Recent content from Ben Goessling
Kevin and Bud: O'Connell fondly recalls weekly meetings with Grant
One of the first things Bud Grant said to the new Vikings coach was, "We should grab lunch next week." That turned into a weekly visit for O'Connell and Grant, who died earlier this month.
After bittersweet goodbyes, Vikings maintain 'super-competitive' goal
Two prominent players have left the team, but second-year defenders and free-agent pickups will be in position to contribute.
New pass rusher Davenport fired up by O'Connell, upset about last year
When Marcus Davenport spoke with Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell, he got a charge from the head coach's excitement about him.
Vikings agree to terms on new deal with offensive lineman Udoh
Oli Udoh, the former sixth-round pick, returns for a fifth season in Minnesota, where he'll likely continue his role as a versatile backup.
Adofo-Mensah proves willing to make necessary changes to Vikings
To watch how the Vikings operated in the past two weeks, it's clear that while sentiment might dignify goodbyes, it won't delay them.
Harrison Smith takes pay cut to stay; status of other veterans unclear
Smith weighed other options but will be coming back for a 12th season in Minnesota. Deadlines are today for contract terms for Za'Darius Smith and Dalvin Cook, and one free-agent introduction wasn't held as planned.
Vikings make Davenport deal, two others official as free-agency starts
Edge rusher Marcus Davenport, a former first-round pick of the Saints, has struggled to stay healthy, but his athletic ability made him an enticing target.
New contract for Mattison raises question about Cook's future
If Alexander Mattison's deal in Minnesota makes him a more prominent piece of the offense, it's worth wondering what will happen to Dalvin Cook.
Source: Vikings add $16 million cap space by juggling Cousins' contract
Instead of giving the quarterback a contract extension, the Vikings used a salary cap maneuver to clear money that can be used elsewhere, while leaving Kirk Cousins' future in question.
Vikings add cornerback Murphy, reach deals with four returning players
Former Arizona cornerback Byron Murphy Jr.'s contract is expected to be worth around $22 million over two years. It gives the Vikings a player said to fit defensive coordinator Brian Flores' scheme. More moves are expected today.
Vikings losing Tomlinson, Peterson as free agent drama kicks into gear
Dalvin Tomlinson is going to Cleveland and Patrick Peterson to Pittsburgh amid reports that the Vikings were about to make a deal with New Orleans edge rusher Marcus Davenport.
Vikings reach three-year deal with tight end Oliver in free-agent talks
The free agent negotiating period began Monday and the Vikings added Baltimore's Josh Oliver, a 25-year-old blocking tight end who can complement T.J. Hockenson.
Vikings release Thielen, ending his 10-year run in Minnesota
Adam Thielen, the receiver from Detroit Lakes and Minnesota State Mankato, leaves with more catches and touchdowns than any Vikings player other than Randy Moss or Cris Carter.
Vikings waive cornerback Dantzler as roster maneuvers continue
The third-round pick in 2020 started just nine games last year, slipping behind Duke Shelley on the depth chart.
O'Connell focused on improving his communication on game days
Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell said he spent the first part of the offseason thinking through ways he can be clearer about his vision for the team on game days.
Contract calls on Cousins, Jefferson on GM's mind as NFL combine opens
Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah called an extension for Justin Jefferson a "priority," adding he would involve the receiver in conversations about the team's roster.
Vikings get more time to try to work out a deal with Tomlinson
Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson could become a free agent on March 15, but GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made it clear the team want Tomlinson back.
Shot put to second base: Vikings roster and their sports beyond football
Thirty of the current Vikings have competed in track and field and three of them were four-sport high school athletes. Here's the current roster and the sports they've played.
Track, wrestling, golf: Other sports boost Vikings' football success
Almost 90% of the Minnesota Vikings played more than one high school sport. Some have kept competing or taken up new sports — from organized track and field meets to a star who's been seen playing pick-up soccer in a suburban park.
Vikings re-sign Brandel, Tonga
Offensive lineman Blake Brandel and defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga were key depth players last season for the Vikings.
'Aggressive by nature,' Flores ready for chance to remake Vikings defense
Brian Flores' partnership with head coach Kevin O'Connell will be central to the Vikings' hopes in 2023, with schematic and personnel changes seemingly in store.
Cook has shoulder surgery to tackle shoulder injuries of recent years
Dalvin Cook has dealt with a history of shoulder issues, and dislocated his left shoulder for the second time in less than a year three weeks into the 2022 season.
Vikings turn to Flores as their new defensive coordinator
The team finalized a deal with former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, wrapping up a 19-day search that began at a deliberate pace and then picked up dramatically over the weekend.
Go deep on Vikings roster: Player contract status, salary cap hits
Eight players have a 2023 cap hit of more than $10 million, led by Kirk Cousins at $36.3 million. Here's the complete list.
