3 Beloved Vikings Could Be in Final Days with Team

Vikings Kicking Has Flat-Out Been Terrible
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The 2024 NFL Combine is winding down, and one week from Monday, the NFL’s “legal tampering” phase of free agency begins.

3 Beloved Vikings Could Be in Final Days with Team

The Minnesota Vikings reportedly released Alexander Mattison this week, an unforeseen moment in the team’s offseason, with more players from the 2023 roster scheduled to depart. Minnesota has over 25 free agents.

3 Beloved
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In addition to Mattison’s release, a handful of popular players could be in their final days with the franchise. These are those men listed in ascending order (No. 1 = most impactful possible departure).

3. K.J. Osborn (WR)

Lord Have Mercy. What Is This Team?
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Osborn snatched 48 receptions for 540 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2023. The year was pretty standard in Osborn’s world, though the touchdown numbers dipped.

With Jordan Addison’s immediate emergence to WR2, Osborn can grab more money on the open market than the Vikings would be willing to deliver. Moreover, Osborn was not drafted by this front office and coaching staff, meaning he may not be a priority to re-sign.

When it’s all said and done in free agency, it will become clear that the moment Minnesota drafted Addison, Osborn’s days were numbers in Minnesota.

2. Danielle Hunter (OLB)

Danielle Hunter Is Back — Sort Of
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Minnesota scooped Hunter from the 2015 NFL Draft in Round 3, a magnificent pick that has paid dividends since. He recorded a career year in 2023, his age-29 season, tabulating 16.5 sacks, a career-high. That mark also ranked fifth leaguewide, trailing T.J. Watt (19.0), Trey Hendrickson (17.5), Josh Allen (17.5), and Khalil Mack (17.0). He also led the NFL in tackles for loss.

The four-time Pro Bowler previously stated — a few times — that his goal was to remain a Viking for the rest of his career, but his comments at the Pro Bowl appeared to walk that stance back a bit. He told NFL.com about his upcoming free agency a few of weeks ago, “Just letting everything play its course. I did my job. Everything’s in my agent’s hands and my team — and whomever it is that’s out there. My job, like I said, is to do my job. And I’m gonna make sure I stay in shape and whatever is best available for me, I’ll take that.”

So, Vikings fans shall see what gives. He’ll either make good on his desire to stay a Viking or take the largest paycheck.

1. Kirk Cousins (QB)

Kirk Cousins
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This one is for all the marbles regarding the Vikings’ offseason.

Cousins was not extended last year by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and is now a year older, with a bad Achilles. Minnesota may have a deal on the table for Cousins to evaluate while he bides his time to scour the open free-agent market on March 11th.

Unlike ever before, Cousins’ future with the Vikings is totally up in the air. If he leaves, folks will say, “I saw that coming.” Should he stay for a seventh season, folks will say, “I saw that coming.”

A grand crescendo to the early portion of Minnesota’s offseason is about 7-14 days away.

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 OverTheCap.com.