Send any Vikings-related questions to @Andrew_Krammer and we’ll pick a few to answer every Friday.
Can you please explain the difference between a Franchise Tag and Transistion Tag, and if either of these are good options to address the Keenum/Bridgewater situation. Why don’t we hear a lot about teams using the Transition Tag option?
— Clarence Swamptown (@CSwamptown) December 21, 2017
A: It comes down to the difference in compensation for the player, which is why you don’t see many teams use the transition tag instead of the franchise tag. Under the transition tag, teams make a significant one-year commitment (salary average of top-10 paid at position over the last five years) and get the right of first refusal to match any offer made during free agency. But teams get nothing in return if another team signs the player away. Under the franchise tag, teams slap a slightly more expensive one-year tender (salary average of top-5 paid at position) but get two first-round picks if they lose the player. The Vikings rarely deploy either, last using the franchise tag in 2011 on linebacker Chad Greenway before agreeing to a new deal months later. The quarterback franchise tag would likely cost around $22 million in 2018, a price that seems pretty steep for a frugal front office with a clean slate at the position.
How do you think the weather will impact the passing game? Favor more of a short passing attack? Particularly interested in Rudolph with his ankle in the cold.
— ffuser (@ffuser1) December 21, 2017
A: Green Bay forecasts call for a low of minus 1 with winds peaking at 12 miles per hour. The night kickoff (7:30 p.m.) won’t warm things up. The combination of cold and wind would most affect a downfield passing game. Quarterback Case Keenum was a little off on some downfield throws in the last outdoor game in Carolina. Coordinator Pat Shurmur noted the focus on ball security: “It’s just handling the football,” Shurmur said. “We had two good days of practicing in the cold, which is good. Case is actually throwing the ball pretty well and that’s a good thing. But, otherwise it’s just a matter of handling the ball.”
When are the Pro Bowl injury replacements named? Is it done all at once or piecemeal? Wondering if it is before or after the conference championships, as it may impact the # of Vikings named. ��
— Paul Morrison (@PaulTMorrison) December 21, 2017
A: Alternates are based on the voting behind the Pro Bowlers named this week. The Vikings, unlike some other teams, do not make their alternates public, but they surely have a few that likely include safety Harrison Smith and nose tackle Linval Joseph. Replacements are named as Pro Bowlers bow out for whatever reason, including playing in the Super Bowl. So Vikings alternates can be named to the Pro Bowl up until after the conference championships, when the Super Bowl teams are decided. Last year, Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari was a Pro Bowl fill-in after the Packers lost the NFC Championship to the Falcons.