Dustin Baker’s Vikings Free Agency Predictions | 2024

Kirk Cousins Verdict
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It’s here. The Minnesota Vikings offseason will reach a pivotal next step on Monday, with the NFL’s “legal tampering” period kicking off. Consider the following free agency predictions for the purple team.

Dustin Baker’s Vikings Free Agency Predictions | 2024

The Vikings have about $37 million in available cap space, up about $60 million from last year’s voyage into free agency when Minnesota was at $-24 million. Times have changed.

So, these are Vikings-themed free agency predictions listed in no particular order.

1. Kirk Cousins Departs

Free Agency Predictions
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The Vikings’ long-term plan really feels like a steady march to a rookie quarterback, an affordable passer who can offset Justin Jefferson’s mammoth incoming contract extension.

While Vikings fans won’t be stunned if Cousins stays in Minnesota — he claims to love the place — he can probably extract more money from an organization like the Atlanta Falcons.

Official Prediction: Cousins hits free agency and signs with the Atlanta Falcons for three years and $126 million.

2. Danielle Hunter Stays

Danielle Hunter
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If Minnesota didn’t want Hunter for the long haul, it probably would’ve traded him last October when the Vikings’ season was breaking bad. Now, they’re in the middle of an offseason without any starting EDGE defenders on the books, so Hunter’s return feels mandatory. Either that — or general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah finds two startable outside linebackers next week.

This one could go either way, undoubtedly. But Hunter back for three years or so makes the most sense.

Official Prediction: The Vikings extend Hunter on a three-year, $67 million contract.

3. Defensive Starters Prioritized

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Minnesota’s defense improved markedly from 2022 to 2023. In fact, the group climbed from 24th in the NFL ranking per DVOA to 11th.

Now, it’s time to enter the Top 10. The Vikings can do this by adding 2-4 starters, upgrading at defensive tackle, outside linebacker, plus perhaps off-ball linebacker and cornerback. And Adofo-Mensah has about $37 million to spend, a vast improvement from Vikings’ offseasons of yesteryear.

Official Prediction: The Vikings add at least two new starters: an EDGE, DT, and possibly LB.

4. At Least 2 Former Flores Dolphins Players Signed

8 Players We Think
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The purple team can have the pick of the litter here. These former Brian Flores-linked Dolphins defenders are scheduled to hit the open market on Monday:

  • Jerome Baker (LB)
  • Raekwon Davis (DT)
  • Xavien Howard (CB)
  • Emmanuel Ogbah (EDGE)
  • Andrew Van Ginkel (EDGE)
  • Christian Wilkins (DT)

Official Prediction: Two of the players on the list above will become Vikings in 2024.

5. A New Kicker

Verdict on the Vikings
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Greg Joseph has performed well for the Vikings — when games are on the line. And then that’s about it.

Of course, clutch kicking cannot be taken for granted, especially by Vikings fans with peppered pasts. But the goal is for Minnesota to find a kicker who can do it all: hit clutch kicks, regular kicks, and extra points. During the last two seasons, Joseph has ranked as a bottom-six kicker per field goal accuracy percentage. As a prediction, Minnesota won’t re-sign him for a fourth season.

Official Prediction: Vikings draft a kicker or sign a UDFA kicker.

6. Harrison Smith Released; Signs with DAL

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Smith’s future in Minnesota might boil down to Kirk Cousins. If Cousins remains, Smith can be convinced that the club can still contend for a Super Bowl. Yet, should Cousins depart and join the aforementioned Falcons, well, the next guy — probably a rookie — won’t win a Super Bowl in Year No. 1.

The Vikings will draft a quarterback, meaning Smith’s best shot at a Super Bowl, at age 35, is elsewhere.

Official Prediction: Smith is released and joins the Dallas Cowboys, where Mike Zimmer works.

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.