Vikings Reinforce the Trenches

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings reportedly signed pass rusher Jonathan Greenard away from the Houston Texans on Monday, a splash move to improve the defense. But that wasn’t all.

Vikings Free Agency: Trenches Prioritized on 1st Day of Free Agency

The franchise re-signed two offensive linemen from the 2023 squad, focusing on depth in the trenches on free agency’s first day. Blake Brandel and David Quessenberry will be back in 2024.

Vikings Free Agency
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted, “The Vikings have re-signed OL David Quessenberry and Blake Brandel. No word yet on LG Dalton Risner, who is expected to explore [the] market.”

Brandel, 27, is ultra-familiar to Vikings fans, selected in the 6th Round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He’ll stick around for a fifth season, assuming he makes the 53-man roster in August and September. He played 163 offensive snaps in 2023 at guard and 275 at tackle in 2022. The Vikings switched him to guard last summer.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips said about Brandel last September, “Blake’s just a good football player. He has shown versatility, he has shown in a pinch to jump in at tackle, but getting a lot of reps at both guard spots, he’s still working in a little at center, being able to be all those three interiors. He kind of gives you a comfort level because he does things the right way, he’s a large man inside. You like to have those big rectangular guards. You love those rectangle guys. He’s certainly one of those guys, and he loves ball. He’s had a really good camp.”

Brandel produced a 55.1 Pro Football Focus grade in 2023.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

On Quessenberry, he joined the Vikings midseason in 2023 after injuries struck the trenches. And he actually performed quite commendably. The veteran lineman fired up a 64.8 PFF mark and didn’t offer a tremendously noticeable downgrade from the starters in some contests. Vikings fans’ opinion of Quessenberry, 33, is generally favorable.

All told, the former Buffalo Bill played 332 offensive snaps for Minnesota in his first season with the club, a considerable amount.

Tennessee Titans offensive tackle David Quessenberry (72) takes the field to face the Colts at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. © Andrew Nelles / via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

As of 12:30 pm CST, these are the Vikings offensive linemen under contract in 2024:

Defacto Starters
LT1: Christian Darrisaw
LG1: Blake Brandel
C1: Garrett Bradbury
RG1: Ed Ingram
RT1: Brian O’Neill


RT2: David Quessenberry
LG2: Tyrese Robinson
LT2: Coy Cronk
LG2: Henry Byrd

The other factoid tucked into the Lewis tweet above suggested Vikings 2023 left guard Dalton Risner could sign elsewhere on the open market. That would either promote Brandel to a starter’s job or force Minnesota to use free agency or the draft on his replacement.

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