Broncos release Evero from contract; Vikings could interview him soon
Ejiro Evero and Brian Flores are considered the top two contenders for the Vikings' defensive coordinator job.
Which of these 18 Vikings will be back?
The Vikings need to clear roughly $23 million of cap space before the league year begins on March 15, meaning they're headed toward a series of tough choices with some of their longest-tenured players.
Flores, Evero remain names to watch in Vikings defensive coordinator search
The Vikings formally requested permission to interview Ejiro Evero, the Broncos' defensive coordinator, on Friday.
On the NFL: Home-field advantage still means a lot in the NFL playoffs
The league may view neutral-site conference championships as an untapped revenue stream, but Sunday's games show the relevance of being the home team.
Jefferson among five finalists for MVP award — and the only non-QB
No receiver in league history has been MVP. Justin Jefferson, who led the NFL in catches and receiving yards, is also a finalist for Offensive Player of the Year.
Vikings interview Pettine for defensive coordinator job
Mike Pettine, the Vikings assistant head coach who has been a coordinator for three teams, gave Kevin O'Connell his first NFL job in 2014.
Vikings request two more interviews in search for defensive coordinator
The Seahawks' Sean Desai and the Saints' Ryan Nielsen join the Steelers' Brian Flores on the list of options to replace Ed Donatell.
Vikings request to interview Flores for defensive coordinator opening
Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is currently a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach for the Steelers.
One and done: Donatell fired as Vikings defensive coordinator
Donatell's firing might be just the first of the big changes for the Vikings' defense. Several free players are scheduled to be free agents and other veterans may be salary cap casualties.
Cousins expected back, Donatell fate among issues looming for Vikings
The Vikings face pivotal decisions about a team that currently has only four picks in the 2023 draft and significant salary cap questions. First up could be the coaching staff.
Vikings take stock of a good season. But was it a successful one?
On the day players cleared out their lockers, coach Kevin O'Connell reminded them of all the team accomplished. Stilll, an uncertain offseason is ahead with nearly $20 million in salary cap space to clear.
Vikings can't keep up with Jones, shed 'real tears' after playoff loss
Players talked barely above a whisper, about the plays they could have made in the Vikings' 31-24 loss to the Giants and the uncertainty the playoff defeat injected into their futures.
Vikings mailbag: How worried should Vikings be about Giants' pressure?
New York blitzed Kirk Cousins 52% of the time in the first meeting, and could test a Vikings offensive line dealing with injuries.
It's time for Kirk Cousins' final exam: the NFL playoffs
In Kevin O'Connell's first season, Cousins said he has more responsibility in the offense than in any of his first 10 years in the league. Can the quarterback direct the Vikings to playoff success?
Vikings activate Brandel from injured reserve before playoff opener vs. Giants
Tackle Blake Brandel tore a knee ligament in the Dec. 11 loss at Detroit but returned to practice this week.
Vikings mailbag: What is Harrison Smith's future in Minnesota?
The safety will be 34 in February and has a $19.2 million cap number for 2023, but has played some of his best games in the past month.
Ben Goessling's Vikings-Giants playoff preview: Who wins and why?
There's been plenty of talk this week about how this is a favorable first-round matchup for the Vikings, but is it?
Vikings mailbag: Are players or scheme to blame for pass defense woes?
The middle of the field was often open against the Vikings defense, though they made some adjustments after a loss to the Lions on Dec. 11.
'True brotherhood love.' Vikings say closeness can carry them in playoffs
Vikings Insider: The bond among Vikings players showed through when they trailed the Colts 33-0 at halftime last month. Will it be a factor in the tough games that could be ahead?
Vikings mailbag: What happened to the deep throws to Jefferson?
The Vikings offense has struggled to stretch the field at times, which Kevin O'Connell attributed to defenses being preoccupied with stopping Justin Jefferson.
Hidden gem: Osborn 'as explosive and reliable as anybody' on Vikings
Third-year receiver K.J. Osborn has career highs in catches and snaps this season in a role that requires him to be an integral part of the run game too.
Vikings beat Bears 29-13, will face Giants in playoffs
The Vikings finished the regular season 13-4 after handing Chicago its 10th loss in a row. They will play the Giants in the wild-card round next Sunday.
Vikings' Harrison Smith will miss Bears game with knee soreness
In other roster news, Za'Darius Smith will join the team in Chicago after missing practice Friday, and Irv Smith Jr. and Jonathan Bullard were activated from injured reserve.
Ben Goessling's Vikings-Bears preview: Who wins and why?
The Vikings are trying to shake off a blowout loss to the Packers against a 3-13 Chicago team led by a backup quarterback.
Cousins-to-Jefferson: How do yards pile up despite defensive attention?
It has taken innovation, and Justin Jefferson's perceptiveness, to spring the receiver for a league-high 1,771 receiving yards in a season where defenses have employed all manner of tactics to stop him.
