4 Biggest Losers from Vikings Free Agency

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Eleven weeks of the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason are filed away, with a bit more free agency upcoming and the 2024 NFL Draft about 4.5 weeks from now.

4 Biggest Losers from Vikings Free Agency

Minnesota has signed several new free agents, re-upped with in-house players, and even assembled a blockbuster trade last week in preparation for the draft.

Throughout free agency, some existing Vikings players can be considered “biggest losers” based on the team’s moves and plan this offseason. These are the purple team’s biggest losers, accounting for players signed by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and positions that were not prioritized. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = the biggest loser).

4. Ty Chandler (RB)

vikings free agency
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Make no mistake — Ty Chandler will still see considerable action in 2024. It’s just that the addition of Aaron Jones severely reduced the possibility of Chandler becoming the team’s bellcow option.

Jones signed for a deal worth up to $7 million, meaning he will probably be afforded the RB1 title. Chandler can still steal it from him, but in all likelihood, Jones will take the first rushing handoff in 2024. For a month or so, many wondered if it would be Chandler. Probably not — which makes his offseason more complicated.

3. Nick Mullens (QB)

Moved to Tears
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

You know what? Nick Mullens probably could’ve served as the Vikings’ “patchover quarterback” in 2024 just fine. But the front office preferred Sam Darnold.

Now, Mullens faces a QB3 assignment if Minnesota selects a quarterback in Round 1 or 2 this April. He could also be a roster-cut candidate should the Vikings not be ready to throw in the towel on Jaren Hall.

Mullens had two knocks on him in 2023: a) He’s reckless b) The Vikings’ defense died the moment he took over. The Darnold addition made it a rough free agency for Mullens.

2. Akayleb Evans (CB)

Future Suddenly
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After a couple of free agency waves, these are the Vikings cornerbacks on the roster as of March 23rd:

  • CB1: Byron Murphy
  • CB2: Akayleb Evans
  • CB3: Mekhi Blackmon
  • CB4: Andrew Booth
  • CB5: Shaquill Griffin
  • CB6: NaJee Thompson
  • CB7: Jaylin Williams
  • CB8: Joejuan Williams
  • CB9: A.J. Green III

Five of those men are playable CBs. The addition of Shaquill Griffin this week might make Evans expendable. At least per 2024 playing time. Stay tuned. It doesn’t help that Evans was benched a couple of times in 2023.

1. Brian Asamoah (LB)

Defender on the Road
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Asamoah enters a pivotal third NFL season in September, and once again, he’s on deck to play a reservist role. This was supposed to be the year that he took over as a starter. But Ivan Pace Jr. had other plans.

Meanwhile, on the first day of free agency, Minnesota signed Eden Prairie native Blake Cashman, who will assuredly start in 2024. That’s good news for the Vikings, on the whole, but bad news for Asamoah.

Asamoah will probably make the 53-man roster in five months, but some may whisper him as a roster-cut candidate.

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.