The 4 Unresolved Matters of the Vikings Offseason

Writer Claims Justin
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The 2024 NFL Draft will arrive in 18 days, but the Minnesota Vikings have more items to ponder in the meantime.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has watched 16 veterans depart in free agency, welcomed 14 newcomers, and re-signed seven players from the 2023 roster.

The 4 Unresolved Matters of the Vikings Offseason

These are the happenings to monitor between now and the end of the draft and can be classified as unresolved. They’re ranked in order of importance (No. 1 = most important).

4. No Clear-Cut WR3

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Minnesota has three contenders for its WR3 job after K.J. Osborn bolted for the New England Patriots this offseason: Brandon Powell, Jalen Nailor, and Trent Sherfield.

It probably made sense for Osborn to head elsewhere, but the purple team hasn’t put its foot down for an ironclad WR3 through 13 weeks of the offseason. Perhaps it has grand plans for a WR3 from the draft, and that would be fine and dandy, but limbo is the word for WR3 at the moment.

Players like Tyler Boyd, Hunter Renfrow, and D.J. Chark are available via free agency.

3. No High-Profile DT

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Head coach Kevin O’Connell said last week about his team’s DT priority during free agency, “We made a run at some certain guys in free agency. In the end, we were okay with what we were able to add on the edges, and then you really supplement that defensive room with a lot of different skill sets.”

He also mentioned, “I think there’s going to be some really impactful options potentially there throughout the depth of the draft.”

And these comments arrived after Minnesota evidently couldn’t or wouldn’t sign free agents like Christian Wilkins, Arik Armstead, Grover Stewart, D.J. Reader, or Leonard Williams. Tons of high-profile DTs were available during free agency.

No cigar.

2. No Justin Jefferson Extension

A New Wrinkle
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Jefferson said at the Super Bowl’s radio row in February about his future in Minnesota, “I want to break the bank, and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me and really gives me what I deserve. I feel like eventually, the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building but I don’t really know at this moment. Only time will tell. I feel like I have the right people in my circle to negotiate and to do what’s right, and I feel like this whole process of how we handle things, I feel like we did a great job with it.”

He also added on the same day, “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 want to stay.”

Meanwhile, one of the team’s owners, Mark Wilf, echoed O’Connell’s sentiment. He said, “Jefferson is a unique talent. Best in the game, and we’re excited he’s a Minnesota Viking. And not only is he a great player, he’s become a great leader of our locker room, and he’s great in the community. So the thrills he gives the fans on the field and just the way he carries himself, we’re looking forward to some real positive conversations.”

Per O’Connell, a long-term deal for Jefferson remains the foremost priority. “We absolutely wanted to and continue to want to get something done,” O’Connell told reporters at the end of March.

O’Connell added, “Justin’s a major, major priority for the Minnesota Vikings because of what he means to me as the head coach, the play caller. But also our fanbase, the Twin Cities. The impact he’s really had on our league is really not lost on me for one moment.”

And general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah adamantly said at the NFL Combine that trading Jefferson wasn’t an option.

So, everyone is just waiting for the deal to finalize.

1. No QB of the Future

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Kirk Cousins left in free agency, and Minnesota now owns two 1st-Round picks in this draft to trade up again for its oft-coveted quarterback of the future.

This decision is for all the marbles. The Vikings haven’t drafted a rookie quarterback in Round 1 since Teddy Bridgewater — a full 10 years ago. Most expect Adofo-Mensah to find a way to select Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy, but in the meantime, it’s all a pressure-cooked waiting game.

Sportsbooks believe the guy will be McCarthy — he has even-money betting odds to land in Minnesota — so, in 18 days, SKOL Nation will learn a much-anticipated verdict.

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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