The Vikings Signed a Lemon

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings needed to replace Za’Darius Smith after the edge rusher forced himself out of the locker room, and pairing someone with Danielle Hunter was a must. They landed on Marcus Davenport, giving him a $13 million contract, but he has given them almost nothing in return.

The Vikings Signed a Lemon

Out since early October with an ankle injury, Marcus Davenport ultimately decided to undergo surgery on the injury. He has been working his way back for months now, but it doesn’t seem he’ll be hitting the field soon.

Beyond just working through his rehab and attempting to regain a clean bill of health, it seems that the former New Orleans Saints player doesn’t have much of a motor to get back on the field. Although the Vikings are in position to make the playoffs, it appears they may need to do so without the abilities of the man they gave substantial money to over the offseason.

signed a lemon
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Unlike teammate Jordan Hicks, who nearly lost his leg and underwent emergency surgery, Davenport doesn’t appear to have a strong desire when it comes to rejoining his teammates. KSTP’s Darren Wolfson talked about the situation a bit recently on Skor North, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for Davenport.

Playing in 15 games last year for the Saints, Davenport drew nine starts and wound up with just half of a sack. The year prior, though, he played in only 11 games and racked up 9 sacks to his credit. Minnesota was certainly hoping for a bounce back and fairly assumed that he would relish the opportunity to play opposite of a talent like Danielle Hunter.

With just four games played this season for the Vikings, Davenport has tallied only two sacks. He has shown an ability to bring down the quarterback when on the field but hasn’t shown a desire to stay out there and keep doing it. Rather than worry about what Davenport hasn’t brought to the table, Kevin O’Connell has seen D.J. Wonnum step up for his defense.

News on One Forgotten
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It is beyond unfortunate that the Vikings have gotten so little from Davenport. While dealing with salary cap constraints this offseason, the money handed to him could have gone elsewhere, and any level of productive player would have generated a greater return. It’s as though the Vikings went to a used car dealer and signed a lemon in the worst way possible.

Seeing Hunter put up such numbers with virtually no real threat on the opposite side has been incredible. Brian Flores has had his defenders blitzing the quarterback at a breakneck pace, and Hunter has consistently found a way to bring down the opposition. He should be squarely in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year, and that’s not something his teammate will likely ever need to worry about. At least not in 2023.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.