Before we move forward into the offseason, it's a good time to review the past year.
Ownership. The Minnesota Vikings had a great year in 2012, and owners Zygi Wilf, Mark Wilf, the Wilf family, and the other owners can pat themselves on their backs. For a long time it seemed like an impossible dream, but somehow the Vikings convinced the skeptical Minnesota legislature and governor to partner with them to build a new stadium and a solid foundation for many great years of Vikings football in Minnesota. The initial process is already underway. But to begin 2012, the owners had made another critical move. They hired Rick Spielman as GM. Additionally, it is likely that the Wilfs had the final call and chose to keep Head Coach Leslie Frazier for another season. This gave Coach Frazier his first opportunity as a head coach to conduct a full offseason. All the hard work paid off in a surprising 10-6 season, a Wild Card berth, and the second-greatest rushing season in NFL history, as Adrian Peterson ran for an astounding 2,097 yards, even while coming off a knee injury. The Vikings are very fortunate to have the Wilfs and the other owners. They are doing great things for the Vikings, the Twin Cities, and Minnesota. The ownership had a banner year in 2012, and their leadership has created a sense of excitement in the world of the Minnesota Vikings.
VP of Public Affairs and Stadium Development: Lester Bagley. While I had criticism of Lester Bagley during earlier parts of the stadium debate, that was premature. He and the rest of the front office came through in a big way when the chips were down to get the stadium deal done. Bagley did great.
VP of Football Operations (and Capologist): Rob Brzezinski. The Vikings are very lucky to have Brzezinski, and once again he came through for the Vikings. Coming off a playoff year, the Vikings enjoy more than $16 million in cap space for 2013. Brzezinski had another great year.
General Manager: Rick Spielman. Named the first Vikings GM in many years, Spielman handled his promotion gracefully. He kept the coaching staff mostly intact. Choosing to mostly keep his powder dry in the free agent market, Spielman signed John Carlson, Jerome Simpson, and Jerome Felton. Then Spielman turned to the draft. The Vikings' 2012 draft appears to have been one of the team's best in history so far. Carlson was plagued by injury. It is not clear he will be back, although due to the injury he might not have had a chance to really shine. Simpson took a while to start contributing. Felton made the Pro Bowl. He kept the core group of veterans, but turned a lot of the roster. The Vikings became the 4th-youngest team in the NFL. While rumors have floated about Percy Harvin, Spielman kept it cool. Staying out of the limelight worked as the Vikings shocked the NFL with a playoff run, and a signature victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. Spielman has a chance to put the Vikings into position to contend for a Super Bowl in the 2013 season, a statement that in a nutshell describes Spielman's mostly successful 2012.
Director of College Scouting: Scott Studwell. The great Scott Studwell had a great year, as we saw from a Vikings draft that included the first three picks either starting the entire season and making names for themselves, or getting plenty of playing time and contributing well, a kicker who made the Pro Bowl while setting an NFL record for most 50+ yard kicks, and other talented contributors.