Questions Answered: Vikings’ Top Free Agent Target, Harrison Smith’s Future, Greg Joseph

harrison smith
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The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by VikingsTerritory. Today is the February 20th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Questions Answered: Vikings Top Free Agent Target, Harrison Smith’s Future, the Kicker

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

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Q: Who should the Vikings target first in free agency?

Agent Target
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Answer: Bryce Huff, an EDGE rusher from the New York Jets.

Huff played all 17 games for the 2023 Jets but started none. Think of him as Harrison Phillips in 2022 — a wonderful defensive lineman from the AFC East just waiting for his chance to start somewhere.

Well, that can be the Vikings. Huff won’t utterly break the bank per EDGE salary, and he routinely shows up on pass-rush-per-snap efficiency metrics.

This guy will be awesome as some team’s starter in 2024, and Minnesota should onboard him for $17-$18 million per season. He’s only 25 years old.

Q: Do you think Harrison Smith will retire?

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Answer: This one could either way — but no, probably not.

Smith isn’t the same player that the world experienced in 2017, for example, but he’s also 35. Safeties in their mid-30s slow down, but Smith’s decline hasn’t been as sharp as most. That’s why he’s a fringe Hall of Famer.

The only way Smith might retire — or join a non-Vikings team — is if it’s wildly evident that Minnesota won’t contend in 2024. And, yes, that boils down to the quarterback decision.

Smith loves the game, the Vikings, and can still serve a starter’s role in Brian Flores’ innovative defense. We bet he’ll be back for one final hurrah, although at a reduced price.

Q: Is it time to move on from Greg Joseph and find a new kicker?

Vikings Fans Offer
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Yes.

In back-to-back seasons, Joseph has ranked in the NFL’s bottom six per field goal accuracy percentage. Indeed, he’s cold-blooded with the game on the line, but it’s also crucial for a kicker to hit “normal” field goals.

The Vikings should strive for greatness, and finding a kicker who can excel during crunchtime and from Quarters 1-3 is preferable. Minnesota should draft a new kicker, perhaps Alabama’s Will Reichard.

Otherwise, the Vikings would roll with Joseph for a fourth consecutive season, expecting Year No. 4 to become magical for no good reason.

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).

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