4 Myths about the 2024 Vikings

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For the first time in about eight or nine years, the Minnesota Vikings aren’t necessarily “all in” to win a Super Bowl when entering a new season.

The franchise totally flipped the script this offseason, welcoming a new quarterback and premiere EDGE rusher and setting sights on a new era for the first time since 2018.

4 Myths about the 2024 Vikings

Meanwhile, a handful of myths exist about the 2024 Vikings, and these are those ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most popular myth).

4. The Young Talent Is Underwhelming

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN ranked each NFL team this week by its players under the age of 25, and according to Aaron Schatz, Minnesota has the league’s ninth-worst young core.

Of course, the ranking can skyrocket by this time next year, depending on the development of quarterback J.J. McCarthy and outside linebacker Dallas Turner, the Vikings’ two 1st-Round draft picks from April. But for now, it’s a 24th ranking, says ESPN.

Schatz explained, “The 22-year-old Addison had a great rookie year with 911 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. McCarthy, the franchise quarterback in waiting, will likely play during his rookie year. So will edge rusher Dallas Turner, also chosen in the first round.”

“The only other player who qualifies for this list and started more than one game for last year’s Vikings is linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. He was a surprise undrafted star with 2.5 sacks, one interception and 102 tackles,” Schatz concluded.

The “problem,” so to speak, with the ESPN ranking is that Minnesota has a handful of players right at the age-25 cut-off:

  • Justin Jefferson
  • Christian Darrisaw
  • Camryn Bynum
  • Mekhi Blackmon

Those men are 25 or will turn 25 by the start of the season, making the Vikings’ young talent seem underwhelming by ESPN’s criteria.

If McCarthy and Turner flourish, Minnesota’s roster is in a fabulous spot for youth.

3. Dalton Risner Is a Shoo-In to Start

Dalton Risner
Minnesota guard Dalton Risner addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Dalton Risner: “We All Know We Have A Great Culture But We Came Up Short This Season.”

Among the three offensive guards vying for two spots — Dalton Risner, Ed Ingram, and Blake Brandel at RG and LG — Risner is considered a frontrunner by fans to start in September.

About 73% believe Risner is in the driver’s seat. However, folks should follow the money for OG forecasts in Minnesota. Brandel re-signed in March for three years and $9.5 million. The Risner reunion sent general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah a bill for one year and $2.4 million.

Risner also rarely plays right guard, so that job may be Ed Ingram’s to lose.

Of course, Risner could end up starting, but he shouldn’t be classified as a shoo-in or frontrunner.

2. Any Perceived QB1 Battle

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports | Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said at June’s minicamp, “We haven’t had to put out a depth chart or anything like that, but I would say Sam would be the guy I would look to based on the spring he’s had and, really, where he’s at in his career and his quarterback journey, and what he’s been able to do coming in and [hitting] the ground running and taking advantage of the competitive situation.”

That’s basically a QB1 nomination for Darnold, and the team’s leadership has said for two-plus months that J.J. McCarthy won’t be rushed into anything.

Darnold is the QB1, and anything suggesting otherwise is just a fancy what-if. On the other hand, when the regular season begins, Darnold could be on a short leash. Out of the gate, though, the job belongs to Darnold.

1. “The Vikings Will Have Like $100 Million Cap Space Next Year.”

qb prospects
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Vikings are scheduled to boast about $54 million in cap space next March — or about half of the $100 million famously touted by optimistic fans. Fifty-four million is still considerable and reason for enthusiasm.

But it’s not $100 million.

Somewhere, Vikings fans came up with “over $100 million in cap space in 2025,” evidently forgetting that Justin Jefferson’s contract would kick in, plus deals for newcomers like Jonathan Greenard.

Adofo-Mensah will have plenty of money to spend next March — probably a Top 10 team in the NFL via cap space — but “over $100 million” was a short-sighted forecast.

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.