Vikings Fired up 2 Roster Moves on Tuesday

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

During a transformational year on tap for 2024, the Minnesota Vikings are supposed to win 7.5 games — the same win total assigned to the club by sportsbooks at this time last year.

Vikings Fired up 2 Roster Moves on Tuesday

Minnesota used Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft to select quarterback J.J. McCarthy of Michigan and outside linebacker Dallas Turner from Alabama. Virtually no Vikings fan believed both men were attainable, as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was expected to trade his 1st-Round assets for a quarterback of the future. But on draft night, McCarthy slid to pick No. 10, where the young executive pulled the trigger on a trade with the New York Jets — while keeping his 23rd overall pick in-house. He then picked Turner after an expensive trade to the 17th spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Six weeks before the draft, Minnesota said goodbye to Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, two roster mainstays for a combined 15 years.

Amid an offseason rife with change, the Vikings fired up these two roster moves on Tuesday.

Hello to DT James Lynch

The Vikings’ main social media account tweeted Tuesday, “The Vikings have signed DL James Lynch and released CB Joejuan Williams.”

Vikings Week 17 Final Injury Report
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

Lynch missed all of 2023 due to a torn ACL he suffered during training camp. Last season was a contract year for Lynch, so the news was particularly brutal at the time. Now, however, Lynch is back and ready to compete this summer.

PurplePTSD‘s Josh Frey wrote about Lynch earlier this month, “Over his first three seasons, Lynch appeared in 37 games, making three starts, and he recorded 53 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. He certainly isn’t going to be a player to completely turn Minnesota’s defensive line around in 2024, but additional depth certainly can’t hurt at this point.”

James Lynch Solidifying Backup NT Role 
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

And don’t look now, but if Lynch can stay healthy — a big if, given his track record — he has a clear path to playing time. Defensive tackle is one of the softest spots on the Vikings roster, with men like Jerry Tillery, Jonah Williams, and Jonathan Bullard on tap to duke it out for the job next to Harrison Phillips. Lynch can very reasonably eye a roster spot.

Goodbye to CB Joejuan Williams

To make room for Lynch, though, someone had to find the exit sign, and that was Williams.

Roster Moves
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings initially signed Williams in April 2023. He stuck around in varying capacities (practice squad) for five months before the Bears seized him from the practice squad late last September. Williams then played in four games for Chicago, was released, and re-signed with Minnesota in November, where he finished the season.

Since 2019, Williams has played 42 games while starting one, tabulating 561 defensive snaps and experiencing action on 393 special teams plays. Because of the 2022 injury, he was basically a forgotten man as a Patriot and found his way to the Vikings the following offseason accordingly.

Vikings Recent Signing
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Williams saw regular season action in two Vikings games last year. He played 48 defensive snaps with Minnesota in 2023 and 14 special teams plays. The defender was targeted by opposing quarterbacks four times in the passing game.

He shouldn’t have a problem latching onto another team’s 90-man roster before too long.

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