Before the Vikings splurged on quarterback Kirk Cousins, coach Mike Zimmer spent time pushing back against the kind of cap-busting move that would make it hard to keep the team’s young core players in place. The Vikings apparently will be trying to do both.
With Cousins signed and linebacker Eric Kendricks extended, the Vikings have three other young stars they hope to keep in the fold: linebacker Anthony Barr, receiver Stefon Diggs, and defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Beyond Kendricks, the Vikings already have extended defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and receiver Adam Thielen. Executive V.P. of football operations Rob Brzezinski has been negotiating the deals for more than 20 years, and he’ll be trying to continue to keep the current team together.
“I would be lying if I said you don’t feel some pressure, because you want to be able to keep this team together and keep all your best players,” Brzezinski recently told Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
G.M. Rick Spielman realizes that the Vikings may not be able to accomplish the effort to extend Barr, Diggs, and Hunter.
“We’re still going to try,” Spielman said. “Is it going to be easy? No.”
One thing they won’t have to worry about is ownership; Spielman said that the Wilfs have never refused a request from the front office to sign a given player.
Brezinzki calls the situation a “good problem to have,” but it remains to be seen whether this approach solves the problem that the Vikings have been plagued with for more than 40 years: Getting back to the Super Bowl, and perhaps this time winning it.