Today we finish up our look at the NFC North's free agency activity with an examination of the Minnesota Vikings. The biggest question has been at running back where the future of Adrian Peterson remains a mystery. There is talk he wants to be traded, but his salary makes it a difficult situation to resolve.
Aside from that headache, the Vikings have been fairly active in free agency this offseason, signing and re-signing players at positions of need. Whether these players constitute upgrades is another question, but the Vikings are hoping that they have done enough such that Teddy Bridgewater can continue to elevate his game after a promising rookie campaign.
To that end, the Vikings made their biggest offseason move when they traded a fifth round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Mike Wallace and a seventh round pick. One big need for the Vikings was to make sure that Bridgewater had enough help around him on the offense. The trade for Wallace is clearly an attempt at that.
So too is re-signing Joe Berger is help at the G position. That said, I think the Vikings will need to do more on the o-line. Depth and competition is going to be necessary - when you have a young, successful QB, the best thing you can do is protect him. The Vikings did re-sign RFA Mike Harris, but that won't be enough.
The Vikings have also attempted to shore up some defensive positions, though they haven't made any "big name" signings. It is worth pointing out, however, that the Vikings did sign ex-Niners Taylor Mays and Shaun Hill.
The Vikings did make one other trade, sending Matt Cassel and a sixth round pick (2015) to the Bills for a fifth round pick (2015) and a seventh round pick (2016).
Signed: ILB Casey Matthews, CB Terence Newman, S Taylor Mays, RB DuJuan Harris, and QB Shaun Hill.
Re-signed: OT Mike Harris, C/G Joe Berger, RB Matt Asiata, DT Tom Johnson.
The Vikings have seven draft picks after all their wheeling and dealing in trades.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Round 2 - Pick 45
Round 3 - Pick 76
Round 4 - Pick 110
Round 5 - 137 (from Tampa Bay via Buffalo)
Round 7 - Pick 228
Round 7 - Pick 232 (from San Francisco via Miami)
Although the Vikings did make some nice signings and trades, I still think they have some needs to address in the draft - even in areas where they signed new players. I highlighted the o-line above. I would also expect the Vikings to shore up their line-backing corps. Running back remains a strong possibility, considering the Adrian Peterson drama.