Vikings not viewed as a playoff contender for the 2021 season

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer /

Have the Minnesota Vikings made enough improvements to their roster to make a return to the playoffs in 2021?

With their lack of cap space, most didn’t expect the Minnesota Vikings to make much noise during this year’s free agency period. But in the latest edition of the Vikings front office figuring out how to maneuver the salary cap, the team was able to sign a good amount of free-agent talent this offseason.

With the additions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander, and Xavier Woods, Minnesota has the pieces to get their defense back on track in 2021.

So with the expected improvement of the defense, combined with an offense that should be able to continue their success from 2020, some believe the Vikings should be able to compete for a playoff spot next season. Despite their new additions, however, not everyone is confident in Minnesota getting back to the postseason in 2021.

Minnesota Vikings currently viewed as a work in progress

In less than two weeks, the Vikings will take part in the 2021 NFL Draft. It will an opportunity for them to add even more talent to their roster to help them reach the playoffs next season.

Some already view Minnesota as a postseason contender, but there are plenty that don’t as well. Among those who aren’t on board with the Vikings playing extra football in 2021 is’s Mark Sessler.

Sessler recently broke down the entire NFC into four tiers. For Minnesota, he placed them the “work in progress” tier along with the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons.

Sessler explained why he put the Vikings in the bottom of his four tiers.

"“Perhaps I’m being unfair to Mike Zimmer’s Vikings. Last year’s 7-9 outing was marked by transition on defense. I see a team that crumbled against the Bucs, Bears and Saints down the stretch and ask: How have they improved? A quiet foray into free agency brought cornerback Patrick Peterson, but also the departure of productive safety Anthony Harris.”"

So Minnesota isn’t going to contend for a playoff spot next season because they lost Anthony Harris? But they replaced him with Xavier Woods, whose skill level is very comparable to what Harris has done during the last few seasons.

Yes, Harris had an impressive performance in 2019. But other than that season, he hasn’t exactly played like one of the top safeties in the league. 

A tiny bit of additional research would reveal that the Vikings not only added Peterson, Tomlinson, Woods, and Alexander in free agency this year, but the team’s defense will also see the returns of Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, and Michael Pierce. 

The notable names of Minnesota’s departures seem to be weighing more to some than what these players have actually done on the field recently. When it comes to Harris, his departure is not enough to keep the Vikings out of the playoffs next season.