clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How Will the Vikings Fix the Roster?

Explore the intricacies of team building in the NFL with Tyler Forness on “The Real Forno Show”. This episode dives into the unique challenges faced by the Minnesota Vikings during the offseason, discussing strategies for roster construction, free agency, and draft priorities. Tune in for insights from the latest mock draft and an in-depth look at the Vikings’ strategic decisions. SKOL!

Hosted By Tyler Forness

In the latest episode of The Real Forno Show, Tyler Forness and Dave Stefano provide an in-depth analysis of potential strategies the Minnesota Vikings could employ to fix their roster for the upcoming season. They delve into the complexities of the NFL draft, free agency, and the salary cap. The conversation spans from talent acquisition, and roster strategy, to the importance of a strong defensive line. Listen in to gain insights into the intricate puzzle of building a robust football team.

The Offseason Outlook: An Intricate Puzzle

As we approach this offseason for the Minnesota Vikings, the task at hand is far from simple. It’s not just about identifying top talent and bringing them on board. Rather, it’s an intricate puzzle that involves the balancing act of the NFL draft, free agency, and the limitations imposed by the salary cap. These elements create a labyrinth that requires careful navigation. In the upcoming months, we’ll delve into numerous Viking-centric mock drafts, exploring the multitude of scenarios that could unfold.

Talent Acquisition: More Than Just The Best Players

The process of acquiring talent is a nuanced one. It isn’t just about securing the best players on the field; it’s about understanding the constraints we operate within and making strategic decisions accordingly. The salary cap poses a significant challenge, and the dynamics of free agency and the NFL draft add extra layers of complexity. These elements intertwine to form a multi-dimensional challenge in the quest for talent acquisition.

Free Agency and the NFL Draft: Two Sides of The Roster Building Coin

The avenues for talent acquisition in the NFL primarily fall into two categories: Free Agency and the NFL Draft. Both present their own unique opportunities and challenges.

Free Agency offers the opportunity to sign proven players – those who have already demonstrated their skills and value in the league and fill immediate holes in the roster. The comfort of signing a known commodity might come at a higher price, but the predictability of their performance can often justify the cost.

On the other side of the coin, the NFL Draft is akin to a treasure hunt for fresh talent. While the potential for discovering a gem is high, so is the risk factor. These players are relatively unknown quantities who have never played a snap in the NFL. The uncertainty can be daunting, but the potential rewards make the NFL Draft an exciting and crucial part of team-building.

The Balancing Act: Striking The Right Balance Between Now and The Future

One of the key challenges faced by a general manager is striking the right balance between addressing immediate needs and planning for the future. It’s an intricate dance that requires foresight, strategic thinking, and sometimes, tough decisions. Take the Harrison Smith contract, for instance. It’s a classic example of the delicate balancing act required in managing player contracts – weighing the player’s current contribution against their long-term value.

Clearing The Cap Space: Possible Moves and Strategies

With a “top 51” cap cost of just under $220 million and an available effective cap to spend of just under $20 million, including dead money from Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings have some significant financial maneuvering to do. Several strategies could be employed to clear cap space.

One option could be to push money out from T. J. Hockenson’s contract into future years. Alternatively, extensions for players like Harrison Phillips and Marcus Davenport could be considered, offering immediate cap relief at the expense of future financial commitment. These decisions require careful consideration of the player’s current and future value, as well as the team’s short and long-term financial health.

A Closer Look at the NFL Draft: Filling Holes and Acquiring Talent

“The whole point of free agency is to fill holes. The whole point of the NFL Draft is to acquire good talent.” ~ Tyler Forness

The NFL Draft offers a unique opportunity to acquire new talent. The overarching goal isn’t necessarily to fill specific positions but to acquire good talent that can enhance the overall team performance.

The draft provides the flexibility to select the best player on the board, irrespective of the team’s immediate needs. This approach allows for a broader range of possibilities and can lead to the inclusion of unexpected talent that could prove beneficial in the long run.

The Cumulative Standpoint: Balancing Individual Desires and Team Needs

A successful general manager needs to take a cumulative standpoint. It’s not just about acquiring the best players or satisfying individual desires. It’s about creating a balanced football team that can compete at the highest level, taking into account the financial implications, and shaping the roster accordingly.

Moving Forward: The Road Ahead for the Vikings

As the Minnesota Vikings navigate the offseason and its challenges, they have a complex task ahead. The team needs to balance immediate and future needs, clear cap space, and make strategic moves that will result in a stronger, more competitive team.

The road ahead will require careful navigation, strategic decisions, and a clear vision of the team’s future. But with careful planning and execution, the Vikings can overcome the challenges and build a team that can compete at the highest level.

Roster Strategy: A Complex Puzzle

Tyler and Dave kick off the conversation by outlining the intricacies involved in acquiring talent for a team like the Minnesota Vikings. They emphasize that player acquisition isn’t as straightforward as selecting a player and bringing him on board. There are various constraints and considerations within the process, which sets the tone for an elaborate discussion on the broader strategy for the Vikings.

Exploring Mock Drafts and Player Acquisition

Tyler shares details from his latest Viking-centric mock draft, exploring different scenarios that could potentially unfold in April. The mock draft isn’t just about predicting player picks; it’s a tool to analyze situations that could make sense and the cause and effect of each. The conversation then veers toward the potential of acquiring a wide receiver of Malik Nabers caliber if he’s available at the 11th pick. They also delve into the possibility of securing J. J. McCarthy as the future quarterback in the second round, adding a new dimension to the team’s strategic plan.

The Importance of a Strong Defensive Line

The conversation moves onto the construction of the defensive line, a crucial aspect of the Vikings’ game. Tyler discusses his hopes for the Vikings to acquire Christian Wilkins, the Miami Dolphins’ defensive tackle. According to Tyler, Wilkins could be a game-changer on the defensive line, transforming the team’s defensive strategy. The duo also discuss the scenario where the team has a strong player like Harrison Phillips and a great player like Christian Wilkins on the line, which would allow the third player to be average. This flexibility could be beneficial for the Vikings.

Looking Ahead: The Senior Bowl and Beyond

The episode concludes with Tyler and Dave looking forward to the Senior Bowl, where Daronte Jones, the Vikings’ defensive backs coach, will get a firsthand look at all the guys on the national team. They also tease future episodes, where they will discuss more about NFL draft prospects and the impacts of the draft choices.

In their wide-ranging conversation, Tyler and Dave stress the importance of prioritizing the holes first with free agency and then talent in the draft. According to them, this could be the secret to maintaining a team’s performance over time.



Tune in to the next episode of The Real Forno Show for more insightful and in-depth discussions about the Minnesota Vikings and their journey towards building a robust team.


Tyler Forness @TheRealForno of Vikings 1st & SKOL @Vikings1stSKOL and the Vikings Wire @TheVikingsWire and Dave Stefano @Luft_Krigare producing this Vikings 1st & SKOL production, on the @RealFornoShow. Podcasts partnered with Fans First Sports Network @FansFirstSN and Fans First Sports Network’s NFL feed @FFSN_NFL.