The Big 3 Vikings News Items | Offseason Week 7

with Steelers
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The Kansas City Chiefs prevailed as back-to-back Super Bowl champions two weeks ago, marking the official start of the NFL offseason.

The Big 3 Vikings News Items | Offseason Week 7

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

Offseason Week 7
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In the meantime, these were the Vikings’ top three news items of Offseason Week No. 7. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most important).

3. Broncos Reportedly Lurking for McCarthy

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KFAN’s Paul Allen uplifted the Denver Broncos as a possible McCarthy suitor, meaning the Vikings would have to grab the Wolverine with its 11th pick and ixnay any idea of trading back while still hoping to draft the young quarterback. Denver is scheduled to pick 12th — the spot right after Minnesota.

Allen said on the Broncos’ adoration for McCarthy this week, “There is just a little bit of steam that is beginning to emerge locally that Sean Payton loves J.J. McCarthy … [Payton] covets the next Drew Brees. So just keep that in mind, ya know, when you’re thinking 11.”

“If you’re thinking J.J. McCarthy at 11 just know behind you have the desperate [Payton] who basically will beg, borrow, and steal to get exactly what he wants from this draft from a QB standpoint. A pretty reliable individual informed me over the weekend that Payton is quite enamored with J.J. McCarthy,” Allen added.

The Vikings may have company in seeking McCarthy. It’s worth noting that the Broncos could theoretically jump in front of the Vikings via trade and get McCarthy that way.

2. Theo Jackson Is Back; First Offseason Re-Signing

Make First Free
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We’re off and running, as Minnesota announced its first free-agent signing of 2024; in this case, a re-signing.

Selected by the Tennessee Titans in the 6th Round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Jackson joined the Vikings in October 2022 and has played in 26 games since. His role sweetened in 2023 after predominantly serving as a special teams asset in 2022, seeing the field on 126 defensive snaps last season. Jackson also accounted for 260 special teams plays in 2023.

Even if Harrison Smith retires or joins another team, Minnesota will remain deep at safety: Josh Metellus, Camryn Bynum, Lewis Cine, and Jackson.

1. ESPN’s Justin Jefferson Update

Predicts Unthinkable
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ESPN published an article Thursday, reducing any Jefferson-related anxiety. Kevin Seifert wrote, “The Vikings are not playing hardball, and Jefferson has no reluctance about playing in Minnesota, multiple sources said during the 2023 season. Jefferson has publicly endorsed the return of free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, but the unsettled nature of the position has not been a central focus of the talks, either.”

Seifert added, “Jefferson has willingly answered questions for months about his ongoing contract negotiations. His genial replies have avoided alarming headlines, but a clear theme has emerged: From Jefferson’s perspective, there is no precedent to the deal he will eventually sign — with the Vikings or another team — because there is no precedent to what he’s produced during his first four NFL seasons. Understanding that mindset helps inform why — more than a year after Jefferson became eligible for an extension — there has been no new contract.”

The NFL salary cap also climbed to $255 million last week, so all the stars are aligning to finalize Jefferson’s megadeal.

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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