The 2018 offseason is upon us, and people are already taking a peek to next season.
ESPN recently released its way-too-early power rankings for next season, and the Vikings found themselves near the top of the list.
Minnesota was ranked fourth in the poll, and was the second-highest NFC team listed behind Philadelphia.
The ESPN power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — is already looking ahead to next season with a way-too-early edition of NFL Power Rankings. Here's how we think the league will stack up in 2018.
The Vikings were slotted in the fourth spot after reaching the NFC title game in 2017.
The panelists wrote:
Case Keenum,Kyle Rudolph* and *Stefon Diggs* *are all expected to be unrestricted free agents this offseason. So despite Keenum finishing with an 11-3 record as the starter, second in Total QBR (69.5) and helping the Vikings reach the NFC Championship Game, he might not even be back in Minnesota next season. Even if he's not, the Vikings should be in good shape: Both Bradford and Bridgewater have winning records under Mike Zimmer.
Minnesota went 13-3 and won the NFC North in 2017. The Vikings hold the 30th overall pick in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.
The Vikings division foes were scattered throughout the ranking. Green Bay was eighth, Detroit was ranked 20th and Chicago was slotted at No. 31.
SB Host Committee doled out $5.5M in grants
All eyes were on U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday for Super Bowl LII.
But in the days, weeks and months leading up to the game, there was plenty going on behind the scenes, too.
Tim Yotter of Viking Update recently wrote that there was plenty of impact in the community as the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee dished out millions of dollars in grant money to help improve numerous programs around the state.
*The Super Bowl brought more than tens of thousands of fans from outside Minnesota to the Twin Cities, whether in the week leading up to Sunday's game or for the actual contest at U.S. Bank Stadium. With those come estimates of a few hundred million dollars pumped into the economy, depending on which analysis you believe. *
*But the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee also dished out $5.5 million in grants throughout Minnesota in the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. *
*The NFL Foundation provided a $1 million grant to the host committee and for charitable projects and health and wellness programs throughout the greater Minnesota community, which the host committee matched. *
*The Anwatin Middle School was the final recipient of the grants, getting $220,000 to upgrade its athletic field to support flag football and other recreation activities and establish an indigenous garden at the school. *