With the rest of the NFC North progressing in the right direction, the Minnesota Vikings might need to take a step back in 2024 to get on the right path.
This past weekend, as the Minnesota Vikings were sitting at home, everyone watched the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers represent the NFC North by picking up wins in their opening-round matchups of the 2023 playoffs.
Regardless of how the rest of the playoffs go for the Lions and Packers this season, both franchises are set up to remain competitive in the NFC for the next few years. Even the Chicago Bears are heading into the 2024 offseason with a number of valuable assets to help them compete for a playoff spot next season.
So, when it comes to the Vikings, the 2024 campaign appears to be one that is shaping up for them to take advantage of a great opportunity to re-tool their roster.
Focus for Minnesota Vikings this offseason should be on 2025, not 2024
Currently, Minnesota has a number of holes on their roster, and even more could be created if the team parts with quarterback Kirk Cousins and pass rusher Danielle Hunter.
To fill these holes, the Vikings have eight picks in the 2024 NFL Draft (only two in the first three rounds), and they are currently projected to have a little more than $20 million in effective cap space.
They really don't have enough resources to build a true NFC contender for the 2024 season.
So, with this in mind, combined with the three other members of the NFC North trending upward, Minnesota needs to seriously consider using the 2024 campaign to build towards accomplishing much bigger goals in 2025.
This isn't a plea for the Vikings to tank in 2024. But they can use the 2024 season as a chance to develop some of the younger players on their roster, potentially acquire more future draft assets, and free up some additional cap space for the 2025 offseason.
In the recent past, plenty of teams around the NFL have taken a step back in order to move forward in their plan to achieve more future success, and some were even still competitive enough to challenge for a playoff spot.
During the first two years of Minnesota's current regime led by head coach Kevin O'Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, most of the emphasis in the offseason has been placed on how the team can get better for the upcoming season.
That strategy has resulted in zero playoff wins.
So, instead of the Vikings placing their focus this offseason on getting back to the playoffs next season, they should use these next few months to begin building a team that can qualify for the playoffs in 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, and beyond.