What Should the Vikings do this Offseason?

To say that the Minnesota Vikings underachieved last year would be a massive understatement. Finishing with an 8-7-1 record, the Vikings missed the playoffs just a year removed from a berth in the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings need to improve next year in order to reclaim their postseason glory. These are just some of the things the Purple People Eaters need to do in order to compete for a Super Bowl next year.

Kirk Cousins- The only major change that the Vikings made from last year to this one was signing Kirk Cousins to a record deal. Cousins put up good numbers in his first season in purple, but the story was the same as Washington, as he wasn’t good enough to put his team in the playoffs. Now, Cousins had arguably his two best games of the year against the Packers, so that is something to look forward to for the future. But Cousins needs to be more consistent against other opponents, specifically the Bears. The Vikings only managed 30 points against Chicago in both games combined last year, and Cousins combined for under 400 yards in those contests. Cousins needs to stabilize a Vikings offense that was under siege last year.

Kevin Stefanski- My main gripe with the offense last season was the questionable play calling of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. DeFilippo was fired after an ugly 21-7 loss to the Seahawks, and interim Kevin Stefanski impressed in his place. Stefanski was even reportedly one of the finalists for the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Stefanski will now have an additional year to gel with Kirk Cousins while trying to improve a rushing attack that inexplicably plummeted to 30th in yards and yards per game while getting back Dalvin Cook. The offense should improve in order to take the next step.

Vikings Defense- Going into this past year, the Vikings were expected to have some growing pains offensively but should’ve been able to rely on 2017’s top-ranked defense. Instead, the Vikings defense slid just a bit, and it was enough to send the team spiraling downwards. In particular, the Vikings gave up over 26 points a game to the playoff teams they faced this year, including 30 to the Saints and 38 to the Rams. Now, the secondary was decimated by injuries to Mike Hughes and Xavier Rhodes. But this defense is littered with first and second-round picks, and they need to step it up. Mike Zimmer was hired as a defensive mind; next year the Purple People Eaters need to return to form.

Free Agents- The Vikings don’t have to go out and get anyone; they just need to resign some of their pending free agents. They were 31st in cap space last year so they won’t have a ton of money to spend. But the big name they should sign is LB Anthony Barr. Barr had a 12 million dollar cap hit last year, but with Sheldon Richardson and Latavius Murray also coming off the books they should look into resigning the 27-year-old. They also need to look into getting a new kicker, as their kicking situation was in disarray for basically the whole year. The Vikings are cash-strapped, but they should look into going after some of their own instead of big name free agents.

The Vikings have plenty of upside heading into next year, especially because their schedule gets easier. They will look to return to postseason glory, and once again, it’s Super Bowl or bust in the Twin Cities.


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