A major talking point about the Minnesota Vikings in recents season has been the potential of their window of competition closing. This team for the past 5-ish years has played mostly competitive football, but time is money. As seen in many pieces about the current state of the Vikings, this team is old. Minnesota isn’t a team readily known for its tanking, but with a roster soon in need of a massive overhaul, what’s the right move for the Vikings’ front office?
If the Vikings are known for anything, it sure isn’t rebuilding through the draft. The last good quarterback Minnesota drafted was last millennium, taking Dante Culpepper in 1999. At least you can give them credit for snagging Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson, but running back and wide receiver seem to be the only standout positions that this franchise can usually draft ok at. Notably, they’re piss-poor at drafting and developing offensive line talent. So what would be the point of rebuilding if your team repeatedly drops total stinkers of draft classes? Well, fresh talent as well as the fact that it’s really hard for a rookie to say no to a team. Let me explain the latter one, I know it doesn’t sound great, but hang with me.
Minnesota as a destination for landing free agents is…not Miami. It’s cold. Summer is humid and insufferable. The roads are always getting worked on. Not a very appealing place to sign, right? Well, money talks. It’s becoming rarer and rarer to see major holdouts and rejections to sign with a team (we need more situations like Eli Manning, spices things up a little bit), which means the draft absolutely should be a focus for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the brand new front office. I find it extremely hard to believe that they’ll draft worse than the previous pair of GM Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer, the terrible two who piddled with penny picks while the rest of the league laughed and picked up the missed talent. But, enough about the past, this topic is all about the present and future. If this team really builds a strong scouting/war room group, this rebuild can absolutely be a viable option. However, it may not be the only viable option.
Zero Risk, Zero Reward
As of right now, there’s probably only another year or two of productivity from the main core of this roster that remains from the 2015-2019 era. I mean come on, our star starting safety played his rookie year in a jersey now considered a throwback kit. They. Are. Old. This situation for the front office is made even worse with the fact that they have to deal with the previous regime’s impotence and complacency in regards to making positive moves. With all this considered, why not try to bring in a piece or two? Why not throw some picks or cash at a star and see if it sticks? It would at least give this roster a chance to get over the hump and try to make a run at the postseason. Obviously, you don’t really want to sacrifice everything for one player, especially in such a team-centric game as football. Though, I don’t see the issue with at least attempting to fill a need on the team.
I think that both of these routes have their own pros and cons, but a mix of both could be the right play in this position. The team gets a difference maker and makes a run, awesome, more playoff football. They get the difference maker and don’t push far enough, you can easily start selling for picks and bracing for a rough (let’s call them character-building) couple seasons. I don’t see the issue with taking this core for one more spin, but I don’t think the right play is to bank on the majority of this roster to stay effective and at their peak for much longer than typical. Really, this season and maybe the next will be the last two to try and make something happen. If there’s not a miracle Super Bowl or time catches up even in the slightest, the best thing to do is to put every and all resources into scrubbing the past faults of Spielman and Zimmer from this squad.