Now that the Minnesota Vikings 2012 season has come to a close, we can begin to take a look at their biggest need, and that need is?
Sorry to just jump right into things here, but it’s about as clear as clear can get.
There are plenty of areas where this Minnesota Vikings team can upgrade and or improve, but to me it has got to be WR first and foremost.
The bigger question is going to be where they target a receiver.
The free agency market is much deeper at WR than the 2013 NFL Draft. Naturally, many fans would hope the Minnesota Vikings target an outside receiving threat through free agency first, before turning their attention to the draft.
But that may not be possible.
The top three names right out of the gate is Dwayne Bowe (KC), Mike Wallace (PIT) and Greg Jennings (GB). I'd throw in Victor Cruz, but it looks as if he and the Giants will eventually ink some sort of extension in the coming weeks.
Bill Williamson of ESPN feels there's a good chance Dwayne Bowe may wind up being re-signed with Andy Reid now in Kansas City, and the thought of Greg Jennings coming to play for Minnesota is nice, but way to unaffordable.
If Jennings does go, he may wind up down south in Miami.
Mike Wallace, on the other hand, is unlikely to resign in Pittsburgh thanks to an inflated and poorly managed salary cap (as it currently stands, that is). The Vikings at the very least could wind up feeling out Wallace, but if he immediately starts throwing down absorbent figures, Minnesota Vikings fans can kiss that opportunity goodbye.
If the Vikings decide to fore-go free agency and concentrate on the draft, than I believe Baylor’s Terrance Williams is the early favorite here.
Williams is a big physical receiver with stellar hands and speed. At 6’2”, 200 pounds, Williams is also known for his presence of mind on the field and footwork.
Williams is the type of “stretch” receiver the Vikings are without. His speed and size can disrupt most matchup scenarios, and he’d be a great addition to Christian Ponder’s attack.
If the Vikings decide to target WR through the draft exclusively they MUST do so in the first round, since the talent pool drops off and becomes as shallow as it's even been in recent years.
Failure to do either, will be disastrous to say the least.
+++What will become of Percy Harvin?
Keep in mind that everything mentioned here also rests heavily on what happens with WR Percy Harvin. Harvin dealt with a few injury issues this season and also found himself in the center of a media leak suggesting he (Harvin) is displeased with the Minnesota front office and organization.
GM Rick Speilman has already said there's no issue with Harvin.
The Vikings have allowed Harvin to enter his fifth season without any type of restructuring or extension which is unusual for the club. While it would make sense to retain Harvin, it's left to be seen whether the Vikings can, and whether or not Harvin wants to stay.
The Vikings are expected to be about $12 million or so above the cap—right about where they were last season at $10 million. But dissimilar to last season, the Vikings have far more players' future to think about.
If Harvin has his sights set on elite WR money, the Vikings could shop him. Without getting into the gritty details, dealing Harvin away and perhaps a few other players (John Carlson, Devin Aromashodu and Michael Jenkins, I'm looking your way) could help the Vikings increase their overall adjusted cap and possibly afford them another first or second round draft pick.
A bigger cap adjustment and an additional draft pick may hold more long-term team value than retaining any of the players above, in my opinion.
The final cap space limit (per team) will be set sometime around March BEFORE the FA market opens.
In all, the Minnesota Vikings biggest need this season is at WR, but with so many options to explore it'll be some time before we all get a better read on how Minnesota solves for "X".
Got an idea on what position Minnesota should target first? Leave your idea below and be sure to check out the rest of the divsion below.
Green Bay Packers Biggest 2013 Team Need
Chicago Bears Biggest 2013 Team Need
Detroit Lions Biggest 2013 Team Need (coming Sunday morning)