Vikings Should Target Playmaker from Imploded Rival

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Minnesota Vikings fans don’t care much for the Philadelphia Eagles, so Monday night was a rather joyous occasion.

Vikings Should Target Playmaker from Imploded Rival

The Eagles’ season ended with a clonk at the feet of the scrappy Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia must now do some serious soul-searching in the next eight months, which might involve offloading many existing and beloved veterans.

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Insert the Vikings.

Among oodles of impending free agents, the Eagles might let running back D’Andre Swift exit the franchise, and if so, Minnesota should pounce in free agency.

The Vikings embark on the offseason with ample cap space for the first time in years, thanks to general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s “competitive rebuild” strategy. No longer are the Vikings utterly cash-strapped and financially underwater entering an offseason. At least for now, those days are over. So, when a playmaker like Swift could be on tap to hit the open market, Vikings fans can reasonably size up the fit.

Playmaker from Imploded
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Bleacher Report‘s Kristopher Knox mentioned Swift’s status for 2024 this week, “Swift was named to his first Pro Bowl this season and could warrant a long-term extension. However, the Eagles weren’t willing to pay Pro Bowler Miles Sanders last spring, and they could look to replace Swift with another cheaper alternative.”

Before deciding on the futures of Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter or restructuring any existing player contracts involving Harrison Smith or Brian O’Neill, Minnesota owns approximately $26 million in cap space, with free agency eight weeks away. Swift’s next contract — whether from the Eagles, Vikings, or a different team — will probably fetch between $5-$8 million per season.

Normally, that cash for a running back wouldn’t apply to the Vikings because a) They’re usually pinching pennies in free agency b) The team has RB on lock with an Adrian Peterson or Dalvin Cook.

Vikings Designate Defensive Starter for Return
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But neither scenario applies in 2024, and if Minnesota wants to fix its upside-down running game this offseason, Swift to the Vikings would make sense. The 25-year-old tallied 1,263 yards from scrimmage in one season with the Eagles, accompanied by 6 touchdowns. His 4.6 yards per carry could be just what the doctor ordered in 2024, pairing Swift in an RB room containing Ty Chandler and Alexander Mattison.

The Vikings ranked 27th leaguewide per rushing DVOA in 2023 despite claiming all offseason that the rushing attack was a point of emphasis. The aforementioned Mattison was promoted to RB1 entering 2023, and the experiment flatly failed.

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If Minnesota is not interested in a free-agent halfback like Swift, a 2nd-Round pick in April’s draft would likely secure one of the top three RB prospects in the class.

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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