Minnesota will have another overhaul along the offensive line
In what seems like a decade-long struggle, the Vikings will once again have to adjust in the trenches after another bad year for the offensive line. With Minnesota expected to have limited funds to work with, it appears they’ll also have to get creative if they want to give Kirk Cousins some added protection.
The first order of business will have to deal with Riley Reiff. The veteran tackle had to take a pay cut to accommodate the Yannick Ngakoue trade, but he turned in one of the best seasons of his career.
The fact Ngakoue lasted just six games before being traded probably leaves a bad taste in Reiff’s mouth and this could hamper negotiations with the Vikings on a restructured contract.
With Minnesota having a potential replacement in Ezra Cleveland, who played left tackle in college at Boise State, there’s a good chance the team moves on from the veteran offensive lineman this offseason.
Of course, that leaves the issue at guard. “Can he play guard?” has become a common meme for Vikings fans in recent years, but it might be the best way for the team to approach the subject. With several signings and maybe even a draft pick, Minnesota needs to create legitimate competition during training camp to fix their situation.
A good example could be how the Buffalo Bills built their offensive line heading into this season. By landing a bunch of castoffs through free agency and waivers, the Bills gave themselves a legitimate group in the trenches plus a surplus that could be used to gain assets.
This actually led to Buffalo landing Wyatt Teller, who was Pro Football Focus’ top-graded lineman this offseason, before trading him to the Cleveland Browns.
The bottom line is that what the Vikings currently have isn’t good enough and Minnesota needs to make a legitimate push to fix it ahead of 2021.