The 4 Vikings Players with Best Value

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings kick off training camp in about six weeks after concluding organized team activities and minicamp.

The 4 Vikings Players with Best Value

An aura of change surrounds the team after Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter left via free agency three months ago, with the notable additions of quarterbacks J.J. McCarthy and Sam Darnold, plus outside linebackers Jonathan Greenard and Dallas Turner.

And excluding rookies — their contracts have obvious affordable value — these are the four best value players for the Vikings. They ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = best value all around).

4. Sam Darnold (QB)

Sam darnold
Minnesota quarterback S. Darnold addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during OTAs. Darnold joined the Vikings’ roster in March 2024 during free agency, on deck as a Kirk Cousins replacement and sharing the QB room later with rookie passer J.J. McCarthy of Michigan.

Contract AAV = $10 million

When Darnold last started in the NFL two years ago, he didn’t play poorly at all.

QB Rankings | 2022,
(min. 125 att)

  1. Patrick Mahomes (.178)
  2. Tua Tagovailoa (.148)
  3. Jalen Hurts (.143)
  4. Josh Allen (.137)
  5. Sam Darnold (.128)
  6. Jimmy Garoppolo (.128)
  7. Joe Burrow (.126)

There’s a reasonable chance that he will pull off a Baker Mayfield-like tale in 2023, convincing everyone that he’s a decent starter after all. The Vikings’ offense was molded in Shangri-la for any quarterback, Darnold included.

And if he turns into a decent QB1, $10 million is a steal.

3. Andrew Van Ginkel (OLB)

vikings starters
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports.

Contract AAV = $10 million

The Vikings will actually possess EDGE rusher depth in 2024. The latest time the purple team had this much preseason oomph at pass rusher was around 2016 and 2017 when Danielle Hunter was establishing himself as a baller.

Since then, the Vikings’ defense has showcased Hunter, plus another guy, like Everson Griffen or Za’Darius Smith. Now, however, Minnesota has Jonathan Greenard, Dallas Turner, and Andrew Van Ginkel on the depth chart. And Adofo-Mensah onboarded Van Ginkel for $10 million per season — outstanding value.

2. Josh Metellus (S)

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Contract AAV = $4 million

One of the most versatile players in the sport, Metellus re-upped with the Vikings before the start of 2023. He sniffed fringe Pro Bowl contention last year and became a mainstay of the purple defense.

Metellus can be deployed anywhere on the field, a vital component of Brian Flores’ intricate defense. He ranked 33rd in the NFL per Pro Football Focus‘ grading system among all safeties. Not bad for a 6th-Rounder.

1. Dalton Risner (LG)

The Dalton Risner
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Contract AAV = $2.4 million

Vikings fans waited for about six months before Risner returned a couple of weeks ago. When the 2023 season wrapped up, most believed Risner would return as a no-brainer. But then the process took forever, and Risner eventually signed for one year and $2.4 million.

If Risner starts in 2024, the deal is tremendous, keeping Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy upright.

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 MIN obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by