The future is now for the Minnesota Vikings.
It was clear from about week 11 last season that big changes were coming in 2014, but now that free agency is underway, fans have a much better idea of the direction the Vikings are going in.
It all stared over the weekend with the announcement of Everson Griffen‘s new contract. The young DE was re-upped for $42 million, which certainly raised the eyebrows of many. But then the Vikings’ plan became a lot more clear on Tuesday with the announcement of free agent Linval Joseph signing on.
Joseph will now come to Minneapolis to start at DT alongside Griffen, Sharrif Floyd and Brian Robison. Letroy Guion and Jared Allen are both gone, so it’s safe to call 2014 the start of a new era along the defensive line in Minnesota.
When it comes to the signing of Joseph, Minnesota didn’t shy away from paying him the big bucks either. The 25-year old will make $31.5 million over five years. So one thing is abundantly clear in Minneapolis — they’re all about paying young players for what they’re going to do. Rick Spielman obviously doesn’t subscribe to paying older stars for what they’ve done, and to me, that’s a great thing for the future of the Vikings.
Minnesota now has three guys along the defensive line that could enter their primes at the same time. Floyd, Griffen and Joseph all have Pro Bowl potential and that fact should greatly excite fans of the purple and gold. It’s all just potential at this point, but it’s better to bet on potential rather than past performance.