4 Biggest Winners from Vikings Free Agency

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Eleven weeks of the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason are in the books, with more free agency upcoming and the 2024 NFL Draft about 4.5 weeks away.

4 Biggest Winners from Vikings Free Agency

The club has signed new free agents, re-upped with in-house players, and even produced a blockbuster trade last week in preparation for the draft, which will feel like a grand purple climax.

Throughout free agency, some existing Vikings players can be considered “biggest winners” based on the team’s moves and plan this offseason. These are the purple team’s biggest winners, 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 winner).

4. Jalen Nailor (WR)

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The Vikings signed two decent wide receivers in the last two weeks: Brandon Powell and Trent Sherfield. In theory, they could’ve splashed harder with men like Tyler Boyd or D.J. Chark.

However, if Minnesota doesn’t sign an extra, semi-big-name free agent or draft a promising rookie wideout in April, Nailor will get another chance to vie for WR3 this summer. Injuries have limited his NFL breakout, but with signing “only” Powell and Sherfield on the roster, Nailor lives in a decent spot to turn heads at training camp and in the preseason.

3. Garrett Bradbury (C)

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Some Vikings faithful envisioned Garrett Bradbury as a possible salary-cap casualty a couple of weeks ago. Then, the deadline came and went for Bradbury’s 2024 salary trigger, and he is in the driver’s seat to start as the club’s center for a sixth consecutive season.

Minnesota could still draft a center to push Bradbury to the limit in the summer, but no free-agent centers — apart from guard/center Dan Feeney — added to the depth chart during free agency was a win for the longtime Viking.

2. All the CBs

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The Vikings could have pursued a top-tier free-agent cornerback or diligently explored a trade for L’Jarius Sneed. They did nothing of the sort via free agency, and Sneed trade was traded to Tennessee late Friday night.

Of course, Minnesota signed Shaquill Griffin this week — who is quite good — but he’s not guaranteed to rip anyone’s job away.

  • 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

Evans and Booth, particularly, came out pretty clean via Vikings free agency, and defensive coordinator Brian Flores must trust the whole group.

1. Blake Brandel (OG)

Vikings Free Agency
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Dalton Risner isn’t back, and no other starting guards were signed. Brandel, on the other hand, is back for three years and $9.5 million.

It seems this man will start at left guard for the 2024 Vikings. Minnesota could draft a left guard in April or sign a free agent like Laken Tomlinson, but for now, Brandel is penciled in faint lead as the team’s LG.

Not many thought Brandel as the starter was a possibility a few weeks ago. Here we are. Brandel had an outstanding free agency, especially if Risner doesn’t return and the Vikings don’t spend draft capital at his spot in 4.5 weeks.

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.