Vikings Straddling Line Between Contending and Rebuilding in Free Agency
Watch the video above to see my breakdown of where the Vikings stand at this point of the offseason, nearly two weeks since the 2020 free agency period began.
The audio transcription is below.
The Minnesota Vikings have had an interesting free agency period thus far.
They've made some moves that suggest that, after reaching the divisional round last year, they believe they're still in win-now mode in 2020. They extended quarterback Kirk Cousins through the 2022 season after he had a career year in 2019. They franchise tagged Anthony Harris, who was one of the best safeties in the league last year. They also signed fullback CJ Ham, punter Britton Colquitt, and kicker Dan Bailey to new deals.
But at the same time, there has been an exodus of talent that would suggest the Vikings are closer to rebuilding than contending in 2020. They traded star receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for a handful of draft picks, including a first-rounder. They released veterans Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, and Josh Kline for cap purposes. And they had a number of their own free agents head elsewhere: Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Everson Griffen...the list goes on.
To their credit, the Vikings have made a few additions to help fill their newly-created holes. They added former Ravens nose tackle Michael Pierce on a three-year $27 million deal to replace Joseph. They also added receiver Tajae Sharpe and defensive end Anthony Zettel for depth.
Ultimately, it's too early to judge the Vikings' chances of contending in 2020 just yet. There could still be another move coming, whether it be a free agent signing or a trade. Most importantly, we need to see how General Manager Rick Spielman handles the draft. The Vikings are loaded with draft capital. If they can find a few immediate contributors to step in and help fill the void of some of their departed players, the Vikings could again be a playoff team in 2020.
But if the loss of Diggs, Griffen, Waynes, Alexander, and so many others proves to be too much to overcome, the Vikings could be looking at a big step back next year.
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