After a full week of complete madness, the NFL free agency frenzy is finally slowing down. Now, it’s time to take a step back and analyze how each team has addressed their needs so far.
Earlier this month, we identified the Minnesota Vikings’ top five needs heading into next season. The Vikings have one of the most complete rosters in football, giving the team’s front office added flexibility. Although the Vikings have made big moves so far, there is still room for improvement.
Let’s look at an updated list of the Vikings’ offseason needs heading into 2018.
Find a Quarterback
Prior to free agency, the Minnesota Vikings had a bare cupboard at the quarterback position, with just Kyle Sloter on the roster.
Within a few days, the Vikings were able to reel in Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins and trade for Denver’s Trevor Siemian. Cousins provides an upgrade from the Vikings’ former trio of Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater.
Siemian was also a solid addition for the Vikings and only costed a late pick in next year’s draft. The former Denver Bronco is a quality backup quarterback with starting experience, a valuable commodity in today’s NFL.
Fix the offensive line
The offensive line has long been neglected by the Minnesota Vikings’ front office and struggled mightily in 2016. The addition of center Pat Elflein helped last season, but this is still the Vikings’ weakest position group. Guards Joe Berger and Nick Easton are also free agents, making their return to Minnesota doubtful.
With the top lineman in free agency already heading elsewhere, look for the Vikings to address this issue early and often in the draft.
Find a third receiver
With the stellar performance of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in 2017, the odds of the Vikings picking up another wide receiver is low. However, former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell has been unimpressive so far in his career, and it might be time to move on. Last season, Treadwell only caught 20 balls for 200 yards.
Thielen and Diggs formed one of the NFL’s most productive wide receiving duos in the NFL last season. By adding a dynamic third receiver for Kirk Cousins to work with, this offense could easily be one of the league’s best in 2018.
Re-sign Terence Newman
The Minnesota Vikings have an impressive cornerback duo with Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. However, former second-round pick Mackensie Alexander hasn’t lived up to expectations so far in his career.
Bringing back the soon-to-be-40 Terence Newman for one last year makes perfect sense for both parties. Newman is very familiar with Mike Zimmer’s scheme and fits in well as a nickel corner. If Newman does reunite with the team, it will likely be after the NFL Draft in April.
Give Linval Joseph a running mate
With the departures of defensive tackles Tom Johnson, Shemar Stephen, and Sharif Floyd, the Vikings were left with a massive hole to fill at the position. The team needed a talented interior pass-rusher to compliment Pro Bowler Linval Joseph. They eventually found that with Sheldon Richardson, who signed a one-year deal last Friday.
Richardson showed potential in his first two years with the New York Jets, but slowly saw his production decrease. With talented teammates including Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen surrounding him, it remains to be seen if Richardson can live up to his high potential.
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