Minnesota struck gold in 2014 by making two moves: They hired coach Mike Zimmer, whose straightforward, no-nonsense approach has been a stabilizing force for the franchise. (He could be the reason A.P. ends up staying.) They also selected the quarterback of their future in Teddy Bridgewater with a draft-day steal.
The last time the Vikings made a splash in free agency, a helicopter was following the caravan carrying Brett Favre. Minnesota has minor housekeeping to do in order to retain talent, so look for them to address some holes via free agency. Just don't expect any big-ticket items.
Biggest free agents
» DT Tom Johnson: The reserve lineman was a pleasant surprise in 2014, playing plenty of snaps en route to 6.5 sacks. Johnson could be in store for a sneaky-good payday once the free-agent dominoes start falling.
On the way out?
» RB Adrian Peterson: The organization said it "would welcome" the return of the generational running back -- but Peterson must first be reinstated by the NFL. Peterson emphasized he's still "uneasy" about returning to the Vikings. It doesn't sound like the 30-year-old, set to make $12.75 million, wants to suit up in Minnesota again.
General manager Rick Spielman said he expects Peterson to stay with the team, adding "he's gonna come back with a point to prove to everybody." A healthy, over-motivated Peterson is a scary thought.
What they need
Bridgewater needs to pick up right where he left off by improving on throwing the deep ball. Surrounding the franchise signal-caller with capable offensive linemen to keep him upright is imperative for his development.
Then there is the enigma that is Cordarrelle Patterson. He must regain his rookie-season form or the "bust" conversation will begin by October. If Patterson doesn't learn how to run a route tree, Charles Johnson, or someone else, will continue playing in his place. The Vikings are also in the market for a starting linebacker, as well as depth at defensive line and cornerback.
Offseason crystal ball
Minnesota uses the No. 11 pick to draft an offensive lineman, or connect Teddy Two Minutes with DeVante Parker, his college wide-out at Louisville. The Vikings restructure a deal to keep Greenway. Former Hard Knocks-hero Mike Zimmer ends up on the HBO series once again -- this time as the lead protagonist. Adrian Peterson gets reinstated by the NFL and plays Week 1 in a Vikings uniform.