1. Is Bridgewater in the plans for 2017?
We have not heard from Teddy Bridgewater since he suffered his devastating knee injury in late August, and the team has provided no updates on his recovery, so it is still unknown whether there is a realistic possibility that he will play in 2017 — or ever again. Sam Bradford will be back at QB next season in case Bridgewater is not medically cleared by Week 1.
2. Will Vikings address their O-line problems?
The offensive line, which underperformed in Mike Zimmer’s first two seasons as head coach, collapsed in 2016 because of a lack of top-end talent and depth. The Vikings need to find two or three new starters up front, which means they will have to use one of their early draft picks on some big bodies, something they’ve been reluctant to do in recent offseasons.
3. Has Peterson played his last game in Minnesota?
Adrian Peterson rushed back from knee surgery, only to play a dozen snaps and lose a fumble before shutting it down for the season. The 31-year-old, who finally looks mortal after nearly a decade of dominance, will have a cap hit of $18 million next year. The Vikings aren’t paying him that and one wonders if the team and prideful player can compromise.
4. Will Rhodes receive a contract extension?
Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes is next in line for a contract extension, just like tight end Kyle Rudolph and safety Harrison Smith in years past. Rhodes is technically under contract through 2017, but the team prefers to hammer out deals with keepers like Rhodes a year early. Rhodes flashes top-tier talent, but his up-and-down play could make the Vikings pinch pennies.
5. Will Shurmur return to call offensive plays?
Zimmer plans to take his time evaluating his coaching staff because he doesn’t want to make “rash decisions.” Deciding whether to keep Pat Shurmur, who replaced Norv Turner as offensive coordinator during the season, will be one of the biggest decisions of his tenure. The offense didn’t produce enough points under Shurmur, but he does have Bradford’s endorsement.