The Most Mediocre Team in the NFL
I became a Minnesota Vikings fan in 1998. As an 8-year-old kid, watching Randy Moss play made me fall in love with the team. Little did I know at that time I was picking a team that would break my heart more than women. Since 1998 it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, even when we as Viking fans believe it’s our time it is not. I’ve shed tears of sadness and joy, punched countless holes in walls, and lost my voice more times than I can count.
From wide left in 1998, 2001 NFC Championship game against the Giants, 2003 final play of the season against the Cardinals, 2010 Brett Favre interception, 2016 Wildcard game against the Seahawks, Minneapolis Miracle just to get blown out the next week by the Eagles, the list just goes on and on (Sorry Vikings fans for bringing up painful memories). How much more heartbreak must we see before we can raise that Lombardi Trophy?
This past season’s first-year HC Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah led this team to a 13-4 record, a playoff spot, and an NFC North title. For many, this was seen as a successful season but as a Viking fan, all I saw was a mediocre team from a mediocre franchise. This is hard for me to say but it must be said, despite a 13-4 record this team is nowhere near Super Bowl Contenders. That record doesn’t mean anything when you are getting bumped out of the playoffs in the first round. Last offseason I was pounding the table for a rebuild, this year I will pound the table even harder.
The last regime put O’Connell and Kwesi in a tough spot, I understand, but when Kwesi mentioned “competitive rebuild” I was flabbergasted. I’m not sure if it’s pressure from ownership or delusion on their part to think this team is anywhere near Super Bowl Contenders. As a fan, you can clearly see the gap in talent between the elite teams in the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings. Now we are headed into an offseason where our team has no Defensive Coordinator, limited draft capital, and is $24 million over the cap.
What must be done? The first thing is as a franchise we must take a long and hard look in the mirror. For what seems like an eternity the Minnesota Vikings have been a mediocre team and for whatever reason have refused to rebuild. We’ve been trying to win with the same group of players for years now. Guys like Harrison Smith, Eric Kendricks, Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, and Kirk Cousins have been leaders of this team, I love what they have brought to the team over the years and watching them play. However, when is enough, enough, they have not brought us a Super Bowl trophy or even got us to the game. Many of them besides Cook are over 30 and on the back end of their careers.
Their current cap numbers for 2023 are:
- Harrison Smith- $19,127,647
- Eric Kendricks- $11,430,000
- Adam Thielen- $19,967,647
- Dalvin Cook- $14,101,272
- Kirk Cousins- $36,250,000
I would even add Jordan Hicks and Za’Darius Smith (Depending on the DC) to the list of guys on the trade/cut list this offseason. Again, I have loved watching these players over the years but its time to move on, as Vikings fans we are used to the heartbreak by now. We can handle being less than competitive over the next couple of seasons if it means the possibility of drafting a franchise QB and building a truly competitive team. As a fan, I am tired of false hope and would rather accept defeat and look toward the future. Clear cap space, building draft capital, developing young players, and extending Justin Jefferson should be the major priorities this offseason.
I am sorry Vikings fans for being so blunt but I can’t be the only one to see that this franchise is the definition of mediocre. We have literally been stuck in the middle of the pack for what seems like an eternity. The team is never bad enough to get the top draft picks and never good enough to win the Super Bowl. Something must give; we can’t continue to follow the same path we have followed for 20-plus years. Please Kevin, Kwesi, and Wilf family, as a Vikings fan for 25 years, I am begging you to start the rebuilding process. As Vikings fans, we love our team and would follow them into the abyss. However, I can’t sit back and watch my team be stuck in this whirlpool of mediocrity any longer.