5 Minnesota Vikings With the Most to Prove in 2014

Minnesota Vikings: 5 Players With Most to Prove in 2014

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are fortunate to have a roster oozing with plenty of talent on both sides of the football. However, much of this talent is either unproven or has not played up to team expectations.

Here are five Vikings players who have the most to prove this season.

Honorable Mention: WR Jerome Simpson

Jerome Simpson Minnesota Vikings
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Honorable Mention: WR Jerome Simpson

Jerome Simpson Minnesota Vikings
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever a player is playing under a one-year contract he has something to prove. More so, when a player states that he is worth more than this contract he has even more to prove. This is the case for Simpson, who has been sufficient, but not excellent during his time with the Vikings.

5. LT Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. LT Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

After a rookie season that won him the honor of playing in the Pro Bowl, Kalil took a noticeable step back in his sophomore season with the Vikings. Add the fact that he was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and it is easy to see why Kalil has a lot to prove in his third year with the Vikings, if he wishes to receive a lucrative extension before his current contract expires in 2015.

4. CB Derek Cox

Derek Cox San Diego Chargers
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

4. CB Derek Cox

Derek Cox San Diego Chargers
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Following four successful seasons playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cox was rewarded with a four-year, million contract with the San Diego Chargers. After an underwhelming 2013 season with the Chargers, Cox was released and subsequently signed with the Vikings. Cox has shown in the past that he has the ability to be a successful cornerback, but he will have to prove this once again if he hopes to earn a starting role and a new contract.

3. QB Matt Cassel

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

3. QB Matt Cassel

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Cassel made the decision to re-sign with the Vikings following his choice to opt out of his previous contract. With rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater breathing down his neck; he will first have to again prove he is the Vikings' best option at quarterback. Assuming Cassel is named the Vikings starter, he will then have to prove that he is capable of being a consistent and successful starting quarterback in the NFL if he wishes to keep his job.

2. TE Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2. TE Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Entering a contract year in 2014, Rudolph will have to prove that he is the dynamic, all-purpose tight end he has shown flashes of being in the past. If Rudolph has trouble staying on the field again this season or is unable to have success in Norv Turner’s new offense, the Vikings may choose to go in a different direction next season.

1. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

1. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After signing a five-year, .5 million contract extension with the Vikings this offseason, Griffen will become a full-time starter at defensive end for the first time in career. On top of his massive contract extension, Griffen will be replacing fan-favorite and the most consistent pass rusher in football over the past seven seasons, Jared Allen. Big contract plus big shoes to fill makes Griffen the Viking with the most to prove this season.

Robert Reidell is a Minnesota Vikings Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+


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