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The future of the Minnesota Vikings: The complete series

Oct 1, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; General view as the Minnesota Vikings play the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have many crucial decisions to be made this offseason if they want to return to the top of the NFC North next season. Since the 2017 season ended in the NFC Championship game, we have been looking at every position and every player’s performance in 2017 and what’s next. Here is the complete series…

Quarterback

The Minnesota Vikings have three free agent quarterbacks. Will they bring one back or look elsewhere? Did Case Keenum play well enough to be considered the franchise quarterback or will Teddy Bridgewater take back the reins? Will the Vikings look outside the building for their next signal caller? 

The future of the Vikings, Part 1: The quarterbacks

Running back

Dalvin Cook got off to a hot start before suffering a season-ending injury. What did his first four games tell us about the future? Will Latavius Murray still have a role next season? Could the Vikings convince Jerick McKinnon to return? How will they replace him if he doesn’t? 

The future of the Vikings, part 2: The running backs

Wide receiver

What made Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs so effective this season? Will the Vikings have a true No. 3 receiver next season? Will Laquon Treadwell take the next step? 

The future of the Vikings, part 3: Wide receivers

Tight end

Kyle Rudolph’s fantasy numbers were down, but he was more effective in 2017 than 2016. How important was David Morgan in the Vikings’ offense? Will the Vikings ever find that “athletic” tight end? 

The future of the Vikings part 4: Tight ends

Offensive line

How the Vikings turned things around on the offensive line. Will they spend more in free agency to fill the right guard spot? Could Mike Remmers make a change to guard? Should we be excited about Pat Elflein’s future? Will Nick Easton start next year? 

The future of the Vikings, Part 5: The offensive line

Defensive line

The Vikings were the No. 1 defense in the NFL in large part because of the defensive line. How did Tom Johnson fair as a full-time starter at three-technique? Will the Vikings invest long term in Danielle Hunter? What do we make of Everson Griffen’s career best season? Will the Vikings follow the Eagles’ model and add more talent up front this offseason? 

The future of the Vikings, part 6: The defensive line

Linebackers

Did Anthony Barr have a bounce-back season? Will the Vikings sign him long term? Why Eric Kendricks is a consistent force. Did Ben Gedeon play a solid role this year? Is there another player to be added to the mix for depth purposes? 

The future of the Vikings, part 7: The linebackers

Cornerbacks

Did Trae Waynes convince the Vikings to use his fifth-year option? How Xavier Rhodes solidified his spot as an elite corner. Will the Vikings bring back Terence Newman? Should they sign another starting nickel corner or hand the role to Mackensie Alexander? 

The future of the Vikings, part 8: The cornerbacks

Safeties

Why Harrison Smith was one of the best players in the NFL this year. Andrew Sendejo had a career year. Jayron Kearse and Anthony Harris found their roles. And a creative option to help the Vikings become even more versatile…. 

The future of the Vikings, part 9: The safeties

  • cka2nd

    What, no special teams report? We’re set at placekicker and kickoff returner? Marcus Sherels won’t face the obligatory challenger in training camp this year? We don’t have a long-snapper coming back from injury? Our punter just completed a season with zero touchbacks, so does that mean he’s the long-term answer? Could we be losing any of our top-rated coverage teams? Did Mike Prieffer get any whiffs of the head coaching job he dreams of?

    • linus

      Well done. I was just about to make the same comment, though with much less detail.

      • Dawn

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  • brian199511

    The Viking have a ton of talent all over the field and some say they are just a QB away from the Super Bowl. Also depth at OL, DL and DB is important. They can’t bet the future on gimpy kneed QBs as the window to win is not very long. Cousins or Keenum are probably the choices for starter with money making the difference. Cousins at $25 mil per is probably better than Keenum at $22 million but if Cousins holds out for $30 mil and Keenum will sign a three year at $15 mil per than that might make sense. Guess this is why DeFilippo was hired and Spielman and Zimmer have the corner offices.

    • linus

      I don’t understand the logic. When you write that the Vikings “are just a QB away from the Super Bowl,” it suggests that you don’t think Keenum is good enough to get them there, but if that’s true, then why sign him to be your starter at any price? How does paying him $15 M/year rather than $22 M/year make him a better player?

      • V Mazzariello

        Well said…We need an offensive line. Cousins is a step backwards!!!!!

    • V Mazzariello

      We have the QB’s to win….We need an offensive line- Get rid of Hill and Sirles.. Cousins cant run (And will have to with our line) and does NOT upgrade the position for us.

      • Andre Esters

        Saying players are needed and then jettisoning players in said positions is not always an easy exchange… I rather it be a competition, let the best rise while others naturally fade off the roster. Much better than desperately filling in roster spots.
        As for Cousins, with or without a good O-line… and no disrespect to our current crop of QB’s… but he’s the perfect upgrade to complement what the roster currently has available.

        • V Mazzariello

          Conversely picking any quarterback who’s not much better than what we have without an offense of line is fruitless

    • cka2nd

      The idea that Kirk Cousins could possibly be signed for $25 or even $30 million a year after Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract was announced is a wild-eyed fantasy. The man is going to get at least $35 million/year, and that’s probably a wild-eyed fantasy on my part because the thought of him getting $38 to $40 million/per year sticks in my craw. Folks, the market has changed, whether we like it or not. Cousins is now an upper 30’s million dollars a year QB. Period. In fact, it is only because of that new reality that Keenum at a Franchise-tagged $22 or $23 million for one year now makes any sense at all. Mind, in a multi-year deal, Keenum might still be had for $15-$18 million per, but do you want to commit to him for a multi-year deal, even one with a one-year get out of jail clause built in?

      • linus

        No. Cousins is not going to get $35 M a year unless… maybe… he signs with the Browns.

        • cka2nd

          My apologies to you, linus, and especially to brian199511. I must have read the numbers wrong, and on more than one site, because Stafford’s average annual salary is $27 million/year and Garoppolo’s $27.5. I added $10 million dollars to both figures in my head, and then proceeded to bully people about it, I think on more than one thread. I’m sorry for that, and apologize to anyone else (Gordon?) reading this who I beat over the head with the wrong numbers.

          Okay, getting back to reality, Cousins will probably get a deal right in the same range as Stafford (better passer rating both overall and over the past three years) and Garoppolo (a lot more tape, if not as good), and very, very possibly higher just because his agent will be gunning for the record, even if Kirk won’t hold it for long. Frankly, I still think that’s too much for the Vikings to sink into him, especially since the most expensive other option, a combination of Keenum and an un-tolled Bridgewater, probably comes in at a slightly lower price of $22-$25 million/year, and probably with more out clauses and incentives in both contracts, to boot.

  • Andre Esters

    Appreciate the one stop shop for a nice offseason reading collection, Coller. I know you like them clicks… I’m thinking of just printing out the stuff and walking around with stacks of paper while the tablet generation gives me ugly looks.

    • cka2nd

      I wish I could give this multiple Up votes!!!





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