Having made the playoffs just once since the 2009 NFL campaign, the Minnesota Vikings understood the need to make a splash in free agency. And sure enough, that’s exactly what this Vikings franchise did by going out and adding star wide receive Mike Wallace to the mix.
With Wallace now as an option in the passing game, young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s life should be a whole lot easier. Wallace has made an impact everywhere that he’s been, and with Minnesota already having playmakers at several positions, he will add even more spice to this much-improved offense.
Another excellent move that Minnesota made was adding veteran cornerback Terence Newman. There is still a lot to learn for the Vikings secondary, and having Newman come in and help some of the younger talents should give this team a nice boost on defense.
Assessing Minnesota’s Draft
It was easy to be pleased with the Vikings‘ outstanding draft choices this year, as the team really zeroed in on key needs and addressed them nicely. Minnesota snagged a fantastic cornerback in Trae Waynes with the 11th pick, and given the impact that he had on an absolutely loaded Michigan State defense, he knows how to play the position extremely well.
Perhaps the biggest steal was getting UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks at the 45th spot, with him being heralded as one of the huge potential players on that side of the ball heading into the event.
Minnesota chose to go heavy on the offensive line with their later picks, which will obviously be an important aspect when it comes to protecting Bridgewater and this revamped offense.
Other Off-Season Notes
There was an elephant in the room that the Vikings had to address during the off-season, and that was how to proceed with Adrian Peterson. After Peterson’s off-field troubles in 2014, it was anyone’s guess as to what Minnesota would do with him. However, the Vikings chose to keep him around, and in terms of on-field production, clearly they’ll be getting a major addition back in the lineup.
Graphic via sportsworldreport
Peterson has proven that he is one of the most talented running backs in the entire NFL when he’s at his best and healthy, so you can add him to the list of positive developments for Bridgewater this off-season.
Of course, the decision to re-sign Peterson will come with criticism given his off-field struggles, so it may be a storyline worth watching as the season progresses.
Looking Ahead to the 2015 Season
The Vikings will be hoping to make their triumphant return to the playoffs, and in order to do that, they’ll need these pivotal off-season moves to pay off sooner rather than later.
The first two pre-season games will come at home against an improved Tampa Bay squad and perhaps an even more improved Oakland Raiders team. After that, the real preparations will begin for the opening week of the new campaign that will see Minnesota under the lights in San Francisco against the 49ers.
The NFC North battle is always one of the most intriguing that the sport of professional football has to offer, and this upcoming season will be no different.
Given how many positive steps that the Vikings have taken during the off-season, they could find themselves taking a huge leap forward.
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