A week from Monday, Vikings players will report to the team's gleaming new facility in Eagan for the start of offseason workouts, with many players from a team that went 13-3 joining new quarterback Kirk Cousins, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and wide receiver Kendall Wright.
Optimism figures to flow through the team's new weight room as players use it for the first time, and expectations for the 2018 Vikings will be trebled outside the building. They won't be alone, however, in thinking they've made the moves to get over the top.
The Vikings are part of the NFC's new power class, along with the four other teams (Eagles, Saints, Rams and Panthers) that made the playoffs in 2017 after missing them in 2016. The moves several of those teams made, though, coupled with the improvement of a handful of younger clubs and the return of injured star players, figures to make the NFC as competitive as it's been in some time.