Seahawks vs. Vikings: Five questions about Minnesota with Viking Age

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Russell Wilson (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Russell Wilson (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

How good are the Vikings in the near-future?

12th Man Rising: The Vikings have been a good team for a few years now. But how do you see them projecting based on talent and cap space for the next two to three seasons?

Carlson: Honestly, most of the big name talent has been locked up. Sure, there are some contracts like Anthony Barr, Trae Waynes and Sheldon Richardson coming up, but with some smart drafting and more creative use of the salary cap, there’s a chance there won’t be much drop-off at all in the coming years.

Of course, the big contract is that of Kirk Cousins. But other deals like Danielle Hunter, Xavier Rhodes, Eric Kendricks and Stefon Diggs have put the team in a position where they will need to rely on young players to step up with they can’t afford to re-sign some of their talented players.

All eyes are on Rick Spielman for that.

Disappointments and surprises of the Vikings season

12th Man Rising: What are some unexpected positives and some unexpected negatives about the Vikings so far in the 2018 season?

Carlson: Of course, the biggest surprise of the year was the passing of offensive line coach Tony Sparano. His knowledge and ability to make adjustments helped Minnesota in a big way previously and it’s easy to see why the new coaches are struggling to re-create his magic.

Positively, the emergence of Anthony Harris has been nice to see. Plus, the quick development of right tackle Brian O’Neill, who the Vikings wanted to sit for a year to bulk up and work on technique before being inserted into the lineup, has impressed in a big way.

The negatives are the play of the offensive line overall in terms of protection and run blocking and the disappointing end to the season for first-round draft pick Mike Hughes, who looked like an absolute stud early in the year before his ACL injury.