Sports Illustrated made 4 bold predictions about the Vikings

Heading into the 2023 season, nothing is certain about the Minnesota Vikings. They were a 13-4 football team with an 11-0 record in one-score games in the regular season but fell short in the playoffs.

As we project forward, there will be a myriad of predictions coming in. Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated wrote up 100 bold predictions and the Vikings were in four of them.

Matthew Stafford to the Vikings?

With the Vikings needing a quarterback of the future, Orr believes that they could target Stafford in the trade market. The move itself would be an odd one since Stafford is older than Cousins and doesn’t represent the future.

I think Stafford and McVay will someday end up somewhere on a sideline coaching together. The mutual respect they have is evident. So much so that I can’t imagine McVay wanting to keep Stafford on the roster if the team isn’t going to be competitive in the very near future. Just about every team has a McVay guy on staff and, thus, a not-so-difficult process of ferrying Stafford across the country to a title contender. Perhaps the Vikings will sustain an injury at the quarterback position or are starting to get serious about life after Kirk Cousins. Just an example.

Will the Vikings miss the playoffs?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After going 11-0 in one-score games, regressing to the mean is likely. Will it be enough to knock them out of the playoffs?

The Buccaneers, Dolphins, Giants, Seahawks and Vikings will all be on the outside looking in.

Justin Jefferson's contract extension

There have been many discussions about what Jefferson’s contract extension will look like. I predicted three years, $96 million back in November and those talks have started. Nothing is set in stone yet, but Orr believes we will get the framework soon.

And the deal will be massive. Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah already made the dreaded Rex Ryan–Darrelle Revis faux pas (waxing poetic specifically about the player’s value to the roster and how important it is to have him schematically), meaning Minnesota will be digging into the Wilf family pockets soon. Jefferson will replace Kirk Cousins’s $35 million salary in the budget once the team gets rid of him.

Trey Lance or Zach Wilson?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

So far in his tenure as general manager, Adofo-Mensah has worked hard to fill gaps in the roster to set the stage for the future. Going into 2024, Orr expects the Vikings to have some plan at quarterback and a low-risk, high-reward player paired with a rookie.

Trey Lance? Zach Wilson? Mac Jones? The Vikings are not going to catch as many good-luck heaters as they did in winning 13 games a year ago. They will be middling and will also have to confront life after a very good quarterback who commands a fully guaranteed salary each season.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire