Bleacher Report Has 2 Offseason Targets in Mind for Vikings

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings don’t necessarily need a defensive overhaul during the 2024 offseason, but they could stand to find some reinforcements.

The club finished 11th per defensive DVOA in 2023, a 13-spot improvement from a 24th ranking in 2022. Under Brian Flores, Minnesota’s defense markedly improved. No debates.

Bleacher Report Has 2 Offseason Targets in Mind for Vikings

And while Vikings fans have spent the first few weeks of the offseason wondering what the club will do at quarterback — mainly a decision on Kirk Cousins — the defensive outlook this offseason is equally as important.

So, this week, Bleacher Report recommended a few additions for the purple team.

Trade for DE Josh Sweat

BR opined on Sweat to the Vikings, “Many of the Vikings’ needs will hinge on how they handle impending free agents like quarterback Kirk Cousins and pass-rusher Danielle Hunter. If Hunter departs, trading for an edge-rusher on an expiring contract, like Philadelphia’s Josh Sweat, could give Minnesota a stopgap option. If Cousins isn’t retained, it would be logical to trade up in the first round to secure a top quarterback prospect — Jaren Hall does not appear to be a long-term answer.”

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Sweat is 26 and logged 6.5 sacks in 17 games this season. He recorded a 68.3 Pro Football Focus grade, which is respectable.

A Pro Bowler in 2021, trading for Sweat — BR didn’t offer a price for the trade — would be reasonable and would likely cost a 4th-Round pick or so. Then, assuming the Vikings extend Hunter, he and Sweat could outfit the edges of the 2024 defensive line.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota could also explore a free agent like Bryce Huff from the New York Jets or Josh Uche of the New England Patriots. No matter what, though, the team needs EDGE defenders.

Sign DT Davon Godchaux

On Godchaux, BR wrote, “Minnesota should also look to boost its defensive front, and New England Patriots defensive tackle Davon Godchaux could help. He played under defensive coordinator Brian Flores in Miami and is entering the final year of his current contract.”

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Godchaux played all 17 games in 2023, banking 56 tackles and 2 tackles for loss, with a 50.2 PFF score. That latter obviously leaves much to be desired.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

For years, Minnesota has been content employing a defensive tackle like Shamar Stephen or Jonathan Bullard. It’s probably time to sign a splashy, pass-rushing DT or find one in the draft. Godchaux, while always an option to blossom, might not truly move the needle.


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.

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