Before the Vikings splurged on quarterback Kirk Cousins, coach Mike Zimmer spent time pushing back against the kind of cap-busting move that would make it hard to keep the team’s young core players in place. The Vikings apparently will be trying to do both.
With Cousins signed and linebacker Eric Kendricks extended, the Vikings have three other young stars they hope to keep in the fold: linebacker Anthony Barr, receiver Stefon Diggs, and defensive end Danielle Hunter.
One thing they won’t have to worry about is ownership; Spielman said that the Wilfs have never refused a request from the front office to sign a given player.
Brezinzki calls the situation a “good problem to have,” but it remains to be seen whether this approach solves the problem that the Vikings have been plagued with for more than 40 years: Getting back to the Super Bowl, and perhaps this time winning it.
For Washington to compete for a spot in the NFC playoffs this season, they’ll need to navigate a schedule full of strong contenders. The good news for the Redskins: Several of those contenders will have to travel to Washington.
Toughest tests: Nobody likes having to play in the Superdome, where the Saints will be difficult to beat. The Redskins have to play another road game in a dome when they face the Cardinals in Arizona, not to mention their annual trip to Dallas to face the Cowboys. Seven of the 10 non-divisional opponents on Washington’s schedule are strong playoff contenders. And the Colts, Cardinals and Buccaneers won’t be push-overs.
Biggest breaks: Some of Washington’s toughest opponents in Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay and Houston have to travel to FedEx Field, which should help. The Redskins also have just one long trip out west on their hands — the game in Arizona.