The Minnesota Vikings are looking to build off their impressive 2019 campaign and succeed in their goal to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1977. Their roster is stacked with talent and they're expected to be contenders in the NFC, but the Vikes need to keep in mind the number of tough contract decisions on their plate heading into the 2021 league year.
Here are three impending free agents on the Vikings that have the most to prove in 2020.
3. G Pat Elflein
The Vikings had an offensive line problem entering 2020, with the main culprit being offensive guard Pat Elflein. The former Ohio State Buckeye was projected to be a first-round pick in 2017, but dropped to Minnesota in the Round 3. Elflein initially played at center through his first two seasons, but was replaced by Garrett Bradbury last season. After shifting to left guard, Elflein was even worse, as he allowed 38 pressures on pass-blocking downs and surrendered six sacks. While he's expected to start in Week 1, he could lose his job quickly to rookie Ezra Cleveland if the struggles persist. This is truly a make-or-break season for Elflein.
2. S Anthony Harris
Vikings safety Anthony Harris was due to enter free agency this offseason, but the team placed the franchise tag on him in the 11th hour. Harris did sign the tender, but has until July 15 to agree to terms on a contract extension. If not. he can increase his market even further as a free agent next year with a strong 2020 campaign. Just last season, Harris allowed 15 completions on 23 targets for 151 yards, but tallied a league-high six interceptions. If Harris can replicate that success in 2020 (which he very likely will), he'll earn a future annual salary of upwards of $15 million, making him the highest-paid safety in the league. If the Vikings won't do it, a bevy of other teams will.
1. Mike Zimmer
Let's get nuts! Head coach Mike Zimmer, for some reason, isn't guaranteed to keep his job past 2020. In his six years with the team, Zimmer accumulated a 57-38-1 win-loss-tie record, won two NFC North titles, and has five postseason games to his credit, making him Minnesota's most successful head coach in the 21st century. Looking at the upcoming season, the Vikings are expected to compete with the Green Bay Packers for the division crown. No matter the end result of this upcoming season, Minnesota should absolutely keep Zimmer for a couple more years. The idea of moving on from him is just baffling. If ownership opts against it, we virtually guarantee that Zimmer will find another head coaching job in 2021.