Two weeks until the Super Bowl and 28 teams have a head start on preparing for next season next season. The players are enjoying time off a much as they can, knowing they would much rather be playing today and in two weeks. The management end of franchises are continuously trying to mold and shape their respective teams as best they can. Rick Spielman of the Minnesota Vikings is no different and has more eyes on him this year more than ever before and in spite of all of his critics leading up until last year, has raised the bar for himself and carries the title of general manager. There are a lot of people taking it as a given that he will knock it out of the park in the coming draft, but are wanting a better showing in free agency this year than what last year had brought. Taking the over paid Carlson move into consideration, Minnesota was fairly solid in free agency last year; certainly not great, but not too bad either. This machine that is the Minnesota Vikings will need a better overall job done in the free agent market this year to help ensure a deeper run in the playoffs as Spielman looks to improve.
With as improved as the Vikings' roster is now from a year ago, it will continue to change as that is how it must be to remain or become more competitive. Looking at the players on the current active roster, there is a lot of work to do in house before too much focus can be directed toward bringing in new free agents. With that said here is a look at who remains on Minnesota's current active roster.
J Allen: There is a lot of speculation here, as far as trading Allen or restructuring his contract to play for less money in 2013. I hope for the better of the team both sides agree on the latter.
D Aromshodu: The former Chicago wide receiver managed to stay in the league the past two years in Minnesota. That has come to an end and the DA will finally be overruled and thrown out of Minnesota's courtroom. (Cheesy I know, but I couldn't resist).
M Asiata: I liked Asiata's story and was happy for him that he landed a gig in Minnesota, but sorry to say I don't look for him to be back as the Vikings will look for a change of pace back more in the mold of Todman,, who many were hoping would have not been signed away from the practice squad so as to plug him right back in.
C Ballard: Christain made subtle improvements in his second year, and the coaching staff is looking for him to continue getting better.
J Berger: His versatility may earn him another year as depth on the o-line is a needed security, but wouldn't be surprised if he were let go.
M Bethel-Thompson: A lot of potential with a big arm should be enough to warrant another year. He should at least get a spot on the practice squad, but look for him to remain as the #3 QB.
R Blanton: The only game he saw much action was against Tennessee when Smith was ejected and he did well. I see him being around for another couple years to see if he can make it as a pro.
J Brinkley: This is a position that needs to be improved. Brinkley likely will be kept for depth and wouldn't be entirely surprised if he was the starter again next year.
B Burton: He showed a little promise coming out of the draft two years ago, but he will need to show improvements if he doesn't want this to be his last year.
S Burton: I was rooting for Burton, but would be highly surprised to see him on the roster beyond training camp.
J Carlson: WTF? My guess would be because of the money he gets another year.
G Childs: I hate to say this, but if Childs remains on the team, it will be because he is still on IR. The odds are against him, but there is still a little hope.
A Cole: Look for Cole to take a step forward this year.
C Cook: He may have his best year as a pro in 2013, lets hope he will stay on the field and silence his critics.
R Ellison: Another good pick by Spielman here, and I only see Ellison solidifying his spot on the roster even more this year.
F Evans: I think if he is back for another year it may be his last. I just see more talent being brought in to strengthen the interior defensive line.
J Felton: Great pick up, he should be signed to a three year deal.
B Fusco: Fusco is still young and getting better; I see him sticking around in Minnesota for at least a few years.
T Gerhart: My guess is that Gerhart is traded. He will never be able to do much of anything behind Peterson.
C Greenway: Our best LB by far, bottom line.
E Griffen: Everson has looks of a star in the making. To wrap him up now would be a lot cheaper than down the road.
L Guion: He is at least good depth for the next few years.
P Harvin: Will somebody sign him to an extension already. The more time it takes; the more it takes away from focusing on everything else.
E Henderson: He is above average, but I'm not so sure he returns.
A Jefferson: He's in Minnesota for the next couple years, hope he pans out and is here for a while. I think he will improve this season, but his value is in depth.
M Jenkins: He seemed to play better in the second half of the season. If he makes it past training camp then the agenda of enhancing the WR core has failed, unless he is the # 5 WR and Simpson is not resigned.
C Johnson: I am not a big fan,but he does add depth. I still don't think he will be here for what he is owed.
M Kalil: This guy might become the best LT in the league over the next couple years.
C Kluwe: I don't see him being brought back. I think they will go younger here as they did with Walsh last year.
P Loadholt: He will be back and Adrian Peterson will make sure of it.
C Loeffler: A solid player that doesn't get much recognition, he's not going anywhere.
D Love: It will be good to get Love back, I think it will be 2014 before he will settle in to his own though.
T McKenzie: This is an area that must be improved and McKenzie will have to find work elsewhere.
M Mitchell: Mitchell has a shot at making the team as far as depth and special teams. His return depends on how well the team does in free agency and the draft. if he does make the team, this will likely be his last year in Minnesota.
A Peterson: The best player in the league.
C Ponder: We're all riding on this ship, and Ponder is going to take us there; wherever that may be.
M Raymond: He will be back, he needs to pick up the pace though, or he will be gone when his rookie contract expires.
D Reed: Good depth here with Reed, especially with uncertainty of if Allen or Robison will be dealt.
J Robinson: I would be surprised if this kid did not make a huge step next year.
B Robison: I think he will be in Minnesota this season, but wouldn't be too surprised if a deal is worked out with Allen and he ends up traded.
K Rudolph: Looking for that break out year, c'mon Kyle.
J Sanford: He's going to back, and with Smith back there with him; I only see Jamarca getting better.
G Swartz: Coming off an injury last year, I look for Swartz to be retained and do better, possibly locking down the RG starting position.
J Simpson: I want to say he will be back, but I don't know if Spielman & Co. get into too much of a hurry resigning him.
H Smith: What a great player, can't say enough good things about Smith.
J Sullivan: Really fortunate to have signed this sixth round pick after our other sixth round pick moved onto Baltimore.
B Walsh: It's going to be hard to top his rookie year, but I look forward to seeing him try.
J Webb: If he is given a shot at other positions, and if he does pan out playing somewhere other than quarter back then he can lengthen his career. I just don't know what expect right here with Webb; we'll just have to watch and see.
K Williams: I hope a deal is worked out with Williams; he is still an above average player that is a good mentor. This is another wait and see scenario.
A Winfield: If Winfield decides to retire, the secondary is in trouble. I think he will return for one more year though.
J Wright: Of players I suspect to make big steps forward, this kid is right up there with all of them. Spielman does a great job of finding mid round gems and certainly did so with selecting Wright.
I left of a few player's names off the list and of them the only ones that I think have a chance of returning are Sendejo (which I doubt), and Sherels. Sherels having good hands on punt returns and being from Minnesota may earn him another year, but his coverage skills are terrible and with guys like Josh Robinson, Jarius and Wright (and if I remember correctly, another punt returner was picked up), I would be surprised if the Vikings didn't go in another direction.