Whether pursuing a stadium solution to keep the team in Minnesota for generations or acquiring players in an attempt to field a winning team, the Wilf ownership group has spared no expense since taking over the club in 2005. They’ve been aggressive-but-responsible stewards of the franchise, and they remain popular among the fan base because of that.
What’s not necessarily been popular among the fan base, though, is the Vikings offseason approach. Coming off a 3-13 season, fans want to see instant improvement via the acquisition of big-name free agents that demand big-money contracts. Under the direction of GM Rick Spielman, however, the Vikings have taken a more calculated and long-term approach to rebuilding the team, choosing to build the foundation of the team through the draft while supplementing the roster via free agency.
And it’s a strategy the Wilfs endorse.
“We’re building through the draft and building in free agency in spots where it’s needed,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf told the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman. “But we want to do it the right way, and I think we’re on that process. We’re going to get ten draft picks coming up in a few weeks, and we’re going to get a lot better through that.”
The Vikings had 10 draft choices last year, and nine of those selections remain a part of the team. A similar success rate this year, including hits early in the draft with 6 selections in the first 4 rounds, will go a long way toward improving the roster.
While Spielman’s approach is to lean on the draft as the main mechanism for acquiring talented players, Wilf told Hartman that the team is ready to write the check if the right free agent comes along.
“We’re looking every day to get better, whatever opportunity will present itself,” Wilf said. “We’re not going to rule out anything, but we’ve got a process we’re going through and we’re going to do things in a way that’s thought out with a plan, strategically, so we can be successful in the long term. If our general manager and our coach feel that a player is going to help us win, we will provide the resources to help us win, but we’re going to do it the right way.”
Tags: Mark Wilf, Rick Spielman
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