One Vikings Offseason Talker Was Severely Overblown

Predicts Unpleasant Vikings

As the Minnesota Vikings kicked off the 2023 offseason, many fans believed the roster was old and needed a fundamental overhaul. Hell, some still maintain the opinion.

Along the way, the Vikings shed contracts of aging starters like Adam Thielen (Panthers), Eric Kendricks (Chargers), and Patrick Peterson (Steelers). To the “this team is old” camp, change was underway, evidenced by the departures of those three men.

One Vikings Offseason Talker Was Severely Overblown

Moreover, some claim Minnesota has an intentional reduced-wins forecast upcoming, using 2023 as a flyover vehicle merely to hit the 2024 season. SKOR North‘s Phil Mackey tweeted one month ago that the Vikings “might still be competitive in 2023 — with Flores, Jefferson, Darrisaw, O’Neill, Hockenson and if Cousins stays. But it’s more of a 2024 vision at this point.”

offseason talker
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

And that’s the same media and fan faction that asserts Minnesota is only “signing free agents who are 26 and younger,” even though 13 of the Vikings 19 new and existing signees from free agency will be age 27 or older when the 2023 regular season starts.

Indeed, the Vikings were allegedly eyeing youth to combat a so-called old-ish roster this offseason. But the talking point was false from the onset.

Vikings Should Pass on
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Per snaps played in 2022 — the same season where the Vikings finished 13-4 and won the NFC North for the first time since 2017 — Minnesota ranked 12th per snaps played by men age 25 and younger.

The roster was not old by comparative NFL standards, and any thesis stating otherwise was likely made-up propaganda from folks endlessly hoping to conclude the Kirk Cousins era at quarterback. Multiple talkers — “The 2023 season is just a way to get to 2024,” “The Vikings are only signing players younger than 27,” or “This roster was old and needed a facelift” — offer a theoretical vision to get rid of Kirk Cousins and start afresh.

In reality, motives be damned, the Vikings were a Top 12 franchise per snaps played by young players. And there’s no other way to spin it.

as April Arrives
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

In addition, injuries ravaged the Vikings 2022 draft class, including ailments for players like Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, and Ty Chandler. Even without contributions from the team’s youngest group of players, Minnesota utilized youth on the field to the tune of 12th-youngest in the business.

The Vikings were a young team in 2022 — and will be a young team again in 2023.

The team has 66 players on the roster as of April 14th. Seven (10.6%) are aged 30 or older. The oldest is the long snapper at age 35. The Vikings basically employ Cousins and safety Harrison Smith as notable “old players,” so there’s a bizarre temptation to decry the club, on the whole, as “too old.”

The talking point is false.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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