How the Vikings crushed free agency

Rick Spielman’s office inside the Minnesota Vikings’ palatial new headquarters looks out over 360,000 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass that last week was blanketed underneath a dense layer of snow.

The sprawling landscape, soon to be the team’s four outdoor practice fields,cheap nfl authentic jerseys  offered an oasis during one of the craziest weeks of the year, a place Minnesota’s general manager could go for a brief respite and minute of clarity among franchise-altering negotiations.

When he wasn’t corralling free agents with the team owners’ private jet or hosting deal-closing dinners, Spielman didn’t venture far from this space, bouncing between his quarters and those of salary-cap master Rob Brzezinski, assistant GM George Paton and the coaches down the hall. This is where he and his front-office team crushed some of the biggest home runs during the first wave of free agency.

The story behind how the Vikings landed Kirk Cousins, the quarterback they believe is the missing piece to this franchise’s quest for its first Super Bowl title, really began two years ago. It’s best explained by how $53 million in cap space not so magically appeared ahead of the 2018 free-agency period, priming the Vikings to strike on a paradigm-shifting deal and still have money leftover to make other power moves — including one that led to defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson’s signing.

But how everything fell into place in a couple of days last week is a byproduct of the franchise refusing to hold anything back when juggling multiple deals at the same time, thriving amid the chaos the front office had meticulously planned as it crafted a strategy to reshape its roster.

“If you don’t get up there and swing at the plate, you’re never going to get a hit,” nfl cheap jerseys Spielman said. “You’re always trying to — I don’t want to say take calculated risks, but you can’t just stay still.”

The Vikings gambled big, and it led them to win free agency. Spielman took ESPN on the journey that redefined his franchise.