The Minnesota Vikings head into the 2013 offseason with $101 million committed in salaries for next season. With a salary cap somewhere around $121 million, don't expect them to push their payroll to that limit.
General manager Rick Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier put together a successful playoff season by putting together a mix of youth and experience. The Vikings had one of their most successful drafts, adding key players to all phases of the game.
Their strategy has been to forgo the big-name free agents, adding second-tier players who don't need to outbid anyone to sign. They've dropped expensive veterans whose better days have passed. The plan appears to be developing talent, instead of taking the perceived easy road of acquiring it.
In order to be deemed a success, their plan will need to extend the improvements made in 2012 to the upcoming 2013 season. If 2012 was a fluke, and the Vikings are nothing more than the 2011 version of the Detroit Lions, then things could get ugly around here really quick as a new publicly financed stadium is built.
Look for this offseason to be another of frugal free-agent shopping, signing a lot of under-the-radar players to future/free-agent contracts.
Here of some moves that Spielman may make in order to sustain the success from 2012.