3 Calls Can Fix Vikings’ Roster Woes

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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah closed many roster holes in the third year in charge. In free agency, he strategically added Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard to close the holes vacated by last year’s edge trio, who all walked. Blake Cashman is the team’s new linebacker, while Aaron Jones wants to improve the rushing attack. Sam Darnold is forecasted to be the starting passer unless rookie J.J. McCarthy can steal the job.

3 Calls Can Fix Vikings’ Roster Woes

Still, there are some problems with the roster. The good news is that other teams around the league have too many players at specific positions and might look to unload some talent in exchange for an asset rather than just cutting the players after the preseason. Adofo-Mensah should give the following teams a call.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are still in a rebuilding phase in their second year with Sean Payton and will use either reclamation project Zach Wilson, longtime NFL backup Jarrett Stidham, or rookie Bo Nix as the quarterback. Having to pay Russell Wilson’s absurd contract doesn’t help the team.

However, they have a full running back room, and one of those guys should be transferred to the Vikings in exchange for a late-round pick or a pick swap.

vikings roster
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The Broncos employ Javonte Williams, a once-promising second-rounder. A torn ACL slowed him down in 2022 when he only played four contests, and he underwhelmed in his first year removed from the injury. Behind him, the group features Jaleel McLaughlin, last year’s undrafted rookie, who showed massive promise in limited action. His shiftiness pairs well with Williams’ power. Also under contract is veteran runner Samaje Perine, who has carved out a pass-catcher and reliable depth rusher role.

Payton’s operation acquired Audric Estime out of Notre Dame in the draft. The fifth-rounder is coming off a season with over 1,300 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. They also added Blake Watson out of Memphis as an undrafted player, and Payton has already compared the agile receiving specialist to his former player, Alvin Kamara.

One of those five players should be the RB3 in Minnesota behind Jones and Ty Chandler. The Broncos can hardly keep all five around.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns just had a magical run with Joe Flacco. Their former rival quarterback guided the team into the postseason with his fearless play, although the defense carried most of the burden.

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One player of that defense should join the Vikings, more specifically, a defensive tackle. Besides superstar Myles Garrett, there are a bunch of solid defensive players on the line, and the Vikings have an underwhelming group that could use some help.

Old friend Dalvin Tomlinson signed a massive contract in 2023. Shelby Harris, an aging player (32 years old), is penciled in to play next to him. Quinton Jefferson is in the rotation with those guys. The 31-year-old pass-rush specialist could be a nice addition to bolster the subpar interior pass-rush.

Mike Hall was just drafted in the second round. How quickly he can enter the rotation remains to be seen, but shipping one of the aging players would open some snaps for him.

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Maurice Hurst, formerly a highly-touted defensive lineman in the draft, has been an injury-plagued player in his professional career. Still, his production matches the pre-draft expectations when he is healthy. 2023 third-rounder Siaki Ika barely played in 2023, and similarly to Hall, he would benefit from less competition (or a change of scenery). Seventh-rounder Jowon Biggs is also competing for a roster spot.

With way too many players on an elite defensive line, the Browns might be happy if they could send one to Minnesota for some semblance of draft capital.

Houston Texans

Not only did the Houston Texans reach the postseason in 2023, but they also won a playoff contest with rookie C.J. Stroud under center. He has been spectacular, but his receivers have helped him in the passing game.

The Texans traded for Stefon Diggs earlier in the offseason, paring him with last year’s standouts Nico Collins and Tank Dell. None of those players will be available, but perhaps one of the depth players.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Robert Woods (2) celebrates his touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at Nissan Stadium Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. © George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Stroud also has the luxury of throwing the ball to former Rams wideout Robert Woods, who is long past his prime but could be Minnesota’s WR3. Instead, he competes with Noah Brown, another veteran, and 2022 second-rounder John Metchie.

Last year’s draft pick, Xavier Hutchinson, logged 90 yards as a rookie, and Ben Skowronek was acquired via trade. Even after trading away one of Metchie, Woods, or Brown, there would be more than enough depth to enter the 2024 season.

Suppose the Texans don’t want to cut a player who should be on an NFL roster. In that case, they will gladly take the call and negotiate a deal to trade an established receiver to Minnesota, where he can feast behind Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison.

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 prefers Classic rock over other genres. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt