The Vikings’ 4 Biggest Storylines at the Moment

Vikings QB Situation
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The Minnesota Vikings’ 2023 campaign ended six days ago at the feet of the upstart Detroit Lions, an underwhelming season marred by injuries, giveaways, and inconsistent-but-improved defense.

Minnesota’s offseason is now officially underway, and free agency kicks off in less than two months.

The Vikings’ 4 Biggest Storylines at the Moment

And to kick off the offseason, these are the Vikings’ top four storylines at the moment. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important or pivotal).

4. Danielle Hunter’s Extension

Biggest Storylines at
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The Vikings have zero starting EDGE rushers under contract as they embark on this offseason. Among many items on the docket, this should generate the most panic. Only Patrick Jones II and Andre Carter II are scheduled to be a part of Minnesota’s 2024 depth chart at outside linebacker.

Minnesota did not trade Hunter last October — although the NFL community really, really thought it would happen — suggesting general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a plan to re-up with the 29-year-old.

Hunter fired off 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 do the thing.

3. Justin Jefferson’s Extension

all that matters
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If there were any mystery about Jefferson re-signing with the Vikings, this one would be at the top of the list — undoubtedly. But like Hunter, Jefferson has stated his plan to remain in Minnesota, and down the line, Vikings brass agrees — from the ownership to the general manager to head coach Kevin O’Connell.

Everybody wants Jefferson in purple for the long haul; now it’s time to put ink on paper. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year should fetch a deal approaching $30 million yearly, if not more.

2. Deciding on Kirk Cousins

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Fans want Cousins back at a “hometown discount,” a real-life code for $30-$40 million. If one believes he’ll play cheaper than that, it’s time for some soul-searching.

Cousins talked this week about emphasizing “structure” in his next deal; he might want two or three years guaranteed, whereas the Vikings’ front office desires one or two. No matter what, though, Cousins is the first offseason domino. The choice to re-sign the 35-year-old or let him hit free agency sets the tone for everything regarding the Vikings’ offseason.

An annual Minnesota tradition, Vikings faithful will line up to discuss the pros and cons of Cousins, and Adofo-Mensah will decide yay or nay.

But nothing is as vital as the next one.

1. Drafting a QB in Round 1 (or 2 at the Latest)

Hope to Avoid Doomsday
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This is the draft. The Vikings own their juiciest draft pick — the 11th spot — in years, and it just so happens to coincide with an unusually deep quarterback class.

Minnesota must plan for the future with or without Cousins in the saddle. Their foremost rival, the Green Bay Packers, has arranged for “the next guy” at quarterback a few years in advance for decades. It’s time for the Vikings to copy that path.

Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Round 1. Whichever man is beloved by Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, it’s time to draft that man and let him start in September or marinate behind Cousins for a year.

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.

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