4 Free Agents the Vikings Should Re-Sign
We are officially 50 days away from the start of NFL free agency.
The Vikings could see a mass exodus of players this offseason as a large chunk of their roster is set to hit the open market in March. As the Vikings prepare for this free agency period, here is a look at four of the free agents that Minnesota should look to retain. For today’s purposes, we’ll be focusing more on the depth pieces rather than starters like Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter.
WR Brandon Powell
Brandon Powell was brought in last offseason by the Vikings to be a depth receiver and returner on the special teams. He performed both roles beautifully during his first season in a Vikings uniform. He played a crucial role on the offense when Justin Jefferson went down with his hamstring injury.
Powell totaled 29 receptions for 324 yards and a touchdown with the offense while also returning 37 punts for 289 yards, an average of 7.8 yards per return. A capable punt returner is an underrated part of an NFL roster to help flip field position, and Powell has proven to be exactly that.
S Theo Jackson
Theo Jackson emerged in the Vikings secondary at different points in the season this year. Under Brian Flores’ tutelage, the safety played 126 defensive snaps in 2023, and he made a career highlight by intercepting a pass in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles after Josh Metellus left the game with an injury.
Considering Harrison Smith is entering his age-35 season in 2024 and could be a cap casualty because of a massive cap hit this year, Jackson seems like the next in line at the safety spot as long as the Vikings make an effort to bring him back in free agency.
TE Johnny Mundt
The tight end position is a bit of an underrated need for the Vikings this offseason. Both Johnny Mundt and Nick Muse are entering free agency in March, and with T.J. Hockenson on the mend from his torn ACL and MCL suffered in Week 16, that leaves Josh Oliver as the only healthy tight end under contract for next season.
Over the final two weeks of the season without T.J. Hockenson in the lineup, Mundt caught nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. There is a very high chance that Hockenson won’t be ready to go by Week 1 next year, so in order to ensure that Minnesota continues to get reliable production from the tight end spot, Mundt should be brought back in March.
IOL Blake Brandel
The largest chunk of Minnesota’s free agents this season reside on the offensive line. This isn’t necessarily a surprise considering many depth pieces in that area are signed to one-year contracts. However, one piece of that depth who should absolutely come back in 2024 is Blake Brandel.
The offensive lineman has shown the capabilities of playing both guard and offensive tackle at a reasonably high level, and while Minnesota’s tackle duo of Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill have been fantastic, they are also liable to miss a couple games every year. Additionally, Dalton Risner, the starting left guard, is set to hit free agency in March, so depth needs to be retained on the interior wherever possible. Considering Brandel is a restricted free agent, Minnesota should be able to bring him back fairly easily.
Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.
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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.