Vikings Earn Fancy Free Agency Grade

Reactions after Vikings Beat Bears in Another Comeback Win
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NFL free agency is now an afterthought, with the calendar flipping to April and all eyes veering to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Vikings Earn Fancy Free Agency Grade

The Minnesota Vikings added 14 new players, said sayonara to about 16 men, and fired up a sweet trade with the Houston Texans to position themselves for a quarterback in the draft on April 25th.

Free Agency
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And one outfit, Pro Football Focus, was rather impressed by the Vikings’ free-agent efforts, assigning the purple team an A- mark for all transactions. Only five other teams fetched an A- score or better, so it wasn’t like PFF went gung-ho with flattery across the board.

All told, Minnesota added these newcomers:

  • A.J. Green, CB —1 Year, $1.05m (CLE)
  • Jonathan Greenard, EDGE — 4 Years, $76m (HOU)
  • Andrew Van Ginkel, EDGE — 2 Years, $20m (MIA)
  • Blake Cashman, ILB — 3 Years, $25.5m (HOU)
  • Sam Darnold, QB — 1 Year, $10m (SF)
  • Parker Romo, K — XFL
  • Aaron Jones, RB — 1 Year, $7m (GB)
  • Jerry Tillery, DT — 1 Year, $3.75m (LV)
  • Trent Sherfield, WR — 1 Year $1.79m (BUF)
  • Dan Feeney, OL — 1 Year (CHI)
  • Jonah Williams, DT — 1 Year (LAR)
  • Shaq Griffin, CB — 1 Year (CAR)
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill, ILB — 1 Year (CAR)
  • Jihad Ward, EDGE — 1 Year (NYG)
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PFF’s Brad Spielberger assigned the A- and explained, “Minnesota could be set to lose 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.”

Many purple fans lamented Hunter’s loss, but Minnesota essentially grabbed two for the price of one by signing Greenard and Van Ginkel, while Hunter opted to sign with his hometown Texans.

Vikings News
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“Cashman had a breakout 2023 season with the Houston Texans, flashing ability as a pass rusher and also looking smooth dropping and moving laterally in coverage. Minnesota brings the former Golden Gopher back to Minnesota, where he creates a fun tandem with 2023 undrafted rookie linebacker Ivan Pace Jr,” Spielberger wrote about the linebacker moves.

An Eden Prairie native, Cashman can continue his NFL breakout in his home state.

Spielberger concluded about Vikings free agency, “Van Ginkel reunites with Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who was his head coach for several years in Miami. We were not confident in how to approach Van Ginkel’s projection, given his injury history that trickled into this past season, but he was remarkably efficient as a pass rusher in 2023 and the advanced metrics alone certainly would’ve pointed to a stronger deal like the one he signed here.”

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On offense, Minnesota will showcase new faces in quarterback Sam Darnold and tailback Aaron Jones. Both men will probably start in 2024 — unless the Vikings’ rookie-to-be quarterback is unexpectedly ready by September.

The Arizona Cardinals grabbed the league’s worst grade, per PFF, with a C.

Minnesota has about $17 million in cap space as of April 1st, though half or more will be used on the rookie draft 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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by