Minnesota Vikings: First 5 Things They Must Do When the Lockout Is Lifted

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IJuly 19, 2011

Minnesota Vikings: First 5 Things They Must Do When the Lockout Is Lifted

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    The lockout has been a thorn in nearly everyone’s side, from football fan to football player. But with news that a clearing made be just over the horizon, it’s time to take a quick shot look at what  teams are going to want to do after the lockout is lifted.

    Like the Vikings!

    While there is a bevy of issues to address in just a short amount of time, the following is a list of the 5 most pertinent issues that the Vikings MUST do as soon as the lockout is lifted.

    Let’s take a look.

1. Deal with Sidney Rice one way or another.

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    The first and foremost issue the Vikings MUST address is the Sidney Rice saga.

    Rice is one of the youngest receivers on the market and has a ton of upside which is why he will be a hot commodity, but for the Vikings, they cannot allow this thing to drag on.

    If they can keep the guy then that would be wonderful. It would surely help Christian Ponder and the re-tooled offense, as well as, offer major stability to the receiving department.

    If they cannot keep him, then they need to recognize that immediately, let him go, and find a suitable replacement out of the numerous free agents that will be available.

    Any deviation from this would only hurt the team’s progress.

2. Get a veteran QB

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    Whether or not they bring in a veteran arm to be a starter, mentor or even both, the sense of urgency for a veteran QB is growing exponentially.

    The Vikings have a serious need for a guy who can either come in and be a development mentor for their future QB Christian Ponder, but could also entertain acquiring a guy in a two year deal that could perhaps initially start this season, and mentor for the two year term.

    However the Vikings utilize the veteran quarterback is up to them, but time is of the essence in regard to a possible acquisition.

3. Find another quality receiver, pronto!

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    Let’s assume the Vikings wind up keeping Sidney Rice; even if that happens this team will still be in need of another quality receiver for package specific sets, and even depth reasons.

    Bernard Berrian is likely to be cut since this the Vikings are already over cap, which could leave them with two actual starting receivers: One primarily a slot receiver, and the other a true wide out.

    But being over the cap could hinder who exactly they can get.

    Either way, this team needs to settle the issue as soon as possible if for nothing more to know exactly WHAT offensive set they will have to work with.

4. Shed the cap!

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    Here’s the problem:

    The Vikings want to be as active as possible on the market, but are suspected of being at least $5+ million dollars over the cap.

    The two main focal areas that could alleviate the cap pressure are the release of Bernard Berrian—god willing—and a restructure of Adrian Peterson’s contract which is due to pay him a base of $10.72 million dollars.

    Now, on the last slide, I mentioned that the Vikings need to go out and find another receiver, but the cap will be the major issue standing in the way which is why it needs to be settled immediately.

    There is, unfortunately, a strong chance that Vikings may not be able to shop around this season, so be ready Vikings’ fans.

5. Get the entire secondary straightened out

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    To start, I will say that many of you feel that Madieu Williams needs to go, and a lot of you have good reason to suggest so, but it’s unlikely to happen this year thanks to the restructure.

    With that said, the Vikings have plenty of people to work with, but not a lot of depth.

    Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin is coming off of injury, Williams severely underachieved last year and needs to show he is worth the $5.4 million, and the rest of the group needs to have a solid position to work for 16 all 16 games.

    Most of the players in the entire Vikings secondary are multi-purpose (meaning they can play multiple roles such as DB, S, and nickel).

    But when you shuffle players as often as the Vikings did in one season, a certain level of discord and chaos seeps into the overall execution, deteriorating what the team tries to do.

    The Vikings weren’t bad in coverage last year (10th), but this team was viewed as a top five defense before entering the 2010 season, and much of that assumption is still valid today.

    The earlier the Vikings can get some semblance, the better.

    I hope you guy enjoyed and let me know your thoughts on what YOU think the Vikings should do first after the lockout.

    And be sure to check out my latest secret fantasy football sleeper, and some additional news on Sidney Rice.