Could Shawn Andrews Improve the Vikings' Offensive Line?

Andy RAnalyst IMarch 17, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 18:  Shawn Andrews #73 of the Philadelphia Eagles crouches into position during the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Lincoln Financial Field on November 18, 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

It's being reported that the Philadelphia Eagles have released two-time Pro Bowler Shawn Andrews after two seasons riddled by injuries.

The offensive guard has struggled with back problems and depression the last two seasons. He left during the second game of the season in 2008 with a back injury that later required surgery and hasn't played since.

The last couple of seasons have been very frustrating for the Eagles and their fans. After two great seasons that saw him become one of the top offensive guards in the league, he disappeared.

Despite his injury history, I think the Vikings need to take a chance on Andrews. After all, the reward could greatly outweigh the risks.

It's no secret that the Vikings' offensive line wasn't very good last season. Well, that may be an understatement. The offensive line was downright terrible.

Adrian Peterson looked beatable largely due to ineffective offensive line. As a matter of fact, Adrian Peterson was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage more than any other running back in the NFL.

Peterson still pulled off 18 touchdowns and almost 1,400 yards.

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While the 18 touchdowns are nice, 1,383 yards at 4.4 yards per carry isn't what you want out of one of the most talented running back in the NFL.

What was once the envy of the league became one of the league's worst offensive lines. Don't be fooled by their two "Pro Bowlers" from 2009. Steve Hutchinson was merely a shell of his former self and Bryant McKinnie was very undeserving.

They let Favre get beat up all season long which could be one of the reasons why Favre isn't ready to decide on his future.

If the Vikings sign Andrews, it could be a sign to Favre that they are serious about keeping him healthy.

Anthony Herrera, the team's current starting right guard, is facing the possibility of being a full time bench player next season. One both sides of Herrera at center and right tackle were first-year starters, John Sullivan and rookie Phil Loadholt. That may explain his poor play, but it may be too late.

The signing of Andrews would give the Vikings a 27-year old guard with tremendous upside.

With Artis Hicks leaving for richer pastures in Washington D.C (3 years and $9 million), the Vikings are suddenly very thin on the offensive line.

The Vikings are likely to pick up a guard in the first few rounds in the draft, but signing Andrews could help fill needs in other areas including the secondary, quarterback, and defensive tackle.

Coach Brad Childress has taken risks on players over the years and have turned their lives around.

In 2007, the Vikings drafted a running back with the seventh overall pick in the draft after Chester Taylor ran for over 1,200 yards the season before. That running back suffered from durability issues that caused him to miss more than his share of college games. As it turns out, Adrian Peterson has had three straight seasons of 1,300 yards or more and double-digit touchdowns to go along with a Rookie of the Year award and a rushing title.

In 2008, the Vikings gave up a first-round and two third-round draft picks for an alcoholic. In his first two seasons with the team, Jared Allen has accumulated nearly 30 sacks and is sober to date, hopefully...

In 2009, the Vikings drafted a player that failed a drug test taken at the NFL Combine. Well, NFL fans watched as Percy Harvin caught 60 balls for 790 yards, ran the ball 15 times for 135 yards, and became one of the league's deadliest return men en route to an NFL Rookie of the Year award.

Also in 2009, the Vikings gave $25 million for two years to a quarterback who had just finished one of his worst seasons ever with 22 interceptions while taking his team out of the playoffs. Along with that, said quarterback had received surgery and it wasn't completely certain as to how his arm would react. Over 4,000 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions later, Brett Favre completed his best season of his career.

So please Brad Childress, take Andrews under your wing and work your magic. Turn the kid back into the Pro Bowl monster he was in 2006 and 2007. Let's get back to the NFC Championship game. But this time, let's go a little further...