There are many questions for the Minnesota Vikings heading into the off season. Probably the biggest one was answered today. We will get into that in a bit. Some of the biggest questions are, should they take a QB in the draft? How will they improve their O line? What will happen to Griffen and Rhodes? How did Rhodes make the Pro Bowl? Just joking on the last one, but seriously how? He was the eighth worst CB in the league! The Pro Bowl just doesn’t make sense sometimes.
First off, Minnesota lost their Offensive coach Keven Stefanski to the Cleveland Browns. This seemed like a huge loss as the Vikings have had 4 different Offensive Coordinates in the past 4 years. Norv Turner was the OC the start of the 2016 season, then half way through the season, he handed it off to Pat Shurmur. Shurmur helped take Minnesota to the NFC championship game in 2017 and then left to be the NY Giants head coach. Minnesota then went on to hire up and coming Coach John DeFilippo from the Eagles to be the OC. He didn’t even last a full season before getting let go due to not agreeing with Head Coach Mike Zimmer. They promoted QB Coach Kevin Stefanski To OC. Stefanski has been with the team for many years and did a solid job. With the Help of Gary Kubiak, Stefanski turned Minnesota’s offense into a high powered offense. Like stated earlier, Stefanski has headed to Cleveland and that had fans worried about what was about to happen. Luckily, Gary Kubiak is stepping in as OC and should maintain the high powered offense. Kubiak recently won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos and is a great addition to this team. I think he will do great things in Minnesota!
Kirk Cousins has one year left on his contract and will probably be wanting more then what he is already getting…which is a lot. So Minnesota might be looking to the draft for a franchise QB, something they haven’t had for pretty much the whole time I have been a Fan. There are many promising QB’s in this years draft, but sadly Minnesota probably wont be getting their hands on one in the first round. Jake Fromm didn’t have the best season and could fall further in the first round and that could be a promising pick for Minnesota. Fromm is a NFL ready QB who could learn behind Captain Kirk for a year and then take the lead. He is Like Cousins in a few ways. He has a good arm, can scramble if needed, and delivers sharp passes. He has had trouble with big games, much like Cousins, but I think Kubiak could fix that.
I also believe they need to look for another backup QB no matter what. Sean Mannion just doesn’t have what it takes. He is a smart QB and helps in the QB room, but just doesn’t seem like he can play at the professional level. If they had CAP room, id say try and take Mariota. That scenario is unlikely. Case Keenum could be another option. He would be able to push Cousins and be able to jump right in to the offense and play if need be. I’m not sure how much he is looking for, but I wouldn’t mine seeing him again.
Let’s talk about some soon to be free agents. Jayron Kearse (Safety) is set to be a free agent and Minnesota isn’t likely to chase him. Kearse has been a solid player, but has had is problems. He isn’t better then Smith, Harris, or Sendejo. I would rather have Sendejo back then Kearse. Treadwell (Wide Receiver) has probably seen his last game in Minnesota. He has been mostly a let down for being a 1st round pick. He saw limited time this season, and was even let go at the beginning, but was brought back due to injuries. I don’t think they should pursue him and hopefully he gets another chance somewhere else. He needs a fresh start. Abdullah (Running Back) is also likely to go. He has been an okay back, and returner, but I think Boone should get the start over him. Dan Bailey (Kicker) is hopeful to return. He has been consistent and overall a good leader for this team. he Made 27/29 field goals this season. Britton Colquitt (Punter) in his one year made a huge impact. He only allowed one punt to be a touch back, and looked like a super star holding the football while Baily kicked it. He was much needed and not nearly appreciated. He is an absolute must to bring back. Trae Waynes (Corner) is a solid player and has been an important piece to the defense. He has been the best CB on the team the last 2 year. I think he should be brought back but it might not happen due to other teams wanting him. Mackenzie Alexander (Corner) is also set to be a free agent. He showed that he has potential to be a great Corner, when he wasn’t hurt. He was probably the most consistent CB on the team. I would like to see him back and it is more then likely to happen. Anthony Harris (Safety) is a must to bring back. After finally getting to start this season, he took full advantage of it. He had 6 interception and 1 touchdown. He just always seemed to be where he needed to be. Along with Smith and Sendejo, they are the best Safety’s in the league. He should be wanting to come back.
There are many question on the guys listed. Some wont be able to come back due to CAP space. Minnesota might look to cut some other players to make room for these players. Xavier Rhodes (Corner) was once a shut down corner, but has had a huge downfall, could be let go to save some room. He was given a big contract after 2017, when he was the best CB in the league. Things have changed in 2 years. I’m excited, and nervous, to see what happens in Minnesota.
Minnesota has some blinding needs. Their offensive line is the biggest need. Garret Bradbury and Brian O’Neill are the only good parts of the O Line. Pat Elflein has been a disappointment after a promising rookie year. He just always seems to be doing something wrong. Riley Reiff has been consistently average. He is a good guy and I like him, he could be let go to give more CAP space, or stay and help develop some younger guys. Josh Kline was ok. He seemed to be hurt most of the time. He could be solid in being a bridge guy just like Reiff.
Overall, I think this team is a great team and I can’t wait to see what they do next year. I think they have potential for a full playoff run. Cook and Mattison will be hitting the ground hard, Diggs and Thielen will return to being the best duo. Cousins has more faith in himself after winning some big game. The defense showed they have young stars in the making that are ready to start. I think they will be underestimated and will shine under Zimmer and Kubiak. Let’s see what the off season holds! SKOL!
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Writer on the Minnesota Vikings and writer for timeskewed.com. Professional Music instructor.