If you're a fan of Minnesota Vikings' head coach Brad Childress, you're likely sitting on pins and needles right now awaiting the Vikings' decision regarding whether to match the Cincinnati Bengals' offer sheet to starting fullback Naufahu Tahi. After a scintillating career year in 2008, in which he amassed 37 receiving yards on 16 receptions and had numerous other laterals received for several inches after the catch, Tahi understandably is in high demand. The question is whether the Vikings are willing to pay the price to retain the next offensive Vinny Ciurciu.
After bowing out at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings tendered Tahi at $1 million. Cincinnati has countered with a $1.4 million offer. The Vikings have seven days to match the Bengals' offer or lose Tahi without compensation.
The cynic might argue that $37,838 per yard is too high of a price to pay for a 28-year-old fullback with 26 career games to his name. That cynic, however, would be greatly underestimating the value of a replacement-level cog in the Childress system.
Odds of Vikings Matching Bengals' Offer Sheet to Tahi: 1 in 1.
Rationale: With no Eagles' fullbacks currently available in free agency, Childress has no place to turn should Tahi depart. Tahi was his number one weapon in crunch time in 2008. And although Tahi rarely, if ever, produced, he's still number one on the Vikings' depth chart with a tight end listed at number two. Adding Childress' desire to frustrate running back Adrian Peterson's desire to run without a fullback in front of him makes Tahi's retention a no-brainer.