Hamlin, football's risks on minds of Vikings as they return to work
"You're aware of the risks, and you still have to go play," Kirk Cousins said as the team prepared to play Chicago.
Vikings big question: Which first-round opponent is preferred?
Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell indicated starters will play Sunday in Chicago because they want the No. 2 seed for the playoffs if they can get it.
Erratic special teams have been a signature of Vikings' odd season
The team has been both the initiators and the victims of some of the NFL's biggest special team plays this season.
Vikings' 41-17 loss to the Packers shuffles the NFC playoff picture
With a chance to eliminate the Packers from playoff contention on New Year's Day, nearly everything went wrong for the Vikings. They dropped to the No. 3 seed in the playoffs in the process.
Justin Jefferson cracks the code to NFL stardom
The Vikings receiver has launched himself into record books with a combination of grit, grace and the Griddy.
Ben Goessling's Vikings-Packers preview: Who wins and why?
The Vikings can effectively end their rivals' playoff hopes with a victory Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Joseph and the amazing 61-yard field goal give Vikings win on final play
Greg Joseph boomed the longest field goal in Vikings history as time ran out Saturday for a 27-24 win over the New York Giants that featured the teams trading touchdowns in the final three minutes.
O'Connell as Coach of the Year? How strong is his case?
The coaches leading the Vikings' toughest potential playoff opponents might be O'Connell's stiffest competition for the highest NFL award given to a head coach.
Ben Goessling's Vikings-Giants preview: Who wins and why?
Justin Jefferson nears another record as the Vikings and Giants have eyes on their playoff position Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Prosecutors drop charges against Vikings' Udoh from October arrest
Offensive lineman Oli Udoh was arrested at a Miami nightclub in October; misdemeanor charges were dropped at a hearing in Dade County on Thursday.
Did Dalvin Cook find a new role in the comeback vs. the Colts?
Cook caught four passes for a career-high 95 yards; two of them came on plays designed for him as a wide receiver. Have the Vikings been preparing him for a role that could aid their playoff hopes?
Vikings' Cousins again shows fourth quarter (and beyond) is his time
His performance Saturday put him in the NFL lead for fourth-quarter passing yards and touchdowns this season.
Vikings rally from a 33-point deficit to beat Colts, win NFC North
Down by 33 points to the four-win Colts, the Vikings on Saturday completed the biggest comeback in NFL history: a 39-36 overtime win to claim their first division title since 2017.
Peterson has some answers for Vikings defense, but questions linger about future
Vikings Insider: The team has invested a lot of draft capital in defensive backs, but not many have panned out and younger players on the team still face a learning curve.
Ben Goessling's Vikings-Colts preview and prediction: Who wins?
After a week of analyzing their struggling defense, the Vikings face a turnover-prone, low-scoring Indianapolis offense.
What must Vikings change to solve their big problems on defense?
Coach Kevin O'Connell has called for the Vikings' pass rush to be more aggressive. But what more needs to be done to fix a defense that ranks at the bottom of the NFL?
Cousins turned in some of his best work this season in loss to Lions
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was successful over and over in Detroit even though everyone watching knew what was coming. 'He was attempting to will our football team to victory,' Kevin O'Connell said.
Little defense for Vikings in loss despite Jefferson's record-setting day
The Vikings will have to wait until at least next weekend to clinch the NFC North, after their issues in Detroit on Sunday proved too much for superlative individual performances by Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins to overcome.
Vikings activate Dantzler to return against Detroit
Cameron Dantzler, who injured his ankle on Nov. 6 in Washington, was activated to return to practice this week.
Ben Goessling's Vikings-Lions preview: Who wins and why?
The Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win or tie, but Detroit is favored and has won four of five.
Fingerprints of Vikings' risk-taking GM will be all over Sunday's game in Detroit
Vikings Insider: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has closed 11 trades in his first year in Minnesota; two will be on display Sunday in Detroit.
What did the Vikings learn from their 4-1 stretch vs. winning teams?
The Vikings went 4-1 against Washington, Buffalo, Dallas, New England and the New York Jets to refute some of the questions about how good they really are.
Thielen is Vikings' 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee
Thielen's foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to Twin Cities organizations since it started in 2018.
Vikings puzzle over third-quarter woes plaguing offense all season
The Vikings ran 12 plays in the third quarter that netted a total of 10 yards against the Jets. Coming out strong after halftime has been an issue in nearly every game.
Escape artists: Vikings perform more last-minute magic to beat Jets
Up by five points and protecting their end zone, safety Camryn Bynum added his name to a list of Vikings bonded by good fortune or shrewd operation — or a combination of the two.
On the menu at Peterson's home: Wisdom for younger Vikings teammates
In the middle of a resurgent season, 32-year-old Patrick Peterson holds weekly film reviews with his young teammates, hoping to leave the game better than he found it.