The 4 Big Regrets of the Vikings’ Offseason

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The Minnesota Vikings’ offseason is in the books, and training camp kicks off in three weeks.

The 4 Big Regrets of the Vikings’ Offseason

The franchise was busy this offseason, arguably its most eventful and change-filled since 2014. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah completed his two-year-long competitive rebuild.

Along the way, some regrets surfaced, at least according to onlookers. These are the top regrets of the Vikings’ offseason ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = regret the most).

4. Leveraging the 2025 Draft Class via Trade

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The Vikings pulled the trigger on a trade for Dallas Turner in the draft at the 17th pick, and folks rejoiced. But the swap was not cheap — not one bit.

As a result, Minnesota has a 1st-Round pick next year, plus two 5th-Rounders. On paper, that’s it as of June 29th, 2024. Of course, the club will likely grab a compensatory pick in Round 3 because of Kirk Cousins’ departure, but Adofo-Mensah has his work cut out for him between now and the 2025 NFL Draft to recoup some picks.

Meanwhile, due to the trade price, Turner is essentially required to morph into a Pro Bowler in the next few years; otherwise, the trade will not be worth it in retrospect.

3. The Mere Controversy of the Compensatory Draft Pick (even if moot)

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As it stands, Adofo-Mensah will have the very first compensatory pick of the cycle, but that’s it. Nick Korte of OTC explained in May, “Since the norm in recent years is to have more than 32 eligible regular compensatory picks, this means that teams were more willing than usual to cancel out comp picks in exchange for gaining talent now via unrestricted free agency. The starkest example of this comes from Minnesota. The Vikings were expected to possibly see two players, Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, leave the team for top tier deals elsewhere, and that is what happened.”

Korte concluded, “Now, it’s fine for a team to conclude that signing a player now is better than getting a comp pick later, but adding to the intrigue are multiple reports that say the Vikings expect multiple comp picks to offset the trade-ups they made in the draft. Like all humans, I am fallible, and it’s possible that I missed an additional CFA that departed. (If you think I did, let me know!).”

Of course, some disagreed with Korte’s assessment. Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling, for example, pumped the brakes on the theory that signing free-agent cornerback Shaquill Griffin canceled the possibility of a second compensatory pick next year.

Goessling told KFAN about six weeks ago, “I was told yesterday that Shaq Griffin did not cost them. I mean, this idea that Shaq Griffin directly cost them a third-round pick, I was told this is not true. I don’t think it’s quite that simple. I don’t know that they’re going to end up with two of them at this point, but I was told by people in the know that this is not the case.”

Overall, it is unclear who is right, but if Minnesota somehow bungled the compensatory process, it would be regrettable, especially because the team has so few draft picks next year.

2. No WR3 Selected in Draft

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Jamari Thrash, Luke McCaffrey, Troy Franklin, Javon Baker, Jacob Cowing, Brenden Rice. Those are examples of WR3 types available in the draft — to a team that most perceive could use a WR3 on the current depth chart.

As a fan, ask yourself, “How much more excited would I be about the WR3 spot if Javon Baker was there competing this summer?”

If the answer raises eyebrows, perhaps Minnesota should’ve drafted a WR3 candidate — in a draft vividly known as deep for WR3 candidates.

1. Swung and Missed on Free-Agent DT

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) tries to elude the pressure of Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Dec. 17, 2023. © Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK.

These DTs were scheduled to hit free agency this offseason:

  • Arik Armstead
  • Calais Campbell
  • Shelby Harris
  • Maurice Hurst
  • Sheldon Rankins
  • D.J. Reader
  • Grover Stewart
  • Christian Wilkins
  • Leonard Williams

Minnesota signed none and ended up with Jerry Tillery. Now, three months later, the Vikings have around $26 million in cap space. One can’t help but wonder why the front office didn’t make a stronger push for a big-name defensive tackle, particularly after it knew Danielle Hunter would leave.

Sooner or later, Minnesota must invest in the interior pass rush. It hasn’t done so since Kevin Williams left 11 years ago.

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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