5 Vikings on the Hot Seat in 2023

Labeled Deep
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The 2023 Minnesota Vikings hope to stave off regression from an unforeseen 13-4 record in 2022, and they’ll do so in a division now favored as belonging to the Detroit Lions — if that can be believed.

The 2023 NFL Draft is 19 days away, and the roster still has a long way to go before Week 1.

5 Vikings on the Hot Seat in 2023

But some players, now and in the summer, already have a “hot seat” designation, and these are those players, ranked in ascending order of intensity (No. 1 = warmest hot seat).

Note: Injured rookies from 2022 were excluded because it’s unlikely the club would give up on Lewis Cine or Andrew Booth this soon. Each has 3-4 years left under contract.

5. Jalen Reagor (WR)

on the Hot Seat
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Jalen Reagor’s seat is so hot that he may not even make the 2023 active roster.

Why? Well, the team signed Brandon Powell last month, and he’s basically Reagor sans 1st-Round draft stock. Reagor was a blatantly meh punt returner in 2023 and caught 8 receptions for 104 yards. He did not make much of an impact.

Thankfully for the Vikings sake, his trade price last summer was minimal, a 5th- and 7th-Rounder. He must a) Make it through summer to the active roster b) Put a dent in some 2023 statsheets to see the 2024 season.

4. Greg Joseph (K)

a new viking hero
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Joseph was utterly fantastic when the team needed him most. He drilled five game-winning field goals, so why would he live on some dumb hot-seat list? Because of this weird statistic:

Greg Joseph,
NFL Rankings,
in 2022:

Game-Winning Field Goals = 1st
FG Conv % = 28th
Extra Point Conv % = 31st

If he cannot nudge the overall field goal numbers and extra point percentage toward the middle of the pack, the Vikings can probably find a more reliable kicker — during four quarters of a game, not just the final 30 seconds.

3. Garrett Bradbury (C)

Vikings Starter to Miss 3rd Straight Game
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In March, the Vikings re-upped the up-and-down Bradbury for $5.2 million per season. He didn’t want to leave Minnesota, although he reportedly had interest from the Seattle Seahawks.

His deal is structured to protect the team, meaning if he’s back to “bad Bradbury” in 2023, the club can move on next offseason.

Bradbury did turn it around, though, with a new coaching staff last year. He should build on his 2022 performance with the tutelage of offensive line coach Chris Kuper. Yet, if he does not, the front office isn’t committed to him for megabucks.

2. Ed Ingram (RG)

PurplePTSD: Old Viking to Dolphins, Ed Ingram Momentum, MIN-LV Winners and Losers
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Yes, Ingram was a rookie in 2022, like the aforementioned Cine and Booth, but he played — a lot.

The Vikings know a lot more about Ingram than Cine and Booth. Ingram started his rookie campaign rough but steadily improved throughout the season, a common occurrence among rookies.

He must take the next step in Year Two. If he does not, Chris Reed is on the roster and could arguably do a better job than the LSU alumnus. Ingram just has a higher upside than Reed.

1. Kirk Cousins (QB)

ESPN Updates Vikings
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A no-brainer and no stranger to anything hot-seat related, the world blinked, and Kirk Cousins will enter 2023 in a contract year. For the first time in five years, the Vikings are not committed to Cousins beyond the current season.

Many believe Cousins is already scheduled for a 2024 off-ramp, but what if he plays phenomenally in 2023? Then what? There’s a world where Cousins excels with the same playcaller, Kevin O’Connell. Cousins has rarely experienced such coaching continuity in his career. His offensive coordinators tend to get promoted.

But because he’s the QB1 of a playoff-contending franchise — and in a contract year — there is no seat hotter than Cousins’.

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.