Have the Vikings Ever Had This Sort of Offseason?

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell at a Minnesota Timberwolves game in 2022.

The legal tampering period for the NFL begins on Monday. While free agency doesn’t officially open until Wednesday, March 13, the Minnesota Vikings embark on a period of roster decisions that will rank among the most impactful in franchise history.

Vikings Offseason: Has There Ever Been One Like This?

Every offseason, teams across the NFL get to allocate funds and draft picks toward improving their eventual 53-man roster. That has been the case for a very long time. This cycle, however, means that the Minnesota Vikings are in a position to make some franchise-altering decisions, and they all come down the pipe simultaneously.

Kirk Cousins Out
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Not only is a decision looming regarding longtime veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins, but superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson is in line to be paid as the greatest wide receiver of all time. He is going to get a bag that surpasses that of fellow wideout Tyreek Hill, and his eventual take home should overtake every position player who doesn’t get under center.

Beyond just those two, it could be a changing of the guard at the edge rusher position. Former draft pick and longtime sack master Danielle Hunter could be on his way out as he is compensated elsewhere. Along with Hunter, longtime captain, and 12-year NFL veteran Harrison Smith will be forced to make a choice on his future as well. Given the names being discussed and the dollars necessary to be allocated, it’s fair to argue that this may be the most high-profile period of roster movement in organization history.

Vikings Offseason
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It goes beyond what the Vikings would need to pay Cousins to retain his services. The fallout from moving on there means the franchise could opt to take a first-round quarterback higher than they ever have in a draft chock full of talent representative of future franchise foundational talent. They can also pair that player with Jefferson, who immediately gives the passer the best possible player to throw the ball to.

On the flip side of the ball, moving on from both Smith and Hunter at the same time would be a changing of the guard. Each has only experienced time in the NFL while wearing a Minnesota Vikings uniform, and both have produced at otherwise irreplaceable levels. Knowing the defense has holes that need to be filled, it’s understandable that a change could be coming for Brian Flores’ group. That doesn’t make excluding two household names any easier to move on from, even if it’s an understandable decision.

a Wild Free
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

There will be a flurry of activity in the coming days, and Minnesota has the cap space to be in the thick of all of it. They’ll be tied to big names and make big moves that have big ripple effects across the franchise into the foreseeable future. This isn’t something fans have seen in years, and for those excited about the offseason roster configurations, the dream should become reality.

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.