Everyone knew that there would be changes to the Minnesota Vikings going into next season and with free agency just a day away, we can expect to see some activity on Tuesday. On Sunday though, the Vikings made sure that one of their defensive ends got paid when they gave Everson Griffen a five-year, $42.5 million deal. It means the end of the Jared Allen era in Minnesota and takes some money away from the free agent needs that the team has.
Griffen is one of the best defensive ends in the league and deserved to get paid. The team is still looking to go after some of the bigger-name free agents for the other defensive end position. Will they get any of them? Time will only tell if someone like Michael Bennett or Michael Johnson ends up with the Vikings. Johnson is familiar with new coach Mike Zimmer from his time with the Cincinnati Bengals. Bennett was the best player on the Super Bowl champions this season. Both players would be fine additions but the money may not be there.
It is likely going to come down to the team filling as many holes as they can with the money still available under the salary cap. The team has plenty of money under the cap right now but it may be better for the team to fill several holes instead of getting one big name player. The quarterback position appears to be figured out for right now with the return of Matt Cassel. It is now time to fix the secondary. There are options out there but the draft is likely going to be the place to fix that.
Tuesday is a very big day for the Vikings in their search to return to the playoffs next season or the year after that. There will be names flying around all day long and it is quite possible that one or two free agents find their way to the Vikings before the day is over. Griffen is a great start to the offseason for the Vikings. The time has come however for the team to get some players to put around him to build the defense back up.