Panthers - Carolina has plenty of needs to fill themselves, and their offense will always be based around Cam Newton. AP wouldn't make sense for them, especially with the money they just gave to DeAngelo Williams. Carolina is a No.


New Orleans Saints - The Saints are apparently low-balling Drew Brees in contract negotiations, so while the Saints might be willing to trade in their three-headed running back committee for a true star in AP, I can't imagine their ownership signing off on a deal that pays Peterson the kind of money he's owed on his extension. New Orleans is a No.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs have Blount who's a good, cheap, young running back, and fits their core better than Peterson would. However, after a poor season, and with plenty of money to spend, the Bucs might just be willing to acquire a major star like Peterson to help improve their offense and hopefully improve Josh Freeman's numbers next season. Tampa Bay is a possibility.


NFC West

Arizona Cardinals - Beanie Wells has had a solid season, but he's generally inconsistent and adding a player like AP would obviously be a major upgrade. Kevin Kolb hasn't looked great this season, but in theory any decent quarterback would look great playing with both Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald. However, the Cardinals would probably be weary about spending almost $45MM on 3 offensive players. I'm going to say Arizona is a No.


San Francisco 49ers - Frank Gore just signed an extension, he's having a good season, and the team is going to be the number 2 seed in the NFC this season. They'll pass. The 49ers are a No.


Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks offense has been terrible at times this season so you would think if they could acquire AP, they'd be excited to get some offensive talent. However, Marshawn Lynch has had some great games this season, and while his inconsistency gets frustrating I just can't imagine Seattle wanting Peterson enough while they have Lynch. The Seahawks are a No.


St. Louis Rams - They've been awful all season, which means they have a lot of holes to fill. They also have Steven Jackson. The Rams are definitely a No.


AFC East

Buffalo Bills - Fred Jackson was having a monster season for the Bills, but he's 31-years-old and just broke his leg. They have CJ Spiller who they drafted in the top half of the first round just two years ago, and he played well last week as the feature back. I don't think they'd be too interested in acquiring AP. The Bills are a No.


Miami Dolphins - Reggie Bush is having his best season to date, and even though that "best season" still only has him on pace to rush for 889 yards, the Dolphins also just used a second round pick on Daniel Thomas. Miami is a No.


New England Patriots - The Patriots have a plethora of future draft picks thanks to trades with other teams, a decent assortment of young talent, and a fairly big hole at running back. The Patriots clearly can win without a running game, but they are the kind of team that could really benefit from the addition of AP from a Super Bowl contender perspective. The Patriots are definitely a possibility.


New York Jets - Any time a big-name player is available and he fills a potential need for the Jets, they have to be considered. I think Rex Ryan would do everything possible to acquire Peterson, because despite Shonn Greene's solid game last week he's clearly nothing more than an average running back. The Jets would be able to hide Mark Sanchez much easier if they could get back to a dominating running attack. The Jets are a possibility.


AFC North

Baltimore Ravens - Ray Rice fits their offense better, and he's damn good. The Ravens are a No.


Cincinnati Bengals - With a young core being put into place, built around Andy Dalton and AJ Green, adding a veteran like Peterson would make sense. Cedric Benson is nowhere close to the type of player Peterson is, so the Bengals could be a possibility.


Cleveland Browns - They're afraid to pay Peyton Hillis after the season he had last year. Hillis clearly isn't as good as AP, but the point is if they're afraid to pay a running back after having a great season, I'm not sure they'd be able to justify trading major assets and paying him that kind of money. The Browns are a No.


Pittsburgh Steelers - No.


AFC South

Houston Texans - Arian Foster is a stud. No need for Peterson. The Texans are a No.


Indianapolis Colts - The Colts have needs in a lot of places, and considering they'll likely use their number 1 pick on a position that isn't a "need" if Manning stays healthy, they can't afford to trade a ton of players and picks for one player. The Colts are a No.


