The Top 3 Vikings Developments from Offseason Week No. 1

Flores Flourish
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The Minnesota Vikings will play their next regular season game in eight months, so the club has ample time to prepare for head coach Kevin O’Connell’s third act.

Minnesota finished 2023 with a 7-10 record after a litany of injuries and turnovers.

The Top 3 Vikings Developments from Offseason Week No. 1

Free agency is less than two months away, the draft is 15 weeks around the bend, and the club’s schedule will be released in May.

January 10th, 2024. Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center concluding the 2023 NFL regular season. Minnesota finished 7-10 in 2023 and missed the postseason.

And to kick off the party, these were the top three developments of offseason week No. 1 ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. Song Remains the Same on Jefferson, Hunter

3 Vikings Developments
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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the aforementioned O’Connell put a bow on the 2023 season and peered forward at 2024 on Wednesday, and unsurprisingly, Justin Jefferson and Danielle Hunter firmly remain in the longterm plan.

Adofo-Mensah said about Jefferson’s upcoming contract extension, “I had a great dialogue with his representation this morning. We have a great, great relationship. The good part is we have a shared history now. We did a lot of the work last season. And so we talked, and we said, ‘Hey, let’s plan to talk again soon.’ I’m always optimistic about those things. Obviously, we have to address that and a bunch of other things, but looking forward to those conversations.”

So, the message regarding Jefferson is the same — without any mystery, the Vikings want Jefferson for the next several years. They’ve never deviated.

Adofo-Mensah also mentioned Hunter, “He had a really great year. The two years I’ve been around him obviously super productive, but the hustle, just for an elite player like that to play the way he does in the run game, train the way he does, just chasing the quarterback outside the pocket, even if it’s not winning the rush initially. We had a great exit meeting. Just a great dude, a great player, and we’ll look forward to those conversations.”

Barring a bizarre change of heart, Minnesota will do everything to reunite both with the 2024 roster.

2. Brian Flores Likely Staying as DC

Vikings Probably Have 1 Full
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The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick mutually parted ways this week, possibly opening a job opportunity for Brian Flores, who spent 15 seasons with the franchise from 2004 to 2018.

But the Patriots had already tabbed Jerod Mayo for head coaching duties. In fact, the promotion was scripted in Mayo’s contract.

Ergo, the Patriots job will not open for Minnesota’s defensive bossman, and Flores is more likely to stay for a sequel. In theory, he could interview with the Seattle Seahawks or Los Angeles Chargers, but it’s been crickets on those fronts.

1. Vikings Want Cousins Back

Get Ready to Hear
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For a seventh season, the Vikings want Kirk Cousins back. This time, though, they’ll be ultra-diligent about the price and structure of his contract.

“Yeah. I’ve been pretty consistent with that. Kirk, the player, is somebody that, as we saw what he does to this team, I thought we were playing really good football before he got injured. It’s the most important position in sports,” general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah told reporters at Wednesday’s presser.

Cousins is tentatively scheduled to hit free agency in March, and if no extension is finalized, he could sign anywhere in the NFL as early as March 13th. “Legal tampering” in free agency starts on March 11th.

Adofo-Mensah added, “It ultimately always comes down to can you find an agreement that works for both sides and all those things, but as a player it’s certainly my intention to have him back here.”

He also mentioned his job is to “protect” the Vikings, seemingly insinuating a price tag too high or with too much guaranteed money could, in theory, prevent a Cousins reunion.

But on the whole, the strategy is to re-sign Cousins if all parties meet in the middle.

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).

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