Vikings One of the Most Overhauled Teams in NFL as of Late

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 6
Minnesota Vikings fan during NFL game Sunday Oct 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens. © BILL INGRAM / THE PALM BEACH PSOT / USA TODAY NETWORK.

You’ll often hear from disgruntled Minnesota Vikings fans that the club keeps ‘running it back’ season after season. But that theory is false and is really just the person venting about their disdain for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Consider it a dog whistle.

Vikings One of the Most Overhauled Teams in NFL as of Late

By the numbers over the past three seasons, the Vikings are one of the sport’s most overhauled teams. It may not necessarily feel like it, though, because the franchise doesn’t believe in burn-it-to-the-ground rebuilding measures.

Overhauled Teams
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According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings have reworked the roster from 2020 to 2022 by 37.7%, which is the 10th-highest rate of turnover in the business. PFF‘s Amelia Probst said about her roster turnover analysis, “Roster turnover is a big deal in the NFL. If a team can maintain a solid roster despite the ebb and flow of the modern game, they will enter the season on the right track. With the excitement of free agency and the draft now behind us, it’s the perfect time to look at which NFL teams have had the most roster turnover over the past three seasons.”

And per Probst, these are the 10 teams with the highest new-player rate in the last three years:

1. Bears = 52.20%
2. Jaguars = 56.60%
3. Texans = 56.60%
4. Panthers = 56.60%
5. Falcons = 56.60%
6. Giants = 57.86%
7. Raiders = 59.12%
8. Jets = 61.64%
9. Dolphins = 61.64%
10. Vikings = 62.26%

Remarkably, the Vikings have actually rewrought the roster like a ‘bad’ team while keeping a commendable record. From 2020 to 2022, Minnesota has the NFL’s 10th-best record with a 28-22 (.560) standing.

Minnesota Jumped
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The Vikings said goodbye to many defensive players heading into 2020, including Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Mackensie Alexander, Trae Waynes, etc. Within the recent offseason, Minnesota parted ways with Cameron Dantzler (CB, Commanders), Eric Kendricks (LB, Chargers), Patrick Peterson (CB, Steelers), Adam Thielen (WR, Panthers), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT, Browns), Duke Shelley (CB, Raiders), Irv Smith (TE, Bengals), Kris Boyd (CB, Cardinals), and Chandon Sullivan (CB, Steelers). Za’Darius Smith was also traded to the Cleveland Browns.

So, roster redesign has been present, but folks stubbornly won’t acknowledge it.

vikings mentioned in
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Plus, in the 2022 and 2023 offseasons, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has pledged a ‘competitive rebuild’ philosophy where the Vikings live in the now and the future. It’s why Kirk Cousins’ contract hasn’t been extended this offseason; the club wants options at the game’s most crucial position next spring.

While you’re accustomed to Harrison Smith defining Vikings football and, in recent years, Cousins, Danielle Hunter, and Dalvin Cook, the team quietly underwent a large renovation. A straightforward look at the numbers conveys the change. It isn’t debatable.

Hell, the team even got a new general manager and head coach 16 months ago.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by