Jacksonville Jaguars - New owner, they'll have a new coach, so it's hard to know for sure if they'd be interested. But MJD leads the league in yards, or is close to the lead, so there's simply no need for Peterson. The team needs a lot, but running back is not a need. The Jaguars are a No.


Tennessee Titans - They just gave Chris Johnson a massive contract extension, and he's finally playing well again. The Titans are a No.


AFC West

Denver Broncos - If the Broncos are serious about making this read-option offense working, acquiring Adrian Peterson would be a big step in the right direction. Tebow is a fantastic running quarterback, and as good as the Broncos rushing attack has been over the last several weeks, upgrading from Willis McGahee to AP would be huge. Denver is a possibility.


Kansas City Chiefs - Jamaal Charles is coming off major surgery and is definitely a question mark, but he was among the league's best running backs before his injury and there's little reason to believe the Chiefs don't think he'll come back and play well. The Chiefs are a No.


Oakland Raiders - They love to make big splashes, or at least they did while Al Davis was alive, but they have Darren McFadden. No.

San Diego Chargers - AJ Smith, the Chargers GM, is a total douchebag. So No.
So who does that leave as possible trade partners? Here:

Washington Redskins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals
Denver Broncos


Now, I realize it's ridiculously silly to try to predict trades, but this whole idea of the Vikings actually trading AP is silly on it's own, so just go with it. Here's what I think the Vikings would need from each team for it to make sense for them to trade their best player.

Washington Redskins Get: RB Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings Get: RB Roy Helu, OLB Ryan Kerrigan, Washington's 2012 1st and 2nd round picks, Washington's 2013 2nd and 3rd round picks

Washington would be giving up a lot of talent, and the Vikings would be foolish to pass on this kind of offer. But I think it would take something like this to pry AP from the Vikings anyways.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Get: RB Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings Get: RB LeGarrette Blount, CB Aqib Talib, Bucs 2012 1st round pick, Bucs 2013 3rd round pick
Talib and Blount are extremely talented players but both come with baggage, which is why the Vikings would still need two solid draft picks to make this deal feasible. The Bucs have enough young talent that this is a trade they could make fairly easily if they wanted too, though.

New England Patriots Get: RB Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings Get: RT Nate Solder, CB Ras-I Dowling, New England's 2012 1st round pick, New Orleans' 2012 1st round pick and Oakland's 2012 2nd round pick

The Patriots haven't drafted all that well in recent years, and while giving up three high draft picks isn't usually the way they operate, it would make sense to fill such a glaring hole. The Patriots would still have a boatload of draft picks, and while Solder and Dowling are young with a lot of potential, neither is a sure thing to be a star in the league. But the potential would be too much for the Vikings to pass on.

The Jets just don't match up well with the Vikings. They lack an upcoming young star, and their draft picks will be mid-to-late in each round so the value just isn't there.

Cincinnati Bengals Get: RB Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings Get: RT Andre Smith, SS Taylor Mays, MLB Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati's 2012 1st round pick and Oakland's 2012 1st round pick

The Bengals would give up three young players who were all once highly regarded, although none look to be future stars. Maualuga is a good linebacker, and Smith has improved to be at least solid, so they are good players, just not as good as once expected. Mays has barely seen the field. The Bengals may be willing to make their move now, with Dalton and AJ Green giving them a lot of hope.

Denver Broncos Get: RB Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings Get: MLB Joe Mays, WR Eric Decker, FS Rahim Moore, Denver's 2012 1st round pick, Denver's 2013 3rd round pick

Pretty big ransom to pay for AP, with Decker showing a lot of potential this season. But Mays, while a good player, is certainly replaceable. Moore isn't starting yet and there's a chance the Broncos think they made a mistake, but he had a lot of potential coming out of college. Mays, Decker and Moore could give the Vikings three solid starters, and they could hope to hit a home run with one of the two draft picks to make the trade a good one.

Would you be willing to trade AP for any of those packages this off-season? I love Peterson, probably more than most fans, but I'd rather watch a winning team consistently than a fantastic running back. In a perfect world this team would just win with Peterson, but with so many holes to fill, that no longer seems possible.