Plops Vikings Offseason in Cellar

The Justin Jefferson Injury
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The Minnesota Vikings finished in first place inside the NFC North a season ago, and some of the NFL body politic has them codified in last place for offseason movement in 2023.

It’s less than ideal but doesn’t really matter, on the whole, until actual regular season games transpire in September. Plops Vikings Offseason in Cellar was the latest entity to chide Minnesota’s offseason, ranking it in the cellar among NFC North teams with a C- grade.

Plops Vikings Offseason
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The Vikings have added eight newcomer free agents in the last 2+ months, including Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), Dean Lowry (DT, Packers), Brandon Powell (WR, Rams), Troy Reeder (LB, Chargers), Joejuan Williams (CB, Patriots), and John Reid (CB, Falcons). Six men arrived from the 2023 NFL Draft, plus another 15 undrafted free agents.

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) left the team. Za’Darius Smith was also traded on May 12th to the Cleveland Browns.

The PFF Prediction for
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And on that movement batch,’s Gilberto Manzano mused, “The Vikings are in the midst of trying to get younger and cleaning up their cap situation. After trading Smith to the Browns and not committing to quarterback Kirk Cousins after this season, the Vikings might have realized that this core group isn’t a Super Bowl contender and last year was a fluke season with 11 one-score victories.”

Manzano interestingly forecasted the Vikings to finish in second place among NFC North teams, though, behind the Detroit Lions.

“While the Vikings prioritized fixing their salary cap, they made enough moves this season to possibly remain relevant in the division. Minnesota’s secondary should improve after a disastrous 2022 season with the arrivals of Murphy, Blackmon and Ward. Davenport, the 2018 first-round pick of the Saints, will take over for Smith as the team’s No. 2 edge rusher and form a quality duo with Danielle Hunter,” Manzano continued.

Murphy the Next
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The Vikings replaced for-one-year-only defensive coordinator Ed Donatell four days after the playoff loss to the New York Giants and hired Brian Flores in February as the fixer. Flores will coach a group of men on defense who are younger, faster, and more affordable than the 2022 defense on display.

Manzano assigned the C- grade and concluded, “The duo of Jefferson and Addison should be fun to watch during Cousins’ potential final season in Minnesota. It appears the Vikings are sacrificing the short term to possibly make a splash next offseason.”

He gave the Green Bay Packers a C+ grade, the Chicago Bears a B, and the aforementioned Lions an A- mark — because everyone apparently loves Detroit now.

The Vikings kick off the regular season on September 10th versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. We shall see if the C- offseason moves truly merit a blasé grade.

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).

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