Vikings Draw Praise for 1 Signing

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The draft is slowly heating up in the NFL world, with Minnesota’s general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah playing one of the prominent roles in the league. After acquiring an additional pick in the first round, he will likely attempt to ship his two top picks, hoping to land one of the top passers in the draft. That is possible because he filled many holes in free agency.

Vikings Draw Praise for 1 Signing

Vikings Draw Praise for 1 Signing
Green Bay Packers tackled Dennis Kelly (79) provides pass protection from Houston Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard (52) during their preseason game Saturday, August 14, 2021 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Houston Texans beat the Green Bay Packers 26-7. Packers15 22. © Milwaukee Journal SentinelMARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Not only did he just fill holes, but he also added some serious talent to the roster. Running back Aaron Jones is a massive upgrade over released starter Alexander Mattison and can hopefully revive the struggling running game. The departures of the pass-rushing group — Danielle Hunter and his two sidekicks Marcus Davenport and D.J. Wonnum — will be compensated by new arrivals Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, and backup Jihad Ward.

The first names — Greenard and Van Ginkel — have generally been viewed as positive signings. Van Ginkel is familiar with defensive coordinator Brian Flores and is a perfect fit for his scheme. Greenard enjoyed his breakout season last year, producing Pro Bowl numbers, although he wasn’t elected to make the trip to Las Vegas,

Vikings Draw Praise for 1 Signing
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Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger chose Greenard as his favorite free agent move from Adofo-Mensah.

Minnesota lost both Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum on the edge, so getting younger with the talented Jonathan Greenard makes a lot of sense. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores will surely love Greenard’s ability against the run, in addition to a still-developing arsenal of pass-rush moves, with his super long arms keeping him clean against tackles as he turns the corner.

Brad Spielberger

Greenard drew an A+ grade for fit/need. The Vikings surely needed to add some talented pass-rushers following the departure of the top three guys in that room. The value received an A-, ironically, Spielberger precited exactly the four-year $76 million contract before free agency opened.

The average annual salary of his deal is $19 million, placing him 15th among the NFL’s pass-rushers. A solid value for a player of his caliber. In 2023, he logged 12.5 of his 23 career sacks with the Houston Texans and also added 52 tackles and 15 tackles for loss in 15 games.

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Greenard is a promising edge defender with the ability to stop the run and set the edge, a forgotten skill set, and he possesses the requisite talent to get after the quarterback.

Hunter departed, and Greenard will replace him. He might not quite be as disruptive, but he is three years younger and costs roughly $4.5 million less per season.

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The Vikings now employ five outside linebackers. Greenard and Van Ginkel are the two top guys on the depth chart; their substitutes are Ward and fourth-year player Patrick Jones, as well as 2023 rookie Andre Carter.

Last season, the purple defense relied too much on Hunter to wreck plays. Hopefully, in the upcoming campaign, more players could be a threat to quarterbacks.

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 Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt