NFL reporter says Vikings are 'just like the Cardinals' this offseason

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell
Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings moved on from several overpriced veteran players. Apparently, some people view this as "tearing it down".

Changes were inevitable once the Minnesota Vikings decided to move on from Mike Zimmer as their head coach and Rick Spielman as their general manager following the 2021 season. With Kevin O'Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah now in charge, they've spent the last few months making decisions they believe will benefit the team during the upcoming season and beyond.

Since the conclusion of Minnesota's 2022 season, we've seen the Vikings say goodbye to a number of players that have contributed to the team's success during the last handful of years, including Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Irv Smith Jr., Za'Darius Smith, and Cam Dantzler.

Most recently, Minnesota decided to release longtime running back Dalvin Cook. This transaction appears to have been the final straw for some Vikings fans this offseason, including ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio.

Mike Florio says the Minnesota Vikings are just like the Arizona Cardinals this offseason

After hiring a new head coach and a new general manager a few months ago, the Arizona Cardinals have been making a number of decisions that point to them building for success in 2024 and beyond. The Cardinals appear to be using the 2023 season as an opportunity to clean everything up from what the previous unsuccessful regime left behind.

In this aspect, it's fair to compare what Arizona is currently doing to their organization to what Minnesota has done during the last year-and-a-half. But they're far from being anywhere close to the same strategy.

Don't tell that to Florio, however, who recently shared his thought that the Vikings "aren’t prioritizing winning as many games as possible in 2023, just like the Cardinals."

Is Florio correct about Minnesota not trying to win as many games as they possibly can next season? Yes, he is. But the approach that the Vikings are taking this offseason is much different than what Arizona is doing.

It's very obvious that the Cardinals do not care if they win three games or fewer in 2023. Arizona's strategy this offseason is comparable to what the Chicago Bears did in 2022. The Cardinals are attempting to compile as much cap space and valuable assets as they can in order to begin the process of building a contender in 2024.

What Minnesota is doing this year is what Adofo-Mensah explained they were going to do in 2022. The Vikings are simply conducting a competitive rebuild.

As other franchises around the NFL, like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, have been doing for years, Minnesota doesn't believe they need to gut their roster to build a championship contender. The Vikings want to build a sustainable winning culture without spending a year or two at the bottom of the league.

Will it work? Time will obviously tell, but Minnesota should not be classified as a team that is tanking or "tearing it down," as Florio also stated in his article, just because they moved on from a handful of injury-prone, past-their-prime, aging veterans.

In a wide-open NFC, the Vikings should have no problem competing for a playoff spot in 2023 with guys on their roster like Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, Christian Darrisaw, Danielle Hunter, Byron Murphy Jr., Kirk Cousins, and Harrison Smith.

For those who are disappointed with Minnesota moving on from a bunch of fan favorites that the new regime isn't attached to, there are a number of videos on YouTube featuring old highlights from the "glory days" that can be viewed for free whenever someone feels the urge to reminisce.