The Vikings National Offseason Grade Isn’t Too Fancy

Draft Plan Just Got
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This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings have 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), and Kris Boyd (CB, Cardinals).

Seven players joined the team: Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), Dean Lowry (DT, Packers), Brandon Powell (WR, Rams), Troy Reeder (LB, Chargers), and Joejuan Williams (CB, Patriots). And the NFL draft will bring between five and 10 new players.

The Vikings National Offseason Grade Isn’t Too Fancy

The roster upheaval is somewhat significant — but not too crazy — and Minnesota hopes to stave off regression from a 13-4 record in Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach.

The Vikings National
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And according to Bleacher Report, all the Vikings maneuvers fetch a C+ offseason grade. Such grades aren’t incredibly meaningful but do provide a glimpse into the national thermometer regarding the team.

BR‘s Kristopher Knox explained the meh grade, “Like the Rams and Dolphins, the Minnesota Vikings had to make a few tough financial decisions this offseason because of its $13.4 million cap deficit. Standout receiver Adam Thielen and linebacker Eric Kendricks were let go, and a few key players — like Dalvin Tomlinson and Patrick Peterson — were allowed to walk in free agency.”

Landing Is a Good
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Kendricks and Thielen were expected to leave as soon as the Vikings lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs. Both had hefty contracts, and the Vikings new leadership regime likely wanted to sculpt the roster in their own vision.

“After purging the roster of some expensive veterans, the Vikings turned their attention to their 31st-ranked defense. Pass-rusher Marcus Davenport and cornerback Byron Murphy should make immediate impacts on that side of the ball…if they can rebound,” Knox continued.

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Minnesota netting Davenport totally fell out of the sky. The ex-Saint was the top EDGE rusher on the market per Pro Football Focus, and the defender somehow ended up in Minnesota, who already employed Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith at his position.

Knox concluded, “Minnesota managed to keep critical players like center Garrett Bradbury, running back Alexander Mattison, kicker Greg Joseph and fullback C.J. Ham. Given where Minnesota started the offseason financially, it’s been a good—if not great—offseason for the Vikings.”

Retaining Mattison and Ham was a tad unexpected, but some semblance of team captaincy staying on the roster isn’t too shocking, at least in retrospect.

Up next for the C+ Vikings? Next week’s draft. Minnesota has five picks on the menu and long-term roster needs at cornerback, wide receiver, off-ball linebacker, and perhaps quarterback.

The Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and Seattle Seahawks received A or A+ grades. One team grabbed an F — the Los Angeles Rams.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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