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Rick Spielman's Promotion to GM Will Be Huge Mistake for Minnesota Vikings

Chris Schad@@crishadContributor IIIJanuary 4, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS - 2008:  Rick Spielman of the Minnesota Vikings poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Getty Images)
Getty Images/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings announced a huge move Monday afternoon, as they promoted Rick Spielman as the team's new general manager. On the surface, the move to have one solid voice in the organization is something that has been long overdue.

The Vikings have run without a general manager since the 1980s, and while they've seen success, recent times have indicated that the "Triangle of Authority" hasn't worked since Zygi Wilf took control of the franchise.

There have been a series of embarrassing moves that have lead to the addition of a general manager. Several of the team's draft picks outside of the first round have been disasters. Outside of Toby Gerhart and Brian Robison, the team has failed to find a diamond in the rough in the later rounds.

The Vikings have also had several situations where the other two sides of the triangle had no idea what the other side was doing. The biggest example of this was when former Viking coach Brad Childress cut Randy Moss after four disappointing games in 2010.

So, most Viking fans can agree that this move needed to be made. However, there is debate on whether the Vikings put the right guy in charge. "The guy" is former vice president of player personnel, Rick Spielman.

The argument can be made that Spielman has done good things while he's been with the Vikings. Since being hired as the VP of player personnel, the Vikings have gone 39-41. (The 2006 season is not included as Spielman was hired after that year's draft when Fran Foley held that position.)

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However, looking deeper into the personnel moves the Vikings have made, you have to wonder if the moves were really Spielman's.

Spielman signed off on two of the worst contracts in Vikings history. Bernard Berrian, who inexplicably was the best receiver available after the 2007 season, got a six-year contract. That same year, Madieu Williams was signed to a six-year contract as well. Less than four seasons later, both players were gone.

The draft has been something Spielman has hung his hat on, but has it really been the work of Spielman? Spielman's two best picks have been Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, who should have been taken much sooner in that year's draft.

Outside of Peterson and Harvin, the Vikings have taken such busts as Phil Loadholt, Tyrell Johnson and Chris Cook.

There have been good moves during Spielman's tenure (Sidney Rice and Jared Allen ring a bell), but another fault of the "Triangle of Authority" was that we didn't know exactly who was pushing the buttons. It could be that Spielman was demanding all of these moves or very few of them.

While the Vikings made the right move, they may have also made the wrong one in the process by picking Spielman over somebody such as Bill Polian, who may wind up with the rival Chicago Bears.

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