5 Vikings on the Hot Seat in 2024

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The 2024 Minnesota Vikings hope to improve on a 7-10 record in 2023, a campaign that went pear-shaped after Kirk Cousins was injured in late October.

The 2024 NFL Draft is 12 days away, and the roster still has a long way to go before Week 1.

5 Vikings on the Hot Seat in 2024

But some players, now and in the summer, already have a “hot seat” designation, and these are those players, ranked in ascending order of intensity (No. 1 = warmest hot seat).

5. Garrett Bradbury (C)

17 Final Injury Report
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Minnesota could’ve saved $5 million by cutting Bradbury with a post-June 1st designation while pursuing a replacement via free agency. That may have been tempting. However, the Vikings’ coaching staff seems to value Bradbury, and loyalty runs deep in Kevin O’Connell’s culture.

Bradbury posted a 60.5 Pro Football Focus grade last year, which is the definition of meh. His contract runs out after the 2024 season, and without marked improvement, this year could be his final in purple.

The Vikings, too, could draft a late-round replacement for Bradbury in less than two weeks.

4. Brian Asamoah (LB)

Defender on the Road
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Asamoah enters a climactic third NFL season in September, and once again, he’s on tap to play a backup role. This was supposed to be the year that he took over as a starter. But Ivan Pace Jr. had other plans.

Meanwhile, on the first day of free agency, Minnesota signed Eden Prairie native Blake Cashman, who will assuredly start in 2024. That’s good news for the Vikings, on the whole, but bad news for Asamoah.

Asamoah will probably make the 53-man roster in five months, but some may whisper him as a roster-cut candidate. He’ll have to make the most of his reservist opportunities behind Pace Jr. and Cashman, presumably sliding into the Troy Dye role from 2023.

3. Akayleb Evans (CB)

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The addition of 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, and Evans as playable cornerbacks on the roster before the draft. If that’s the group by 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.

2. Andrew Booth (CB)

Could Move Down
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Arriving in 2024 for his third season in 2024, Booth is either awaiting a breakout season or status as one of the stinkiest Vikings draft picks in recent memory. To be determined.

Booth produced a decent 68.6 PFF grade in 2023, playing about 100 coverage snaps. The man actually looked good when on the field; he just didn’t see the field consistently as a starter. He has youth on his side, and this summer + fall will determine if Booth has staying power in Minnesota. It could go either way.

Meanwhile, Minnesota has five playable cornerbacks on the roster — Byron Murphy, Shaquill Griffin, Mekhi Blackmon, Akayleb Evans, and Booth — so Booth could be tradebait later this offseason if the other four stand out in the summer. Of course, Adofo-Mensah wouldn’t fetch much for Booth — probably a 6th-Round pick or so.

No matter what, the 2024 campaign is a career fulcrum for Booth.

1. Lewis Cine (S)

Lewis Cine Pitched a Shutout vs. Lions. And Not in a Good Way.
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Cine broke his leg 18 months ago, fully recovered last spring and summer, and then couldn’t win a starter’s job in 2023. In fact, Cine played eight defensive snaps in his second season — all garbage time against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. He was not a factor — at all — for the 2023 Vikings.

Of course, Minnesota has safeties galore between Harrison Smith, Josh Metellus, Camryn Bynum, Jay Ward, and Theo Jackson. In that regard, Cine wasn’t really needed in 2023. But as a 1st-Rounder, the man should play some of the time.

Folks will figure out this summer and early in the 2024 regular season if Cine is truly a bust or just a late bloomer who suffered an unfortunate injury that delayed his development. The endgame could be a trade, probably for a late-round draft pick or an outright roster release.

He’s just like Booth. He must do something this season.

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 MIN 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.