For months, the video monitors in the Vikings' practice facility had displayed players' daily schedule: weightlifting and recovery sessions, team meetings, walk-throughs, practices. On Monday, the daily agenda was gone, replaced only by the "Our team, our way, our process" shield graphic coach Kevin O'Connell commissioned before his first season.

The lights in the Vikings' indoor fieldhouse were a little dimmer than usual, the halls eerily quiet as players exited team meetings and departed to begin their offseasons. Less than 24 hours earlier, they'd kicked off their second-ever home playoff game at U.S. Bank Stadium with noise levels eclipsing 120 decibels. Their 31-24 loss to the Giants, though, ended all their plans and stilled their excitement.

O'Connell reminded players in an exit meeting of all the 2022 Vikings accomplished: Becoming the third team in franchise history to win 13 games in the regular season, claiming the team's first NFC North title since 2017 and setting an NFL record with 11 one-score wins. But an uncertain offseason lies ahead, with four defensive starters from Sunday's game set to hit free agency and a handful of franchise fixtures possibly in line to depart.

The Vikings' final task of the 2022 season, then, was to say some goodbyes and keep both surprising achievements and a sudden exit in perspective.

"You could call it a good season. I wouldn't call it a success," wide receiver Justin Jefferson said. "Everybody wants to get to the Super Bowl. That's the success of the season. You can say you had a good run at the Super Bowl and where you wanted to go and where the future could bring you. That's not exactly what we wanted, but it's definitely good to look back on that and seeing the good things out of it."

Jefferson, who has a good chance at NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors after leading the league in catches (128) and receiving yards (1,809), could also be one of the Vikings' biggest offseason stories. He is eligible to receive a contract extension before his fourth season and could command a deal worth more than $30 million per season.

He said Monday the contract discussion "comes with the success," adding, "They pay me whatever they pay me. They don't even really have to give me an extension this year. It's not really something I'm worried about.

"I want to win a Super Bowl. That's the thing I'm most focused on."

By the time Jefferson returns for his fourth season, the Vikings' roster could go through a number of changes. They could need to clear nearly $20 million in cap space before the start of the 2023 league year in March, meaning players such as linebacker Eric Kendricks and running back Dalvin Cook could be released or asked to restructure their contracts by then.

Kendricks said Monday he's "not even thinking about that right now" when asked about his future in Minnesota, while Cook said, "You have to talk to [General Manager] Kwesi [Adofo-Mensah] and 'KO' [O'Connell] about that. That's not my type of question."

“You could call it a good season. I wouldn't call it a success. Everybody wants to get to the Super Bowl. That's the success of the season.”
Justin Jefferson

Players talked throughout the season about how many close relationships they had, saying a playoff loss would sting more because it would mean inevitable changes to the locker room. Those changes are a reality of the game's business side, said linebacker Jordan Hicks, who made the Vikings his third different team this season. Those changes seem closer than ever now that the 2022 Vikings have played their final game.

"You create bonds, you create relationships that really outlast wins and losses," Hicks said. "When we're on our way, we'll be able to look back on those memories and see all that we accomplished together."

In three months, the players who remain from the 2022 roster will be back in town to begin O'Connell's second season, trying for something resembling continuity.

"There's a foundation built here," Hicks said. "As we move forward, it's about the standards that we hold to continue the process we had."