Former Vikings GM Tabs His Old Team for “Repair”

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Lions fans cheer during the Lions' 34-23 win over the Vikings. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

A contributor for VikingsTerritory, former Minnesota Vikings general manager Jeff Diamond placed the purple team on a list of franchises that need repair via an article for The 33rd Team this week.

Diamond worked for the Vikings from 1976 to 1998, credited with drafting Randy Moss in his final year and taking the general manager’s post in Tennessee with the Titans in 1999.

Former Vikings GM Tabs His Old Team for “Repair”

And in his 33rd Team publication this week, he tabbed Minnesota for repair, along with fellow NFC teams, the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and Washington Commanders.

Pat and Kitty Moon Emery, left, and Diane Diamond and Jeff Diamond share a moment during a event in Nashville Oct. 26, 1999. © Eric Parsons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Diamond explained, “This is a team that can quickly return to the playoffs with some astute moves. The Vikings have more cap room entering 2024 ($39 million) than they are accustomed to in recent years but they have some big-ticket players to deal with, starting with Cousins. It would make sense for the team to re-sign Cousins, who ranked third in passer rating at the time of his injury in Week 8.”

The Vikings finished 13-4 in 2022, Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach, but succumbed to a playoffs-less year in 2023 after Kirk Cousins was lost to injury in late October.

Tabs His Old Team
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“He is on a good path to recovery from his torn Achilles, wants to return and has a close connection with coach Kevin O’Connell and his teammates. But it will cost around $40-45 million per year to get Cousins back. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah holds the No. 11 pick in the April draft. He should re-sign Cousins and then draft a quarterback from the talented incoming class with that pick or move up a couple of spots if necessary,” Diamond recommended as the Vikings’ plan at quarterback.

The mock draft community is split for the Vikings’ 11th overall pick. About half send a defensive player to Minnesota, and others bank on a new quarterback like Michael Penix Jr. (Washington) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan).

Sack Master
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Diamond then suggested the Vikings re-sign Danielle Hunter, Jordan Hicks, D.J. Wonnum and prioritize the defense, “They could add pass rush help on the interior D-line and on the edge in free agency and the draft. And they should acquire more quality cornerbacks and better backup help for the offensive line. It also would help the Vikings if Flores does not depart for a head coaching job because he will be in that mix during the next month.”

Minnesota has about $25 million in cap space entering the offseason before any contractual work with Harrison Smith or Brian O’Neill, for example. That number will shrink substantially if Cousins is re-signed (unless Adofo-Mensah backloads the would-be Cousins extension and pushes the bill into the future).

Outcome at QB
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Other team needs for the Vikings could include running back, cornerback, and kicker.

The NFL’s “legal tampering” part of free agency begins in 48 days.

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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