The Top 3 Vikings News Items | Offseason Week 5

Thing at Stake for
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The Super Bowl will shake down Sunday, with the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Minnesota Vikings were excluded from the postseason five weeks ago.

The Top 3 Vikings News Items | Offseason Week 5

Soon, free agency will get underway when “legal tampering” hits the calendar on March 11th.

Offseason Week
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In the meantime, these were the Vikings’ top three news items of Offseason Week No. 5. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. J.J. McCarthy Begins to Capture Hearts of Vikings Fans

the QB to Avoid
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy looks to pass against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Luca Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

Vikings fans are waiting to see in the next four weeks if the purple team re-signs quarterback Kirk Cousins or lets him walk to free agency for the first time since 2018. As of February 11th, Cousins’ long-term status is a genuine coinflip. 50-50.

And if the Vikings don’t retain Cousins — or even if he’s re-signed — Minnesota could identify and draft a successor to watch and learn for a year or two. Recently, growing sentiment suggests that it could be Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

This week, NFL pundits, mock drafters, and Vikings faithful all kind of decided that McCarthy could be “the guy” for Minnesota when Cousins departs. McCarthy just turned 21, so he has youth galore on his side.

2. Mike Zimmer Returns as Cowboys DC

Mike Zimmer Might
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will return to the NFL, reportedly on deck to join the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator. He spent 13 seasons with the Cowboys from 1994 to 2006. In Dallas, this is considered a reunion. Jerry Jones re-obtained his man.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Thursday night, 25 days after the Cowboys’ season ended thanks to the Green Bay Packers, “The Cowboys are expected to hire Mike Zimmer as their defensive coordinator, per sources. Zimmer, 67, is the third-winningest head coach in Vikings history and long respected for his defensive prowess. A big hire for Dallas, where Zimmer previously coached from 1994-2006.”

The relationship will be splendid for both parties: Zimmer can script his career’s final chapter in a familiar spot, while Dallas’ self-described Super Bowl window can remain open. The Cowboys haven’t advanced beyond the Divisional Round of the postseason since 1996, but perhaps next year will be different.

After two years off from the NFL, Zimmer is back.

1. Jefferson Reiterates Contractual Stance

2024 Opponents
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Jefferson wants to remain in Minnesota. He told Adam Schein of Mad Dog Radio at the Super Bowl’s radio row this week, “I’m definitely grateful for what Minnesota has done for me. I definitely wouldn’t be in this situation if they didn’t pick me, to be the fifth receiver taken. With everything that has happened and everything I have gave to the organization, of course, I would want to stay.”

He also said, “I want to break the bank, and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me and to really give me what I deserve. I feel like, eventually, the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building.”

Jefferson continued by stating his case regarding Cousins’ free agency. “I would like him to stay. I would love to have him stay and have that connection with him. It’s going to be difficult to create that new connection with a whole new quarterback. Especially if we don’t know if we’re going to draft one, we don’t know if we’re going to pick one up. It’s a difficult situation. I would like to have him back.”

But he acknowledged the situation is fluid. “I have no idea. It could be Kirk; It could not be Kirk. It doesn’t matter who is going to be throwing me that ball. I’m always going to be that same type of player,” Jefferson replied when asked if Cousins was coming back.

So, in review:

  1. Jefferson wants to sign an extension in Minnesota.
  2. That contract will be absolutely massive.
  3. He prefers Cousins at QB1 but will play with anybody.

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).

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