The Minnesota Vikings are in the middle of what might be the most important offseason in franchise history. I seem to remember saying that last year, but then the new stadium got pushed back, the Vikes drafted Christian Ponder as an answer to their QB question, so that situation still remains questionable, and oh yeah, Adrian Peterson blew out his knee. So where does Minnesota stand right now?
Well, the good news is that the stadium deal looks done. Almost. The Vikings have come to a preliminary agreement with the state and local governments on a new venue that will be built on the same site as the Metrodome. The Vikings will reportedly contribute over 50 percent of the money needed, and this site is supposedly a couple hundred million less than the team’s first preference, which was to be built in suburban Arden Hills. In addition, since the new stadium will be east of the current dome, construction time should be less and the Vikings will likely only spend one year playing at TCF Bank Stadium, the outdoor home of the U of Minnesota Golden Gophers. While there is still some opposition to this plan, everyone involved seems to think it will make it through the necessary votes. So there will not be any Los Angeles Vikings jerseys printed up any time soon.
As far as player news, there is plenty of uncertainty to go around. AP has spoken and said that his rehab is progressing along nicely, but as someone who has had a very similar procedure, I can tell you that being ready any time inside of 8 months is not going to happen. Nor do I expect the Vikings to let Adrian be his own worst enemy. Daunte Culpepper, a former Viking All-Pro, is an example of what can happen if a guy tries to rush the recovery in order to get back on the field. His setbacks ruined his opportunity with the Dolphins, and in reality, were the main factor in him never getting another chance with a decent team. If Peterson plays half of the 2012 season, it will be a victory.
Of course the biggest two events in any offseason are the NFL Draft and free agency. The Vikings have money to spend. The 2012 cap should be about $120.4 million, while Minnesota only has $112 million committed, and that includes roughly $13 million to players who will probably be released(Steve Hutchinson, Anthony Herrera, and Cedric Griffin). That leaves around $20 million available to improve the team and there are plenty of areas that need it. Wide receiver, both sides of the line, and the secondary are all priorities. And of RGIII is there at #3, which is unlikely, they may upgrade at QB. If he isn’t there, my choice would be Justin Blackmon, WR from OK State. Some experts are predicting it will be Matt Kalil, OT from USC, but I just don’t like taking an OL that high. April is right around the corner, so there will be plenty of discussion between now and then.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).