10 Bold Predictions for Vikings Offseason

Kirk Cousins

VikingsTerritory writers were asked to provide one bold offseason prediction apiece for the Minnesota Vikings in 2023.

The franchise lost to the New York Giants last weekend, exiting the postseason tournament after winning the NFC North by a healthy margin. Accordingly, a change-filled offseason is afoot, and VikingsTerritory’s writers have prognostications.

10 Bold Predictions for Vikings Offseason

Some predictions will double up as the panel did not use groupthink tactics during the exercise. In those circumstances, consider the prediction all the more popular.

1. Dalvin Cook Exits Stage Left

10 Bold Predictions
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Prediction Maker = Adam New

Kevin O’Connell’s offense doesn’t require a workhorse back. So, despite a fourth 1000-rushing-yard season in a row for Dalvin Cook, the Vikings move on from Cook in favor of a younger and cheaper alternative.

A 14.1 million cap hit in 2023 is too steep, and there is nearly $8 million to be saved. The Vikings can look to draft an RB in the late rounds of the draft to compete with Ty Chandler and Kene Nwangwu for the starting role.

2. Danielle Hunter Is Traded

PurplePTSD: 5 Questionable Vikings, Get to Know IND, Thielen's 2022 Campaign
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Ali Siddiqui

Hunter is due $13 million, and with the Vikings well over the cap, it won’t be a shock if they move on from him. Maybe another team could give him an extension, too.

The 28-year-old was healthy this year and had 10.5 sacks, but one must wonder if the Vikings also have concerns about whether he can continue to stay healthy. Probably.

3. Vikings Aggressively Acquire WR2

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Cole Smith

My bold offseason prediction is the Vikings will aggressively acquire a high-end WR2 in either the first week of free agency or in the first two rounds of the NFL draft.

Yes, the Vikings currently don’t own a second-round pick. But Kwesi Adofo-Mensah proved last year that he would wheel and deal to move up and down the draft board.

4. Vikings Starting Defense Is 63% Different

Vikings Can Face 4 Teams
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Dustin Baker

In other words, only four defensive starters from the 2022 season start Week 1 in 2023. Who are the carryover players? Probably Harrison Phillips, Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith, and Duke Shelley (or Patrick Peterson).

The rest of the defense will be totally revamped through free agency and the draft, plus the returns of Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth this summer.

Defensive changes are coming.

5. Kirk Cousins Is Extended by Two Additional Years

Is Absolutely Humongous
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Kyle Joudry

The Vikings add two years to Kirk Cousins’ deal. In so doing, they bring his 2023 cap hit into the 20s rather than the mid-to-high 30s.

Cousins is thus in place as the Minnesota QB1 for a total of three more seasons as he nears his 35th year on the planet. With that extra cash, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can be more aggressive in retaining some of his talented internal FAs (Peterson, Tomlinson, Shelley, Tonga, etc.).

6. Adofo-Mensah Grabs a QB with His First Draft Pick

Problem Emerges for Vikings
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Prediction Maker = Janik Eckardt

Vikings select a quarterback with their first pick in the upcoming draft to prepare for life after Kirk Cousins. The veteran will not sign a contract extension but will be the starter in 2023. However, the regime wants to bring in “their guy,” someone O’Connell can groom to fit his vision.

7. Eric Kendricks Leaves after 8 Years

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Josh Frey

A year after Eric Kendricks-themed trade proposals were all the rage for many folks around the NFL, the Vikings will finally deal their veteran LB this offseason. With an aging defense, Minnesota desperately needs to get younger and faster on that side of the ball.

Brian Asamoah is ‘next man up’ on the depth chart, and don’t be surprised if the Vikings dip back into the LB position in this year’s draft.

8. Thielen, Hitman, Kendricks Depart

Adam Thielen Might Be
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Mitch Massman

Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell examine the team and realize they are getting old and slow at too many positions. They decide to make moves by trading or cutting staple players, including Adam Thielen, Harrison Smith, and EricĀ Kendricks.

Thusly, the end of the Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman era is complete.

9. Offensive Upheaval — Not Defense — Will Be More Shocking

A Vikings Win over Giants
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Ted Schwerzler

The Vikings defensive overhaul — notable names restructuring and sent out — won’t be the most shocking part of the offseason. Something on the offensive side of the ball will move the needle more.

10. Vikings Draft Rookie Kicker

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Will Goodwin

Greg Joseph had his moments in 2022, including a 61-yard-franchise-record-setting-game-winner on Christmas Eve, but he was not as money as Matt Daniels would have liked. Despite their struggles in the kicking game, they were never burned by Joseph’s missed extra points and field goals.

Refusing to believe they will be so lucky in 2023, Adofo-Mesah and O’Connell will bring in star Michigan kicker Jake Moody to compete with Joseph this offseason. After Moody wins the job, he will relish his opportunities to beat the Detroit Lions with game-winning kicks for years.

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).