5 Players the Vikings Should Re-Sign
The Minnesota Vikings’ 2023 season ended six days ago at the feet of the Detroit Lions, an underwhelming campaign marred by injuries, turnovers, and inconsistent-but-improved defense.
Minnesota’s offseason is now formally underway, and free agency kicks off in less than two months.
5 Players the Vikings Should Re-Sign
The Vikings must decide on Kirk Cousins’ contract, draft a quarterback, improve the defense, and probably enhance the rushing offense plan.
And to kickstart the offseason, these are five players already in-house that the Vikings should re-sign. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important to re-sign).
Cousins was left off this list because it’s truly debatable whether he should return. Fans will hash out their preferred verdict within the next two months.
5. Johnny Mundt (TE)
This man can ball.
He proved in Week 18 at the Detroit Lions and is a favorite among the Vikings’ coaching staff. Why do the Vikings need a role-player TE back in 2024? Simple. T.J. Hockenson likely won’t be ready for the start of 2024, meaning Josh Oliver and, hopefully, Mundt will be on deck for TE duties indefinitely.
Mundt will be affordable and deserves a third act in The North Star State.
4. D.J. Wonnum (OLB)
Pragmatically speaking — and almost ruthless to say aloud — Wonnum will now be affordable because of his quad injury, suffered in Week 17 at home against the Packers.
The veteran defender showed in 2023 that he could play well against teams not named the Chicago Bears, which was his modus operandi from 2020 to 2022. Wonnum produced 8 sacks in 15 games, a commendable amount, with Marcus Davenport on the shelf for most of 2023.
Also notice — Davenport is not on this list, so Minnesota will need EDGE depth in 2024. Wonnum is that.
3. Brandon Powell (WR)
K.J. Osborn probably won’t return; free agency awaits him. So, Minnesota will need a WR3, and if that’s not Powell, the Vikings should keep Powell as the WR4. The man is built for the assignment and always returns punts quite effectively.
Powell caught the game-winning touchdown at Atlanta from Joshua Dobbs in Week 9 — and that’s all Vikings fans needed to witness as an illustration of his “it factor.”
The former Ram won’t be too expensive, Minnesota needs a punt returner, and the front office should reunite him on the roster for a second act.
2. Dalton Risner (LG)
Risner loves Minnesota. Minnseota loves Risner.
The veteran trenchman curiously wasn’t signed at all during free agency, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah swooped in with a contract a few weeks into the regular season. But it was a one-year deal. Risner deserves three or four more.
He’s what Vikings fans have begged for during the last 10 years — a guard who pass-protects to the utmost. His Pro Football Focus grade didn’t set the world on fire, but Risner passed the treasured eye test.
Plus, he’s lovable. Keeping Risner should be a no-brainer.
1. Danielle Hunter (OLB)
This one is supersized.
The Vikings have no starting EDGE rushers under contract undertaking this offseason. Among several items on the docket, this should generate the most hysteria. Patrick Jones II and Andre Carter II are scheduled to be a part of Minnesota’s 2024 depth chart at outside linebacker. And that’s it.
Minnesota did not trade Hunter last October — although the NFL body politic firmly believed it would happen — suggesting Adofo-Mensah has a plan to re-up with the 29-year-old.
Hunter produced his best season as a pro in 2023 and will now expect about $25 million per season to stay with the Vikings. He’s said about three times in the last five months that he absolutely wants to remain a Viking for life.
Adofo-Mensah must find a way.
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).