Questions Answered: Top Development from OTAs, Seven Wins for Vikings, Kickoff Rule

Source: New Starting RG Emerges as Vikings Frontrunner
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The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by VikingsTerritory. Today is the May 30th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Questions Answered: Top Development from OTAs, Seven Wins for Vikings, Kickoff Rule

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: What’s the biggest story from the Vikings OTAs to date?

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Answer: By default, it has to be Justin Jefferson’s absence.

Unsurprisingly, Jefferson did not show up at OTAs — he didn’t show up last year, either — amid contract negotiations with Minnesota’s front office. Jefferson is expected to become the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver soon and perhaps even the richest non-quarterback in NFL history.

There shouldn’t be much panic on this one — a deal with Jefferson will get done — but anytime the team’s best player is absent from OTAs, it’s kind of a big deal, generally speaking.

J.J. McCarthy’s crisp performance, along with Sam Darnold’s typical offseason heroism, is also noteworthy. Dalton Risner’s return, too, is a big deal.

Q: Do you agree with the Vegas prediction for the Vikings of seven wins in 2024?

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Answer: Yes, unfortunately.

Of course, Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy could play out of their minds in 2024, but let’s face it — those are long shots. We believe the defense will morph into a Top 10 group and get Minnesota to seven or eight wins, but there are just too many questions at quarterback.

If the NFC North were still lousy — it wasn’t very good two years ago — we’d flirt with a fringe Vikings wildcard berth prediction. However, the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears suddenly seem too formidable for Minnesota to make a splash this year.

We say 7-10 or 8-9.

Q: Do you believe the Vikings will hold an advantage with the new kickoff rules because Kene Nwangwu will be back there?

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A: To an extent, yes.

Nwnagwu will receive all kinds of new touches on kickoffs, and that has to matter. Yet, the league that pioneered the new kickoff rule a) Doesn’t use the system anymore — it returned to a traditional kickoff b) Hardly any touchdowns occurred during the experiment.

We’ll hold out hope that Nwnagwu can be different and go against norms, but the kickoff rule change could result in a nothingburger.

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 MIN 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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