The Top 5 Realistic Free Agent Targets for Vikings

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It’s about as climactic as it gets per Minnesota Vikings history for an offseason, as the purple team must be bold and efficient to complete its “competitive rebuild.”

NFL free agency begins in about three weeks, and the Vikings will start the 2024 roster-building process.

The Top 5 Realistic Free Agent Targets for Vikings

So, with “legal tampering” on the docket for March 11th, these are five players for the Vikings to target. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = best possible free agent).

Note: The list accounts for realism, not every expensive Pro Bowl free agent available.

5. Chidobe Awuzie (CB)
Cincinnati Bengals

The Top 5 Realistic
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Awuzie produced a decent 62.6 Pro Football Focus grade in 2023 and will now hit free agency in March, assuming the Bengals don’t re-sign him. He was 2nd-Round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2017.

Minnesota must decide if its current conglomeration of cornerbacks will do the trick next season: Byron Murphy Jr., Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth, and Mekhi Blackmon. If the answer is no, the Vikings should explore a veteran for depth like Awuzie if the L’Jarius Sneeds are unavailable on the open market.

4. Rashid Shaheed (WR)
New Orleans Saints

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An All-Pro and Pro Bowl punt returner, too, Shaheed’s speed and gadget-style skillset would fit wonderfully in Kevin O’Connell’s offense, especially with T.J. Hockenson presumably on tap to miss some of 2024. Rasheed tabulated 719 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns last season, a perfect statline for a WR3. And he’ll be affordable in free agency.

He’d fit well in Minnesota’s aerial attack and should cost about $2 million per season.

3. D’Andre Swift (RB)
Philadelphia Eagles

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Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, Myles Gaskin, and DeWayne McBride are under contract in 2023, but no one expects the Vikings to roll into 2024 with that exact fivesome. Minnesota’s ground game struggled profusely last season and desperately needs repair.

Swift has logged 1,263 yards from scrimmage this season and 4.7 yards per touch. Sign him up.

He should be gettable in free agency for $6-$7 million per year. The Eagle turned 25 in January.

2. Maurice Hurst (DT)
Cleveland Browns

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Like Shaheed above, Hurst will be affordable. He played 39% of all Cleveland Browns defensive snaps in 2023 and fired up an 81.0 PFF grade. The man deserves to start somewhere.

Hurst also has ties to the San Francisco 49ers, making that two former organizations of which general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was once employed. The veteran defensive tackle will turn 29 in May.

Of course, Minnesota could shoot for the stars and pursue a DT solution like Christian Wilkins from the Miami Dolphins, but that will utterly break the bank.

1. Bryce Huff (OLB)
New York Jets

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This 25-year-old has posted 8 sacks in 16 games as a reservist player for the New York Jets in 2023. Examining his free agency, he’s similar to Harrison Phillips in 2022 — a high-end backup waiting for his opportunity to start somewhere.

That could be the Vikings, a team only showcasing Patrick Jones and Andre Carter as EDGE rushers under contract in 2024. Huff posted a 79.7 PFF grade last season, seeing action on 480 defensive snaps.

He and Danielle Hunter — hopefully the Vikings re-sign him — could formulate a fearsome pass-rushing duo in 2024.

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).

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