4 Players the Vikings Should Let Walk in Free Agency

Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports

All eyes are currently on Danielle Hunter and Kirk Cousins. Both are set to become free agents in March, and they surely have earned a new deal with the Vikings as they are two of the team’s best players, and they have stated their wishes to stay with the organization. However, neither is guaranteed to return for another season.

4 Players the Vikings Should Let Walk in Free Agency

On the other hand, Minnesota employs some players who shouldn’t be re-signed when free agency is around the corner.

1. Cam Akers

The running back was a trade acquisition after Week 2 of the NFL season, a true panic move. But it was a necessary addition to the underwhelming rushing offense, and he played quite well in his limited time. Cam Akers had a growing role before a torn Achilles tendon ended his season in Week 9.

4 Players the Vikings Should Let Walk in Free Agency
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

It is his second torn Achilles, a devastating blow for a running back as their career span is short nowadays, and every slip of athleticism is a huge problem. Alexander Mattison is already under contract for another season (it is impossible to get out of the deal without a hefty salary cap penalty), and Ty Chandler was a breakout star late in the year.

In addition to those two, the Vikes should add a runner in free agency or the draft, as the rushing attack was a cause for concern all year.

Having already two running backs with the need to add another one and considering his injury history, it wouldn’t be wise to keep Akers on board.

2. Greg Joseph

The franchise has a long history of failed kickers. While Greg Joseph has been quite reliable in big moments, and he hasn’t really cost the team a game since 2021, his overall numbers are still concerning as he ranks 36th in the last two seasons in field goal percentage (79.4%) among kickers with at least 10 attempts. He is listed as 35th in extra point percentage (90.5%).

Kicker Situation
Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) kicks a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter against the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Those numbers are unacceptable, and the decision-makers must try once again to fix the position. Daniel Carlson could’ve been that guy, but he was ousted after only two games, and since then, they haven’t made a serious push to repair the issue. Drafting another kicker or signing a reliable one in free agency should be a no-brainer.

3. Joshua Dobbs

Dobbs-mania was one of the most fun times Vikings fans had in quite some time. He was acquired from Arizona and unexpectedly had to step on the field, leading the Vikes to a pair of unlikely wins against the Falcons and the Saints. His mobility allowed him to make plays outside of the pocket, and it was a welcome sight.

One Man for Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

However, continued turnovers and his inability to feed the star receivers led to him getting benched for Nick Mullens, and he slipped down to emergency quarterback.

No matter how fun it was, it turns out there’s a reason why he was a backup all those years. With the superior Mullens and Jaren Hall under contract for another season, the Vikings willing to draft a passer, and Cousins’ future undecided, it would be meaningless to re-sign a passer who doesn’t fit the offense.

4. Marcus Davenport

Marcus Davenport was the big splash signing in last year’s free-agent period and was supposed to replace Za’Darius Smith as Danielle Hunter’s pass-rush partner. He missed the start of the season with an ankle injury. Once he returned, he made a difference and looked like the guy folks were promised when he was signed.

News on One Forgotten
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

But a second ankle injury suffered in Week 6 kept him out for the remaining 11 games of the season. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah handed him a one-year $13 million contract, certainly less than he could’ve gotten if he wasn’t this injury-prone. Davenport has never played a full season and is guaranteed to miss time. While he might be a cheap option for the vacant pass-rush position, he is too unreliable to put faith in him.

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