Don't look now, but the ferocious winds of change are blowing around the Minnesota Vikings. Coming off a dismal 5-10-1 record, the Vikings are a team looking to find its true identity.
By announcing that Leslie Frazier would not be returning as the head coach next season, ownership made it clear that it wanted to go in a new direction. Plagued by brutal quarterback play and the NFL's 31st-ranked defense, the Vikings need a to take a different path in order to restore confidence within the organization and the fanbase.
For Minnesota, that change starts by tapping into free agency this offseason and signing key players who can help this roster grow into a legitimate contender.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Vikings will have an estimated $29.5 million in cap space heading into the 2014 season. That number bodes well for a team that has to get stronger on the defensive side of the ball.
Combining advanced statistics, film study and the particular needs of the Vikings heading into the offseason, I compiled this list of five NFL free agents whom the Minnesota front office must target in order to help turn around the fortunes of this football team.
*All stats courtesy of NFL.com unless noted otherwise.
*All advanced stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required) unless noted otherwise.