5 Vikings Free Agents Found New Homes

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The Minnesota Vikings had a busy Monday when free agency opened. Teams were allowed to negotiate contracts with free agents, although they couldn’t be signed until Wednesday. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah immediately added a trio of defenders — Blake Cashman, Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel — to the roster, all three are expected to be starters in Brian Flores’ defense.

5 Vikings Free Agents Found New Homes on Monday

Free agency is not a one-way street, some of last year’s contributors exited the franchise. Five players agreed to terms with their next teams.

Kirk Cousins (Atlanta Falcons)

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room first. Quarterback Kirk Cousins will quarterback the Atlanta Falcons after spending six seasons in Minnesota. His tenure was controversial because he posted excellent personal statistics while the team’s success was limited. How much he should be blamed has been discussed ad nauseam.

5 Vikings Free Agents Found New Homes on Monday
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The Vikings paid a ton of money throughout the six years, $185 million to be exact. What they got in return was top five total numbers in passing touchdowns, passing yards, and passer rating. He now ranks second in passing scores in franchise history and has been the closest thing to a franchise quarterback the Vikings have had in decades.

Minnesota will miss his personality in general and his play on the field. Sam Darnold was signed to be the bridge quarterback until a rookie can take over the reins.

Danielle Hunter (Houston Texans)

Vikings fans watched a raw third-round pick with a ton of potential turn into one of the elite players at his position. Danielle Hunter was a phenomenal draft choice in 2015. After he was stuck in a rotation for a couple of years, he took the spot from Brian Robison by force and started for many years.

Danielle Hunter
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Hunter went to four Pro Bowls with his Vikings helmet and tabulated 87.5 sacks. Only injuries slowed his historical pace down in 2020 and 2021 but he returned to form and became more dominant than ever before.

Born in Jamaica, Hunter now heads home to Texas. He moved near Houston when he was eight and can now wear the Texans jersey for at least two seasons.

Jordan Hicks (Cleveland Browns)

Linebacker Jordan Hicks was signed in the 2022 offseason. He joined Eric Kendricks in the new 3-4 defense coordinated by Ed Donatell. He looked slow and close to the end of his career. With Brian Flores’ arrival, he had a wonderful year in 2023. His leadership was praised all year by teammates and coaches and his on-field performance was much improved.

Vikings Free Agent News
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Hicks will be replaced by Cashman in Minnesota and will reinforce the Cleveland Browns who had the best defensive unit in the league last season. Dalvin Tomlinson and Za’Darius Smith are other prominent ex-Vikings on that defense.

Marcus Davenport (Detroit Lions)

His acquisition was a disaster for the Vikings. GM Adofo-Mensah tried to get production out of a player who didn’t have a huge market because of his injury history. When he was on the field, however, he was disruptive. Because of two ankle injuries, he barely played and only logged four games and 118 snaps.

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The two sacks cost the Vikes $13 million and he moved on and signed with the Detroit Lions, now facing the Vikings twice next season. One thing is clear, he will not be a fan favorite when he steps foot into U.S. Bank Stadium.

Hakeem Adeniji (Cleveland Browns)

Not a well-known name in Vikings circles but offensive tackle Hakeem Adeniji spent the 2023 campaign with the Vikings and appeared in four games, logging 17 snaps on special teams.

New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) goes up against Cincinnati Bengals guard Hakeem Adeniji (77) during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 21, 2022, in East Rutherford. NFL NY Giants Preseason Game Vs Bengals Bengals At Giants. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

He is unlikely to make much noise in Cleveland but depth is always needed. Adeniji played in the first few years of his career in Cincinnati, starting 15 of 39 games he played in.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt