5 Reasons to Get Excited about the 2024 Vikings

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So far this offseason, Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has signed 15+ new free agents, observed as about 17 players joined new teams, selected seven men in the 2024 NFL Draft, and added 17 undrafted free agents.

5 Reasons to Get Excited about the 2024 Vikings

It’s been busy.

And if you’re just starting to get back into the swing of the Vikings, here are five reasons to be excited about the team in 2024, ranking in ascending order (No. 1 = most exciting).

5. An Organically Drafted Kicker

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

After Kirk Cousins, the Vikings need a franchise quarterback, and no one debates it. Additionally, after Greg Joseph, Dan Bailey, Daniel Carlson, Blair Walsh, and others, the club needs a franchise kicker as well. Few debate that, either.

Well, the best collegiate kicker available is on tap for the duty in 2024, thanks to a draft pick by Adofo-Mensah. Some believe Reichard could succumb to the unofficial Vikings curse, but eventually, that has to end, right?

Minnesota will have several new items in 2024, and an organically drafted kicker is on the list. Ryan Longwell was the last stable kicker for the Vikings, and he came from the Green Bay Packers.

4. Finally an RB Fix

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Jones has rushed for about 6,000 yards in his career and holds a five-yards-per-carry average. At age 29, he may slow down a bit, but Jones played masterfully for the Green Bay Packers at the end of 2023 and in the postseason.

The Vikings must fix their ground attack once and for all after two consecutive seasons of struggles. It might’ve been tempting to nominate Ty Chandler as the RB1 early this offseason, but onboarding Jones is a surer fix. Based on his upside in O’Connell’s offense and under the assumption he should have a productive year or two left in thank, adding Jones was a wise transaction.

If the plan unfolds as most believe, Jones can, alas, fix the rushing troubles.

3. Flores’ New Defensive Personnel

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The Vikings added these defenders this offseason:

  • Jonathan Greenard (OLB)
  • Andrew Van Ginkel (OLB)
  • Blake Cashman (LB)
  • Dallas Turner (OLB)
  • Khyree Jackson (CB)
  • Shaquill Griffin (CB)
  • Jerry Tillery (DT)
  • Jonah Williams (DT)
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill (LB)

Other rookies joined, too, but the men above should see substantial playing time in 2024. And that’s a lot of beef — on top of Flores’ improvement for the group last season. The Vikings’ defense will get better on the fly in 2024, perhaps even cracking the Top 10 per meaningful statistical metrics.

2. Jefferson + Addison

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. | Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

If all else goes poorly, there’s always Jefferson + Addison to watch on Sunday afternoons. Some combination of Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy should find a way to feed both men, and that makes for entertaining football, even in a season with quarterback flux.

The WR duo is one of the best in the league, and if Darnold or McCarthy is worth a damn, the offense can still hum, thanks to these young wideouts.

1. A Rookie QB — Eventually

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This is it. This is the one.

No matter what, before too long, J.J. McCarthy will take the scepter and lead the Vikings offense indefinitely. Fans hope that’s for the next decade-plus because the franchise is starved for a quarterback of its own. The last one who stuck around for longer than 5.5 seasons was Tommy Kramer — 40 years ago. Before that, Fran Tarkenton led the enterprise, and the purple team routinely visited Super Bowls.

McCarthy may not start right away in 2024, but down the stretch of the season, he’ll likely receive an audition for 2025, especially if Minnesota’s win-loss record is upside down. Folks have craved this moment for years — basically since the day Teddy Bridgewater’s knee fell off — and the time is near.

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.