Whoever Gets the Vikings GM Job Has Big Shoes to Fill

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The day following the end of the NFL regular season known as “Black Monday” has certainly lived up to its name this year, especially among the Minnesota Vikings. As you probably know by now, both Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer have been fired from the team. At least for Zimmer, this was expected even early last week. Honestly, it probably could have been assumed after the loss to the, at the time, winless Detroit Lions.

That said, Spielman’s job seemed at the worst to be a 50/50 shot. I for one, was on board with keeping the GM at least for another season. His ability to find diamonds in the rough that is the NFL Draft was top tier. He did a solid job of bringing in free agents. Just this past offseason, he managed to sign Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson, and Nick Vigil, among others.

The past few years of drafting haven’t exactly been bad, either. First off, Justin Jefferson has become a star. Cameron Dantzler, while his sophomore year hasn’t been as great as his rookie season, has proven to be at least a consistent starter. Same goes for Christian Darrisaw. Then there are some wild cards like Kellen Mond and Wyatt Davis that we just don’t know much about.

It should go without question, but Rick Spielman really deserves a lot of credit for the job he did building these Vikings teams. It also goes without question that whoever the next Vikings GM will be, that person has a massive task on their hands.

For one, Vikings fandom seems like it is split down the middle on whether they want to do a full rebuild or try to compete in 2022. This decision isn’t solely on the GM, but the next hire will play a huge role in that decision. Part of that decision is what to do with Captain Kirk Cousins. Do they let him play out his $45 million season? Do they extend him? Do they trade him for draft capital?

Finally, and possibly most difficult, will be the task of getting the Vikings salary cap position under control. Minnesota currently sits in the fourth-worst cap position in the NFL. Per Over the Cap, the Vikings are just over $7 million in the red. It’s going to take some work to get the Vikings enough money to sign draft picks and other free agents. That could include trading Cousins, or it could be restructuring contracts of Danielle Hunter, Adam Thielen, Harrison Smith, among others.

The only thing for certain right now, is that nothing is certain for the Vikings or their future. There are a number of different paths that this organization can go down, but that path should become clear in the coming months. It will certainly be an interesting story to follow.