The Minnesota Vikings have to make some changes heading into next season and that means these players might not be back in 2021.
With a chance to get into the NFC Playoffs with just a few weeks remaining, the Vikings failed to claim the final Wild Card spot a season after they managed to reach the NFC Divisional Round to face off against the San Francisco 49ers.
During the year, the Vikings featured one of the top offensive units in the entire NFL but countered that offensive efforts with struggles on both the defensive side and the special teams group for a majority of the season.
Now heading into the offseason leading up to the 2021 campaign, Minnesota shifts its focus to trying to bounce back next season while getting some key players back to the team in the new year that were absent for most, if not all, of the 2020 season.
In 2021, the Vikings will have the 10th-highest salary cap in the NFL, once again sitting in somewhat of a rough position cap space-wise for another year. That might limit the number of moves made for Minnesota, although parting ways with some notable players this offseason could free up some of that salary.
When it comes to some players who might ultimately part ways with the Vikings this offseason and a few players who we won’t see return to the team in 2021, let’s take a look at three candidates to move on from Minnesota.
3. Dan Bailey, K
In March leading up to the 2020 season, veteran kicker Dan Bailey signed a three-year deal to remain with the Vikings after signing with the team in 2018 to take over as starting kicker.
For the most part over the course of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Bailey has been a solid addition to the team and had helped shore up a weakness on special teams that was present prior to his arrival.
Then, 2020 happened and the perception of Bailey has since changed juristically following his struggles throughout his 10th year in the NFL and third with the Vikings.
During the season, Bailey began the year being relatively consistent while picking up right where he left off from his first two years in Minnesota. Over the final half of the regular season schedule, however, Bailey struggled mightily and missed multiple field goals and extra points that hurt his team more often than not by the end of games.
By the end of the year, Bailey finished with making 15-of-22 field goal attempts, also converting on 37-of-43 extra points in 2020. It was easily the worst performance of his career to this point.
With that said, Minnesota will likely look elsewhere for kicking help in 2021, although that might result in taking on some dead money in Bailey’s contract to make that happen. Bailey is by no means a guarantee to return to the depth chart in 2021, and we could certainly see the two sides move on after Bailey’s performance in 2020.