The Vikings Top 3 Under-the-Radar Offseason Moves

Jan 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Troy Reeder (51) celebrates after he sacked San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) in the first half of the game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

The 2023 Minnesota Vikings have added six newcomers this offseason, allowed eight players to walk via waiver or free agency, and re-signed 13 free agents from the 2022 team.

The team is forecasted to win about 8.5 games, playing second fiddle to the Detroit Lions in the NFC North, at least per pre-draft April sportsbooks’ odds.

The Vikings Top 3 Under-the-Radar Offseason Moves

A few transactions have flown under the radar along the way this offseason. These are the Top 3 moves, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. Signing WR Brandon Powell

Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Brandon Powell (15) in action during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On paper, Brandon Powell is likely slated for WR5 duty if he makes the regular season roster. That isn’t exactly under the radar or headline-grabbing.

However, the Vikings probably signed Powell to push Jalen Reagor to the limit this summer for punt-return duties and Swiss-army-knife-like responsibilities. If Powell outshines Reagor — a real possibility in August — Reagor would be the odd man out, and the low-risk trade with the Philadelphia Eagles eight months ago will be kaput.

Long story short: Powell could make the 53-man roster with Reagor on the outside looking in.

Current WRs:

  • WR1: Justin Jefferson
  • WR2: K.J. Osborn
  • WR3: Jalen Nailor
  • WR4: Jalen Reagor
  • WR5: Brandon Powell
  • WR6: Blake Proehl
  • WR7: Trishton Jackson

2. Waiving CB Cameron Dantzler

The Vikings Final Injury Report: Week 10
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. before action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

On a rookie contract, Dantzler was not expensive. In fact, Dantzler was the perfect depth CB for a team currently needing cornerback bodies to accompany Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, and a rookie corner to be named later in the summer.

Yet, the Vikings waived Dantzler early in free agency, and he quickly latched onto the Washington Commanders.

Now, Minnesota needs cornerbacks. Waiving Dantzler was strange then — and now. The CB plan will unfold in the next few weeks, but at the moment, getting rid of a 24-year-old defender seems fishy.

Current CBs:

  • CB1: Byron Murphy
  • CB2: Andrew Booth
  • CB3: Akayleb Evans
  • CB4: Tay Gowan
  • CB5: Kalon Barnes

1. Signing LB Troy Reeder

Jun 1, 2022; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Troy Reeder (42) during organized team activities at Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Brian Asamoah and Jordan Hicks are on tap to start as Minnesota’s 2023 off-ball linebackers. Free agency is still ongoing, so the club could theoretically add a free agent like Kyle Van Noy or Deion Jones. If they do not and choose not to draft a linebacker with early-round draft capital, it’s the Asamoah + Hicks show.

Well, injuries frequently occur in the NFL, meaning Reeder may be the next man up if something happens to Asamoah or Hicks. It’s him or Troy Dye, and the Vikings would probably lean on Reeder.

Reeder isn’t scheduled for significant regular season playing time now, but if injuries arise, he’s a starting Vikings linebacker — kind of a big deal.

Current LBs:

  • LB1: Jordan Hicks
  • LB2: Brian Asamoah
  • LB3: Troy Reeder
  • LB4: Troy Dye
  • LB5: William Kwenkeu

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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