For the Minnesota Vikings, this offseason is very important. It’s no secret at all.

In their first two seasons leading the Vikings, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell have provided plenty of cause for optimism. In the end, though, they haven’t accomplished anything.

The decisions made by Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell will have a significant impact on how the franchise develops in the future. The most crucial one is, of course, whether or not to re-sign Kirk Cousins. The biggest immediate consequence will come from that choice.

However, the Vikings in 2024 and beyond will be impacted by future actions. Is it time for O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah to select the future quarterback in the draft? How about Danielle Hunter, the elite pass rusher? Has he left Minnesota after his last game?


A Competitive NFC North Adds A Wrinkle To Minnesota's Offseason - Zone  Coverage


In due course, we will ascertain Minnesota’s responses to these queries. Two NFC North opponents are winning in the postseason while the Vikings are stuck at home watching the playoffs. Minnesota appears to be further removed from contention than we first believed.

There’s a noticeable increasing tendency with the Detroit Lions. It’s no secret that they have been among the most productive teams in the NFL this year, largely due to the remarkable team building efforts of general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, as well as Jared Goff’s career revival. Detroit has an excellent roster with key players at every position that matters. The Lions don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

It’s possible that lightning crossed the boundary a third time in the interim. The Green Bay Packers pulled off an unbelievable comeback to secure the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoffs, where they easily defeated the Dallas Cowboys, the second-seeded team, on the road. Jordan Love, the quarterback, has played nearly faultless football during the season. The Packers also boast the league’s youngest roster. They also have no intention of slowing down soon.

The Chicago Bears are another team. Although they didn’t impress anyone last year, they improved their defense significantly at the end of the campaign. In the upcoming draft, Chicago will also have the number one pick and two other top-10 picks. So, in a few months, they will either have a new franchise quarterback or a wealth of young talent to surround Justin Fields with. I’m betting on drafting a new quarterback. Watch out if they capitalize on that pick.)

Adofo-Mensah is under more pressure to choose wisely this offseason because of everything that this team has to offer the rest of the NFC North. The Vikings can now choose from a number of various routes.

Whether for a year or two, Cousins’ return indicates a commitment to be competitive in the NFC North.

A belief in what the Vikings were constructing in the midst of the previous season would also be demonstrated by that choice. Minnesota recovered from a 0–3 start to go on a five-game winning streak, which included a seven-point favored victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. However, at Green Bay, a week later, Cousins tore his Achilles. In the near run, the desperate move for quarterback Joshua Dobbs paid off. Nevertheless, the outcome was O’Connell’s vain attempt to replace Cousins’ output.

How would this Vikings season have played out if Cousins had been well? Is it still active? Given that Minnesota lost four of its six games following the Cousins by a narrow margin, it might be. They also featured several expensive blunders by the starting quarterback that Cousins might have been able to prevent.

On the other hand, re-signing Cousins just delays the urgent reset at quarterback when considering the Vikings in the long run. After two seasons, Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell are still without the opportunity to select and nurture a franchise quarterback. Every administration appears to have that chance, particularly when it has an offensive schemer like O’Connell. It would be reasonable to believe that Minnesota’s pair will eventually be given the opportunity.

Maybe this is the ideal moment for the Vikings to start that quarterback rotation and select their top pick in the NFL Draft. Ultimately, it appears that Detroit is about to enter a Super Bowl window, and Green Bay may follow suit soon. Should the Vikings rebuild from the ground up as their competitors pursue championships?

Or do the Vikings embrace the ray of hope they felt in the middle of the 2023 campaign? In that scenario, they try to win in the postseason by bringing Cousins back and running it back in 2024.

Whatever strategy the Vikings choose to implement will be built around the Cousins’ choice. However, in the highly competitive NFC North, Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell have more to take into account. They could also be able to learn from some of their division opponents about how to construct a competitive team in the process.

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