Following a late pre-season injury to Teddy Bridgewater the Vikings made an aggressive move to shore up their team and make a playoff run before their window closed. Unfortunately an injury to Adrian Peterson doomed the Vikings to miss the playoffs despite the surprisingly good play of Sam Bradford. Now the Viking find themselves cash strapped, ageing, and with a number of starters about to hit free agency.
Primary Needs: OT, RB, WR
Secondary Needs: OG, OLB, CB
Free Agency Strategy: Adrian Peterson will not be playing at his current salary. The best thing for everyone involved is probably to part ways but Peterson won’t make anywhere close to $18 million on the open market and it is possible that a well structured deal that frees up $10 million or so might keep him in Minnesota. As of now the Vikings have $21.5 million in cap space and 8 major free agents. Matt Kalil is the obvious candidate to be resigned. Kalil has played at a near Pro-Bowl level when healthy and finding a left tackle this year will be extremely difficult otherwise. It is possible that the team decides to resign Jake Long on the cheap but that seems unlikely. There are a number of guards and right tackles that the team could focus on but without restructuring Peterson they very likely won’t have the cap space to be major players in free agency.
Draft Strategy: The team has eight selections, but no first round choice. This means they can spend more of their cap space on veterans but they will also lose out on the opportunity to fully stock up on this year’s deep draft class. Still the Vikings have five selections in the top 118 and they will be able to add some competent players. With so many needs the team has to take the best player available approach early. It wouldn’t be shocking if the team dropped from 46 to the end of the second round in order to add an extra third round selection, given their roster needs. There might not be an offensive tackle worth taking at 46th overall but cornerback, running back, and receiver should all have some value there. An offensive guard can probably be found in the 4th or 5th rounds.