The Vikings have gone from a perennial playoff contender to the most exciting team in the NFL to a playoff contender again.
So what will they do?
The answer is more than a little depressing.
They’ll have to go from being a Super Bowl contender to a Superbowl contender again if they want to win it all.
But there’s still time.
They can keep winning games by winning the Super Bowl, but that won’t mean much if they’re just good enough to win the NFC Championship.
If they don’t, they’ll have no choice but to make a change and take a step back.
They have no reason to believe they can’t do that.
There are two things they need to do this offseason.
They need to add a few pieces to their roster, namely linebacker Chad Greenway and defensive tackle Anthony Barr.
If the Vikings were to bring Greenway in and make him the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, they’d have a nice foundation to build around in years to come.
They also need to keep their defensive backfield intact.
They will probably need to address that front seven for the next few years, and the Vikings have a few free agents on their roster who could be useful for their future.
This offseason is likely going to be the Vikings’ biggest since the Vikings won the Superbowl in 2008.
They’ve made a few significant additions and some notable free agent departures, but they’ll be looking to rebuild and find their next step.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what to watch for this season in the NFC.
*Barrett’s return to Vikings camp*The Vikings signed free-agent linebacker Chad Garrett to a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason.
Garrett, a former undrafted free agent who played in the CFL and NFL, played a big role in the team’s success this season, and he’ll be counted on for a big year.
In his three seasons with the Vikings, Garrett has played in 10 games, recorded seven sacks, two forced fumbles and nine tackles for loss.
He was a first-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016.
*Pryor’s return from suspension*Minnesota’s safety tandem of Terence Newman and Devin McCourty is the only one of the top three safeties in the league with a suspension history.
Both Newman and McCourry were suspended for the second straight season in 2016, after they both pled guilty to DUI manslaughter charges.
They were arrested in April of 2017 for driving under the influence.
They missed their first game of the season in 2017.
Both are free agents and Minnesota could decide to re-sign both of them to long-term deals this offseason, which could be beneficial for the Vikings.
*Vikings look to bounce back in NFC West*The Packers were a Superbrained Super Bowl-winning team that didn’t play well enough to make the playoffs this season.
The Vikings were supposed to be a Superteam for the foreseeable future, and that’s exactly what they’ve done so far.
They haven’t lost to any of the other playoff teams, and they’re currently one of only four teams that have a winning record in the division.
The Packers have had some key injuries and the team has struggled to find a consistent running game.
If Greenway can get back and continue to play like he did this past season, the Vikings could be in a good position to make some noise in the playoffs again this year.
*The Vikings need to get a few key pieces in the trade market*The Minnesota Vikings have an abundance of free-agents to address this offseason and they have plenty of picks to do so.
The team has plenty of depth on the defensive line, including a number of defensive linemen that can help the team make a run at the playoffs.
The most important piece of that trade could be at safety.
The top safety in the draft is a young player named Christian Kirksey, who played safety in college.
The Minnesota Vikings could land a good player in the middle of the second round to add to their safety depth, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a safety in a trade to help them with that position.
If Kirksey can get healthy, it’s likely he’ll get some playing time at safety in 2017, and his potential value to the team would be enormous.
If he can’t, the Minnesota Vikings will likely have to move on from their safety core.
The biggest question mark on this front is what position will be the team at in the coming years.
Minnesota needs to add some depth at safety, but there is a lot of uncertainty in that department.
*Can Minnesota’s defense finally turn things around?*The last three years have been the Vikings worst since 2008, when they finished in the bottom half of the league in total defense for the first time in six years.
That year, they lost nine games and missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
That season, they also