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Mild vs. Wild: Vikings Aim for 'Strategic & Disciplined' Amid 'Craziest' NFL Offseason

It's been a wild month in the NFL.

There's really never a shortage of league storylines throughout the year, but this spring has featured some especially splashy moves.

Seattle traded Russell Wilson to Denver.

The Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders.

Von Miller signed a six-year deal (six?!) with the Bills, and the Bears traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers.

Matt Ryan was dealt to the Colts after Indianapolis sent Carson Wentz to Washington.

The Texans moved on from Deshaun Watson and picked up a bevy of picks from the Browns.

Just recently, Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill to Miami.

Tom Brady kind of started the whole fracas with his unretirement on March 13.

ESPN's Adam Schefter spoke with's Gabe Henderson during the NFL Annual League Meeting this week and pointed out that seven first-round picks were traded in one month – something that's never happened in the span of 32 years.

"That was the craziest," Schefter said.

Likely the news most noteworthy for Vikings fans is the departure of Adams from the division, even though Aaron Rodgers remains with the Packers after signing an extension.

"The best wide receiver is out of the NFC North," Schefter said. "It means that the Vikings secondary, while it still has to be really good, doesn't have to be quite as good to shut down Davante Adams.

"Everything Vikings fans know, it's all true," Schefter added. "Aaron Rodgers lost his favorite target, and you can't tell me they can be as formidable on offense as they were before then."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has been in the business for years but echoed Schefter that he's "never seen anything like this" flurry of top-shelf activity.

Does the aggressiveness correlate with the general age and philosophy of teams' leadership?

"Every year, it seems that trades have gotten more and more, especially this younger crop of GMs – Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is now one of them – just a younger group that seems more willing to take risks, to take big swings to make trades," Rapoport said.

"So adding to the excitement is also stressing people like myself because trades come out of nowhere sometimes, and it has been crazy," he added. "What I did not anticipate was basically all of the trades in an offseason coming in a two-week period. It has been absolutely wild."

Though Adofo-Mensah is among the younger executives and he's made some significant signings for Minnesota, the Vikings offseason looks exceedingly tame compared to the Wild, Wild (AFC) West and moves around the league.

Adofo-Mensah and Head Coach Kevin O'Connell have added a number of defenders in free agency, including OLB Za'Darius Smith, DT Harrison Phillips, LB Jordan Phillips and CB Chandon Sullivan, but they also retained a large percentage of the inherited roster. That includes QB Kirk Cousins, whom the Vikings signed to a one-year extension earlier this month that included benefits for the team and player.

O'Connell told media members Tuesday morning that he came into the new role on a new team with "an independent eye" on the existing team.

"I've studied this roster a lot before even arriving here, but then you come in and you actually see, you know, this game comes down to little things, little details. Sometimes execution [has been wanting], no question," O'Connell said. "But I'm excited to give these guys an opportunity … to go out and feel really good about what we're doing schematically and put it together piece-by-piece here this spring.

"Although sometimes things may not jump out as 'changing the roster,' you know, we've made some additions that I think will have a big-time impact on, really, all three phases," O'Connell added.

The Vikings offseason activity may not be as spicy as their counterparts, but it's been strategic.

"Minnesota made some strong moves at a time where I think everyone is getting used to each other," Schefter said. "Kevin is seeing how Kwesi works, Kwesi is seeing how Kevin works, the organization is seeing how each works; everybody is feeling each other out. You go from there, but you have to like what they've done so far."

Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf also spoke with media members this week and credited a "strategic and disciplined approach" implemented by Adofo-Mensah and O'Connell.

Wilf was asked about the team not making any "drastic" moves over the past month.

"It depends what you mean when you say 'drastic,' " Wilf said. "We've really had a lot of players that we've picked up here that are going to be very helpful to the roster. We're of course going to build through the draft, as well, and also some restructures and extensions we did with some of our key players that we have allowed us the flexibility to do that.

"All of that [adds up]," Wilf continued, "We've told Kwesi and Kevin, and everyone in the building knows we're going to provide whatever resources are necessary to maximize our competitiveness."

As NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reminded, it's not always a bad thing to log a mild offseason. He pointed out that many of the especially exciting trades actually moved big-name players out of the conference.

"We'll see what happens in the draft and where the balance of power goes, but it is interesting because the NFC teams that have maintained are in a better place because so much talent has gone to the AFC," Pelissero said.

And with Adams, Mack and former Bears WR Allen Robinson II leaving the division, and with Smith switching sides in the Border Battle, the Vikings are poised to be competitive in the NFC North.

"They certainly beefed up the defensive pass rush; that's a good spot for this defense to be in that division," Schefter said.

"It very much remains Packers vs. Vikings for the top of that division," Pelissero predicted. "The Packers have been the kings of that division in recent years, and we'll see whether or not, again, a new coaching staff, a new scheme, a lot of the same players, 'Can you take leap forward that convinces ownership and convinces Kwesi and Kevin that you can continue on this path forward without going down before you go back up?' "