If you take the NFC North and split it four ways, you’ll find one team thinking of how to boost its Super Bowl betting probabilities, and three others sitting at home wondering what to do in this coming offseason to try and play catchup.
The first team is the Detroit Lions. The other three are the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and the squad I’m here to talk about today, the Minnesota Vikings.
I have always been a lowkey Vikings fan. I’m sure a vast majority of football fans remember Minnesota’s 1998 season and sigh at the memory of Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter and Randy Moss tearing opposing defenses left and right.
Coming back to the present though, what should Minnesota focus on to make 2024 the season in which they make it back to the playoffs and become relevant for NFL betting odds fans?
Let’s talk a little Vikings football.
NFL Draft: Go Defense First in the Draft
If you take Minnesota’s roster as it is right now, it won’t take long for you to notice that this is a team that needs help on defense. Give this team a defense that can play at the same level of intensity as the offense when it’s in full sync, and you automatically get a team all NFL betting fans would love to pick every week.
Now, yes, they could look for answers in the upcoming free-agency market. The Vikings know well what they must do once the FA period opens.
Don’t worry, I’ll get to it in a minute.
With the 11th pick in the draft and the need to strengthen their interior pass-rush department, going after a player like Jer’Zhan Newton from Illinois seems like a perfect pick.
The Vikings need a disruptive player to help bring their defense up to speed, especially if defensive tackle Harrison Phillips decides to leave the team this offseason. The way Newton moves in and out of the gap with speed and ease, plus his sheer strength and athleticism makes him the perfect DT to target.
Afterward, I would definitely look into adding more depth to the edge rush department and safety room, especially considering Minnesota could be losing starting strong safety Harrison Smith if he player doesn’t agree to take a pay cut.
Free Agency: Re-Sign Cousins! I Repeat, Re-Sign Cousins!
Ok, now that we covered what the Vikings need to do in the draft, let’s get down to the most important move Minnesota has to work on this offseason. The Vikings need, and I repeat spelling out every letter in the word N-E-E-D to re-sign quarterback Kirk Cousins.
I don’t care if you don’t like Cousins or if you think he’s an overpaid passer, the man fits Minnesota’s needs. Once the free-agency period starts, Cousins will be the best QB available. So instead of playing with the risk of watching him walk away, why not just keep him?
Cousins knows Minnesota’s system better than any other passer in the league. Justin Jefferson vouches for him. And let’s face it, if the team wants to have any shot at winning next season, Cousins is the only player that can lead them to victory.
As a matter of fact, I’m so sold on the idea of Cousins returning that take my word and this NFL expert prediction as proof, once Week 1 of the 2024 season comes around, Cousins will be Minnesota’s starting QB once again.
Outlook: Either Win Now or Prepare for Massive Rebuild
The 2024 season could go one of two ways for the Vikings. One, they get their act together, the defense manages to go up a few notches, talent and intensity wise, Cousins comes back to the team with a new contract and in full health and they give the Lions a run for the NFC North title.
Who knows, if everything goes according to plan, you could even run into Minnesota being mentioned as a contender in a guide on how to bet on Super Bowl action for next season.
Two, the Vikings don’t manage to get their act together, even if Cousins comes back. They once again have a losing season, leading to Cousins leaving the team, leaving Jefferson alone to begin a rebuild process.
Whatever happens though, Minnesota needs to keep Jefferson happy and well paid.
Everything else can be worked on down the line.
Questions Of The Day
Should the Vikings Re-Sign Kirk Cousins?
Yes, no matter what anybody says, Kirk Cousins needs to be Minnesota’s starting QB next season, and at least for the next couple of years.
Which Defensive Positions Should Minnesota Focus on this Offseason?
Defensive tackle, edge rusher, inside linebacker and cornerback stand out as the most important defensive positions the Vikings should focus on this offseason to strengthen their roster.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.