May 26, 2024

In the 17 years of Zygi and Mark Wilf’s ownership of the Vikings, the team has reached the playoffs seven times. However, the recent loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday diminishes the likelihood of postseason play this season. Looking ahead, the Wilfs are confronted with challenging financial decisions, with the quarterback situation taking center stage. The performance of Vikings backups raises uncertainty about Kirk Cousins’ free agency market, potentially reaching $40 million next spring.

The absence of Cousins for the remaining nine games due to Achilles surgery likely impacted the team’s competitiveness. Had Cousins not been sidelined, the Vikings might have won additional games, positioning themselves as genuine contenders in the NFC North alongside the Lions. However, Cousins is not expected to be fully recovered by March when free agency begins, and the draft in April introduces uncertainties about securing an elite quarterback. Additionally, the risk of re-injury to Cousins’ Achilles may influence the financial terms of a potential contract.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Relying on Nick Mullens, Josh Dobbs, or Jaren Hall as the starting quarterback for the next season is not a viable option for the Vikings.

The Wilfs must also navigate financial decisions regarding key players like Justin Jefferson, who seeks a mega-deal around $150 million for five years, and free agent Danielle Hunter, who could command around $65 million for three years. The team faces the dilemma of whether to trade Jefferson for draft picks to address the quarterback position, especially with Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson already signed.

Looking ahead, the Vikings’ future involves intricate considerations and interlinked factors for the Wilfs to resolve.

Other notable points include:

– If the Vikings don’t re-sign Cousins, the Atlanta Falcons emerge as a potential destination, given their anticipated $50 million in salary cap space.
– The Vikings currently rank as the 17th-oldest team in the NFL, while the Packers are the youngest and the Lions stand at No. 11.
– Former Twins player Joe Mauer is trending at 76.3 percent for Hall of Fame election in his first year of eligibility.
– A children’s book about Joe Mauer, titled “The Right Thing To Do,” will be launched at Target Field on Jan. 20.
– Defenseman Brock Faber, a rookie with the Minnesota Wild, is on track to receive a maximum of $1 million in incentive bonuses this season.
– Former Gophers men’s basketball coach Dan Monson led Long Beach State to a victory over USC, making them the only team with road victories against Big East, Big Ten, and Pac-12 teams.
– The Minnesota Myth, a new Arena Football League team, begins training camp on April 1, with an open tryout camp scheduled for Jan. 20 at the University of Minnesota.
– Former Gopher Daniel Oturu is playing dominant basketball in Istanbul, Turkey, and may get another chance in the NBA by the all-star break.
– The most popular jersey at the Vikings Locker Room store is Justin Jefferson, followed by T.J. Hockenson.
– State golfers recorded nearly 90,000 more rounds played in 2023 compared to 2002, according to the Minnesota Golf Association.

Don’t print that

Recently, some Gophers boosters proposed substantial name, image, and likeness (NIL) packages for football, but the Gophers men’s basketball team hasn’t raised over $1 million for NIL deals like six other Big Ten teams. Purdue’s 15th player receives $100,000, while Zach Edey, a 7-4 center, collects $1.1 million. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark secured a multi-year endorsement with Gatorade and other NIL deals totaling over $1 million.

The Gophers claim that 85 percent of NIL contributions go to their athletes, with the remaining funds covering operating expenses. In football recruiting, the Gophers rank 38th for the 2024 class, while Wisconsin and Iowa are at 22nd and 33rd, respectively. Notably, Oregon, USC, Washington, and UCLA have higher rankings among new Big Ten teams for 2024.

The Twins released VP-assistant GM Rob Antony after 35 years, emphasizing his contributions to talent evaluation and contract negotiation. The potential discontinuation of Gophers baseball following coach John Anderson’s retirement might face alumni backlash. Bethel coach Brian Raabe and former Gopher-Mariner Dan Wilson are mentioned as potential successors.

The Quick Lane Bowl, featuring the Gophers with a 5-7 record, is ranked as the worst among the 41 football bowl games. Despite their losing record, Gophers coach P.J. Fleck earns a $100,000 bonus for making the bowl. Player gifts include $175 Amazon gift cards and Harman wireless headphones.

Timberwolves-Lynx co-owner Alex Rodriguez struggles to find a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) for a merger but aims for a long-term ownership approach. Former Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi left for Michigan State, owing Minnesota $330,000 via a buyout, expected to be paid by the Spartans.

The University of St. Thomas may broadcast basketball, hockey, and football games on WCCO-AM, possibly moving from KSTP-AM. The St. Thomas men’s basketball team proves to be a formidable opponent, nearly upsetting No. 7 Marquette and scoring 104 against Wisconsin-River Falls.

There are rumors of Gophers sophomore basketball guard Braeden Carrington considering entering the NCAA transfer portal. Former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer might return to the NFL as a defensive coordinator, potentially for the Arizona Cardinals under coach Jonathon Gannon.

Former Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas now serves as senior VP with the N.Y. Knicks. The University of Minnesota is exploring the conceptual possibility of renovating Williams Arena or constructing a new arena north of the existing parking lots.

Overheard

Louie Varland, the quick-acting Twins pitcher, reflects on baseball’s pitch clock, emphasizing his commitment to a rapid pace. He sees it as a strategic advantage, appreciated by teammates, coaches, and fans alike. The only exception? The batter, who finds it challenging to keep up without sufficient time for contemplation.

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