4 “Chip on Shoulder” Players for Vikings This Summer

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The Minnesota Vikings are about to undergo a 3.5-month process of reducing the current 90-man roster to 53 humans.

4 “Chip on Shoulder” Players for Vikings This Summer

Forty-one percent of the roster will become unemployed in late August, at least initially. Some of the 41% will join the team’s practice squad.

And with summer right around the bend, these are the four chip-on-shoulder players with something to prove. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = biggest chip).

4. Ty Chandler (RB)

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This speedster will split RB1-RB2 duties with Aaron Jones in 2024. The North Carolina alumnus put a thumbprint on the 2023 season in December and January and actually felt in line for a possible bellcow RB1 gig when this offseason kicked off.

And if Jones — and older running back — gets injured, Chandler will be the next man up, auditioning for the 2025 and perhaps long-term RB1 gig. Heading into the offseason, there was a slight chance that Chandler would be handed the RB1 job all by himself. Yet, the Vikings preferred Jones, so now Chandler has something to prove it as the RB2.

3. Blake Brandel (LG)

blake brandel
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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’ve drafted a left guard in April or signed 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 possible in January or February. Here we are. Brandel had an outstanding free agency, especially if Risner doesn’t return later this summer.

However, many Vikings fans don’t fully trust Brandel for the LG assignment, so he must prove he’s the right guy.

2. Andrew Booth (CB)

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Foremost, Booth has to secure a starter’s job in 2024 — that feels like a longshot — and then prove he’s a stud in the league. In the last two seasons, Booth has accomplished neither goal after injuries decimated his rookie year, and then other players took his job in 2023.

It’s Year No. 3 for Booth, and because he was a 2nd-Round draft choice in 2022, the 2024 season is for the marbles regarding his long-term trajectory.

1. Akayleb Evans (CB)

Future Suddenly
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Adding Shaquill Griffin in March might make Evans expendable, at least for 2024 playing time. It doesn’t help that Evans was benched a couple of times in 2023.

Minnesota employs Griffen, Byron Murphy, Mekhi Blackmon, Andrew Booth, rookie Khyree Jackson, and Evans as playable cornerbacks on the roster. If that’s the group by the end of summer, one man will be the odd man out or receive very little playing time.

Evans still has time to rebound and play wonderfully in 2024, but because of the aforementioned benching ordeals, he’s on the hot seat this summer and in the regular season if he makes the 53-man roster. Year No. 3 must be productive.

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.