The Minnesota Vikings saw a lot of improvement in 2015 as Adrian Peterson's return to the field helped the offense move to the next level. Teddy Bridgewater had a solid sophomore season while Stefon Diggs broke out as a potential franchise star. Lost in the mix was Mike Wallace who was a big acquisition in the offseason which turned into nothing on the field. Will the Vikings be forced to let him go in favor of someone cheaper?
Wallace is set to earn $11.5 million in 2016. His stats in 2015 do not warrant the pay raise. The receiver came to Minnesota with the idea that he would be the leading man. He ended up only putting up 39 catches for 473 years while Jarius Wright and Diggs had better seasons. Head coach Mike Zimmer tried to defend the play of Wallace and his role on the team, but with adjustments needing to be made elsewhere, the veteran receiver could be on his way out.
I'm disappointed moreso that it wasn't the season that he wanted or we wanted," Zimmer said, via ESPN.com. "I say this from my heart: I love this kid, I love the way he works, I love the way he competes. I texted him last night basically and told him the same thing. I said, 'You know, I know this wasn't exactly how we planned it out.' But I love him as a person, a competitor, a football player and I'm disappointed that it didn't pan out the way I envisioned it. Really and honestly, he's always going to be one of my kind of guys."
Cordarrelle Patterson is another player the Vikings will likely move on from in this offseason. Patterson has never materialized at the first-round pick the Vikings thought they were getting. He excelled some as a kick returner, but as a receiver he truly fell apart. That would leave the Vikings with Diggs, Wright and an inconsistent Charles Johnson. Getting another top threat will be a priority for the franchise.
According to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr, the Vikings could either select Laquon Treadwell or Josh Doctson depending on how things pan out in the first round. Treadwell will be the first receiver off the board which might leave Doctson as the team's best option. The Vikings could also look to free agency for help at the position. They do not need a high-priced No.1 guy, but players like Marvin Jones, Travis Benjamin and Rishard Matthews could be worthy targets to pair with Diggs.
With the run game set, the Vikings need one more playmaker in the receiving game to help Bridgewater. Having just Diggs and Wright will not be enough no matter how well Peterson runs. Getting a young player in the draft or an established one in free agency will be the goal.