What Offseason Grade Do the Vikings Currently Deserve?

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell

The Minnesota Vikings season ended three months ago, and it has been a month since NFL free agency started.

There is still the draft, which is less than two weeks away, and a lot can still change from now until September. You do not always know how well free agents will do with their new teams or if they will do well at all. Draft picks are even more unpredictable.

What grade does Minnesota deserve at the moment, though, regarding their offseason?

Let’s examine.

What Offseason Grade Do the Vikings Currently Deserve?

One of their biggest moves was moving on from defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after just one season and replacing him with Brian Flores. They also said goodbye to longtime Vikings Eric Kendricks and Adam Thielen.

Offseason Grade Do
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They lost Dalvin Tomlinson and Patrick Peterson, too. Losing four starters is never good, but changes constantly happen in this league, especially with the salary cap and players getting older. As much as Kendricks and Thielen did for the organization, it made sense to move on from both. The team needed to clear cap space, and both players were declining.

Peterson is coming off a good year but also will be 33 years old once the season starts. Losing Tomlinson hurts. He did not play quite as well as expected during his two years in purple but still was a good player, and his presence will be missed. The contract he received in Cleveland was too much for Minnesota’s pocketbook.

They added Byron Murphy, Marcus Davenport, and Josh Oliver. All should play significant roles this season, and Murphy is a good replacement for Peterson. They still need at least another cornerback or two, and it will not come as a shock if they draft at least two. They could also sign one after June 1.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, a 2nd-Round draft pick. He was welcomed to the Vikings from free agency in March 2023.

Bringing back Harrison Smith on a restructured deal was a very good move. In his 11th season, Smith continued to show he is one of the best safeties in the league. He also tied for a career-high with five interceptions.

The best offseason move at the moment for them is adding Flores. The defense still needs to add more talent, especially at cornerback. It could also use a linebacker. Flores is a great addition to this team and having him running the defense is a nice step in the right direction. Donatell clearly did not work out. The defense ranked 31st in the league certainly was not all on Donatell, but he deserved plenty of blame. The unit was too talented to struggle that much. Yes, it made several clutch plays to help them win more games, but overall the unit was a massive disappointment.

At the moment, both Dalvin Cook and Za’Darius Smith are on the roster, which is surprising given their cap numbers. Smith also tweeted that he wanted out. With the draft coming up soon, could both be moved for picks? That will be very interesting. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Cook could be released if something is not worked out.

Given they signed Davenport, it is hard to believe they would keep Smith around even if he changes his stance on wanting out.

The Vikings Have 4
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Again, a lot can happen from now through September. Maybe their three main free-agent signings (Murphy, Davenport, and Oliver) could be even better than expected. Perhaps they will have an excellent draft.

Could Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also pull off a trade for a wide receiver or linebacker? Both are positions of need as well as another cornerback or two. K.J. Osborn is a good receiver, but will he ever be a true No. 2? He very well could be, but even then, they could still use another wideout.

So far, this has been an okay offseason for Minnesota, but in the end, games are not won or lost on paper. We have seen teams sign free agents who were expected to be good additions but were not. For the Vikings, players like Fred Smoot, Madieu Williams, and Bernard Berrian (very good first year with the team, though) were among those.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, IN. The Vikings finished 13-4 in the first year under Adofo-Mensah’s general management.

Not all free signings or trade acquisitions will be Brett Favre, Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, Antoine Winfield, or Pat Williams. Free agency and trades can help tremendously, but the draft is more important — ch=heaper players who can be with the team for many years. Having players like Randy Moss, Adrian Peterson, and Justin Jefferson on rookie contracts did immense wonders for them (all rare talents, but you get the point).

This team should once again make the playoffs. They still have some work to do to repeat as division champs and advance in the playoffs. Minnesota could still win the division with this current roster, but it will not be as easy, given the Detroit Lions could have a very good team this year (something we have not been able to say much since Barry Sanders retired in 1999).

It’s still a little early to say how good this offseason will be, but so far, it has been decent.

An underrated move they made was re-signing Garrett Bradbury for three years and $15.75 million. After struggling the previous three seasons, Bradbury had a respectable season. Can he keep it up from here on out? Time will tell, but his progress was definitely nice to see.

Current grade: C