Vikings Have Done Well in Free Agency

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel suffered a broken nose Sunday against the Jets but by Monday, he'd been patched up.© HAL HABIB / The Palm Beach Post / USA TODAY NETWORK

When the Minnesota Vikings started to look toward free agency this offseason, there was no way they could see beyond Kirk Cousins. His domino had to fall, and when it did, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah executed a very well-thought-out blueprint.

Vikings Have Done Well in Free Agency

Of course, the Vikings needed to figure out what Kirk Cousins would do. Not only is the quarterback the most important position in professional sports, but Cousins has always carried a massive price tag. By shedding that albatross of a contract, Minnesota had an opportunity to go on a newfound spending spree.

Free Agency
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Kevin O’Connell’s roster had more than a few holes last year, and adding to Brian Flores’ defense was going to be a focal point. Needing to replace Danielle Hunter and revamp the pass rush, the Vikings had plenty of snaps to account for. So far, they have grabbed nine new players on the defensive side of the ball, and more than a couple of them should be expected to start.

Turning over the edge rush to Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel will usher in a whole new era, but there is an avenue for the production to go up. While Hunter did produce a career-high sack total this last year, he rarely had consistent help with Marcus Davenport remaining off the field. Za’Darius Smith had a great bounce-back season two years ago, but the tandem seldom clicked at the same time. The new group will be looking to establish an identity together, and they can create that in Minnesota.

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Bringing home Blake Cashman is a really fun story, especially if he can help to anchor the middle of Minnesota’s defense alongside Ivan Pace Jr. Grabbing another former Packer, this time a solid running back who is scorned after being asked to take a massive pay cut, fits on multiple levels too. The Shaq Griffin signing has an opportunity to be a big boost, and there is still room for the Vikings to add an impact corner if they so choose.

From a volume perspective alone, the massive free agent class has been fun to see come together. The names and talent they have added look really strong, though, and that makes it much more than just quantity over quality. Sam Darnold doesn’t represent a straightforward replacement at the quarterback position, and his play could make anything else moot, but the gamble is certainly one worth taking.

Vikings QB
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Franchises must undergo this sort of roster turnover at different points, and the Vikings found themselves ripping the final band-aid off in a big way. For as many questions as Adofo-Mensah has faced over the past couple of years, it’s hard not to be excited about the moves he just made.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.