5 Vikings Theories That Changed in the Last Month

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The Minnesota Vikings have less than five weeks before training camp, about six weeks until preseason, and the regular season commences on September 10th.

The time is nearing.

5 Vikings Theories That Changed in the Last Month

The team and its fans had five months to contemplate the home playoff loss to the New York Giants in January, but coaches and players arrived back to work at minicamp on June 13th.

Along the way, some offseason theories have changed in the last month. These are those ranked in ascending order of importance (No. 1 = most important).

5. Theory: Josh Oliver Is a Run-Blocking TE

5 Vikings Theories That
Vikings.com’s Gabe Henderson talked with new Minnesota Vikings tight end Josh Oliver after he was signed by the team during 2023 NFL free agency. Oliver is on deck to serve as the Vikings TE2 in 2023 behind TE1 T.J. Hockenson.

Revision: Oliver was touted as a poor run blocker coming out of college and is actually an astute pass-catcher.

In the last couple of weeks, it seems everyone realized that Oliver is not a one-trick pony. SI.com, The Viking Age, and Thor Nystrom discussed the topic on VikesNow recently.

Indeed, leading into the 2019 NFL Draft, the knock on Oliver’s skillset was run-blocking. Then, in the last couple of seasons, Oliver played for the Baltimore Ravens, and to seize playing time, he had to run block as a tight end, as Baltimore runs the football near the highest clip in the NFL.

Oliver can do both — catch the football and plow running lanes. In a pinch, he can play TE1 for the Vikings if needed.

4. Theory: The Vikings Will Have RB by Committee in 2023

The Vikings 2021 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 1
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Revision: Alexander Mattison may actually be used as a bellcow.

Throughout the last few weeks, head coach Kevin O’Connell has hinted at Mattison as a featured RB1, even calling the 25-year-old a “three-down back.”

While the Vikings have the personnel for an RB committee — Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and Dewayne McBride — Mattison may end up as more of a bellcow than most thought back in the spring.

3. Theory: Jordan Addison Is the Team’s WR2

How Does New
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Revision: Not so fast — K.J. Osborn might not relinquish the job right away.

Eventually, Jodan Addison must emerge as a WR2 to Justin Jefferson’s WR1. But that doesn’t necessarily have to happen in Week 1 of 2023.

In fact, Vikings fans think Osborn will start the season as WR2.

2. Theory: Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth on Track to Start in 2023

Cine Update Is
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Revision: Akayleb Evans may win the ‘other’ CB job, and Camryn Bynum + Josh Metellus don’t seem in a hurry to hand Cine the FS baton.

Like Addison above, Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth ‘better’ start sooner or later. Their draft stock suggests starting jobs in the league before too long.

Yet, just because Cine’s injury recovery from a broken leg is progressing well or that Booth should win a starting CB job because Minnesota’s corner depth is suspect — doesn’t mean those theories will come true immediately.

Evans stands in Booth’s way, and Cine will have a difficult time easily surpassing Bynum and Metellus on the depth chart. Metellus, in particular, stood out during OTAs and minicamp.

1. Theory: Kirk Cousins Could Be Extended this Summer

Kirk Cousins Confirms
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Revision: Any Cousins contract extension won’t happen in 2023 but instead in 2024.

At minicamp, reporters asked quarterback Kirk Cousins if contract extension talks were ongoing or afoot. The 34-year-old replied, “I think we’ll probably talk about the contract next March. Until then, [we’ll] just focus on this season and the job to do right now.”

From the horse’s mouth, you can stop contemplating an extension for Cousins in this calendar year. Those conversations will pick up in 2024 — if they happen at all.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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