They signed big name free agents like Bernard Berrian (six years, $43.4 million) and Madieu Williams (six years, $33 million) and traded for Jared Allen (six years, $74.5 million).
To get Jared Allen, the Vikings gave up a first round and two third round draft picks. He rewarded the Vikings with 14.5 sacks, two safeties, and a Pro Bowl appearance. He is an absolute monster and easily one of the top defensive ends in the game.
Madieu Williams was injured in the preseason, but performed very well in nine games. He totaled 42 tackles and two interceptions. He will look to build on a solid 2008 performance and will need to show the young Tyrell Johnson the ropes of being an NFL safety.
Bernard Berrian proved to be a deep threat, averaging over 20 yards per catch last season. He ended the season with 48 catches for 964 yards and seven touchdowns. To cap it off, he tied an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown against his former team, the Chicago Bears, after an amazing goal-line stand by the Vikings.
On top of that, the Vikings also signed Maurice Hicks, Benny Sapp, Gus Frerotte, Thomas Tapeh, Ellis Wyms, and Derrick Pope.
Only two, Sapp and Wyms, are expected to be on the Vikings' roster in 2009. Pope was cut before the start of the season and Tapeh was dumped midseason. Hicks and Frerotte were cut for salary cap reasons this offseason.
So after over $155 million was dealt out last offseason and a 10-6 record later, was it really worth it?
Some will say "yes" while others a resounding "no." A Super Bowl appearance was on everyone's mind, but a first round boot from the playoffs ended that dream swiftly.
Last year's draft was severely gutted acquiring Jared Allen. Was he worth all the draft picks? Did he live up to his salary?
They gave up huge money to take Berrian away from Chicago. He didn't have 50 receptions or 1,000 receiving yards. Was he really worth nearly $6 million?
Williams was hurt for the majority of the season. While his contract isn't as big as the other two, he's still sitting pretty with a nice chunk of change heading his way. Will the injury-prone Williams fulfill the Vikings' expectations?
The big three (Allen, Berrian, and Williams) are still young and are entering the prime of their careers. They will be Vikings for at least another five years, allowing the Vikings to have a good chance at building a solid team around them.
While they may have not lived up to expectations, the Vikings are well on their way to creating a high-caliber playoff team. They did win the NFC North with one of the tougher schedules in he NFL.
While many of you Vikings fans will argue, I have reason to believe that the Vikings will be stronger in 2009. While they may have a few tough games against some good defenses in 2009, they start the season off with some "easy" games.
Even if their 2008 spending didn't turn into a Super Bowl appearance, they're not going to develop chemistry over night. With a year under their belts, the Vikings should be better.
They will show the Bears why getting Cutler isn't going to save their season.
They will show the Packers that a switch to a 3-4 doesn't turn a crappy defense into a top 10 in one season.
They will show the Lions that last season's meeting were flukes.
They will show the rest of the NFL why they are one of the scariest teams heading into the 2009 season.
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