What must the Vikings do to win next season’s Super Bowl?

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook and Stefon Diggs /
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(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Rick Spielman
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Rick Spielman /

Focus on needs, not wants

During the last offseason, the Vikings made a few big-time moves in free agency with the signings of Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson. Both acquisitions were made to fill Minnesota’s need of improving at the quarterback and defensive tackle position.

Then there were a few moves that the Vikings made last year that left some scratching their heads, especially what they did to their special teams.

In 2017, Minnesota had a pretty reliable kicker and punter combo in Kai Forbath and Ryan Quigley. Obviously, the Vikings weren’t satisfied with this duo as they selected Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson in the 2018 NFL Draft and signed unknown punter Matt Wile.

Minnesota ended up going with Carlson and Wile over Forbath and Quigley for 2018 and the results were certainly not ideal. The rookie kicker ended up lasting for only two games before the Vikings cut him and Wile’s inexperience as a holder showed up more often than not.

Improving these two positions last offseason were not really necessary for Minnesota. However, they decided to get a little too cute and it probably cost them a spot in the 2018 playoffs.

We haven’t started on the Vikings’ mind-boggling decisions during last year’s draft. Not only did Minnesota unnecessarily use a draft pick on a kicker, but they also passed on some top offensive line talent in the first round to add another piece to an already deep group of cornerbacks.

Instead of filling a need with an interior blocker with their first-round pick in 2018, the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer couldn’t resist adding another talented corner to their roster. It’s a decision that arguably had a tremendous effect on Minnesota’s most recent season that resulted in disappointment.

So when the Vikings are scanning the pool of players available in free agency and the draft this year, they should look back on the mistakes they made last offseason when it seemed like they were clearly more interested in adding shiny new toys instead of guys that could immediately fill some of their biggest needs.