3 Definitive Things We Know about the Vikings Offseason So Far

can grab momentum
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The Minnesota Vikings are at a foundational crossroads this offseason, hoping to subtract the “rebuild” label from their competitive rebuild billboard mantra.

3 Definitive Things We Know about the Vikings Offseason So Far

Of course, that won’t be easy. The club must make the correct decision at quarterback, whether retaining incumbent passer Kirk Cousins, letting him walk via free agency, or drafting a quarterback regardless of Cousins’ employment.

3 Definitive
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NFL free agency begins in about five weeks, and the 2024 NFL Draft is 82 days away, so there is plenty of time to speculate about the franchise’s plans. But these are the three items onlookers know for sure about the 2024 offseason. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. Cousins’ Contract about Length, Not Necessarily Dollars

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ESPN’s Kevin Seifert wrote about a would-be Cousins extension on Tuesday, “The team’s key decision-makers are on record saying they will try to get Cousins re-signed, and the quarterback has said he wants to finish his career in Minnesota. The outcome likely will hinge on whether the Vikings are willing to give Cousins, who turns 36 in the summer, multiple fully guaranteed years in his new deal. That seems a 50-50 proposition at best.”

“Multiple fully guaranteed years in his new deal” is the takeaway from ESPN’s reporting.

Earlier this month, reporters asked Cousins what was most important to him via his next contract. He replied, “Structure is probably more important” and that “everything that isn’t the dollars [is] stuff you also work through.”

It might be in the best interest of the Vikings, as an organization, to roll with Cousins on a one-year deal, requiring the 35-year-old to prove his Achilles is in reasonable shape and that he can avoid an age-related decline. But Cousins wants years.

If one believes Cousins will vamoose in free agency, this will be the reason —Minnesota skittish about multiple years.

2. Self-Described Pivotal Offseason

Willing to Make Splashy
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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said at a year-end press conference on January 10th about his competitive rebuild plan, “The point of that was to still provide ourselves a chance in the tournament every year while regaining financial flexibility, finding the next generation of great Vikings players, incorporating our systems that we value so much, and I think when you look back at it, I think we’ve done a lot of positives.”

Adofo-Mensah took over two years ago, and per a standard timeline, a rebuild should be completed sooner rather than later.

“I think we’ve regained some of our financial flexibility. We have competed to be in the tournament last year as the division champions and this year, through adversity, had a lot of meaningful games late,” he added.

Most Vikings fans don’t fully acknowledge the rebuild — even though the roster has undergone one of the most dramatic overhauls in the NFL since 2022 — because Cousins is the QB1.

Here’s the kicker from Adofo-Mensah’s comment four weeks ago, “There’s some things we need to be better at, no question. I think, again, you want to get to a point from a depth, from a top-end standpoint, where you can overcome the adversity we have. So right now, in the competitive rebuild, we want to get to a place where there’s no rebuild, it’s just competitive in a window, and I think we’re close to that. It’s going to take a big offseason … and I’m excited for the challenge.”

The takeaway? With a “big offseason,” Minnesota will complete the final stages of its competitive rebuild.

1. The Absolute Need for EDGE Rushers

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These EDGE rushers are scheduled to be under contract for the 2024 Vikings, and only these:

  • Patrick Jones II
  • Andre Carter II

How does that make you feel?

This pain can be eased — basically cut in half — by re-signing Danielle Hunter, who will fetch north of $20 million via his next contract. But Minnesota still needs another starting outside linebacker, like Bryce Huff, for example, a free agent from the New York Jets. Otherwise, the Vikings could examine a rookie from April’s draft like Alabama’s Dallas Turner.

Almost to the level of panic, Minnesota needs EDGE rushers. Thankfully, it has ample time to find a few.

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.