Thursday, January 23, 2014
The next big thing: Vikings
By Ben Goessling
What appears to be a pivotal offseason for the Minnesota Vikings has already begun with a major change. Mike Zimmer has replaced Leslie Frazier as the head coach, and by all accounts, Zimmer appears to be assembling a heavyweight coaching staff that includes former head coach Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator. But now, the Vikings need to address the other major problem on their roster: quarterback.
The Vikings used three different signal-callers in 2013, at one point changing starters before three consecutive games. They'll have the No. 8 pick in the draft and more than $20 million in cap space with which to attack their need at quarterback, and if the Vikings don't take one in the first round, they'll have three picks in the next two rounds.
Quarterback is far from their only need, though. The Vikings will have to shore up a secondary that was the main culprit in the team's allowing a league-worst 37 touchdown passes last season. They also need to make some decisions about a linebacking corps that is short on playmakers, and if Zimmer decides to run a 4-3 defense, the Vikings will have to determine whether they have enough money to bring back defensive end Jared Allen, who turns 32 in April after carrying a $17 million salary-cap figure in 2013.
An offseason that began with Zimmer's hiring figures to have more big developments coming.