3 Predictions for the Vikings’ Top Offseason Dominoes

Danielle Hunter
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings set sail on their offseason 6.5 weeks ago after losing at Ford Field to the Detroit Lions in Week 18. The club finished 7-10 in 2023, never able to fully recover from quarterback Kirk Cousins’ Week 8 Achilles tear. Accordingly, Minnesota holds the 11th overall pick in April’s draft.

3 Predictions for the Vikings’ Top Offseason Dominoes

Meanwhile, the Vikings have three ginormous items circling in the purple orbit, decisions that will impact the franchise in 2024 and several years beyond.

Top Offseason
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Consider these three predictions on the Vikings’ top offseason dominoes. They’re listed in order of importance.

3. Danielle Hunter’s Free Agency and Future

Hunter Is a Litmus
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings absolutely need EDGE rushers. The only two on the books for 2024 are Patrick Jones II and Andre Carter II, two men virtually nobody considers starters, at least not yet.

If the Vikings didn’t want Hunter for the long haul, they probably would’ve found a way to trade him last October when their win-loss record was deep in the sewer. The franchise could’ve fetched a 2nd-Rounder and change for Hunter’s services on the open market.

Hunter will turn 30 in October, and EDGE defenders can perform mightily well into their 30s. They’re not running backs per age-related decline. The LSU alumnus has also stated a few times since last summer that his ultimate desire is to remain a Viking for life.

Official Prediction: The Vikings extend Hunter on a three-year, $67 million contract.

2. Justin Jefferson’s Contract Extension

Jefferson Mad
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Probably the top no-brainer on the list, Jefferson is an electric human being, designed in a lab somewhere for football and sports marketing. His magnetism is equivalent to Steph Curry in the NBA.

He has also started his career as the most productive wide receiver in NFL history, and in a pass-happy league that becomes more pass-happy by the year, it would be utterly backward to stubbornly hold back an extension for the league’s best non-quarterback.

Jefferson will be retained in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.

Official Prediction: The Vikings extend Jefferson for four years and $128 million.

1. Kirk Cousins’ Free Agency and Future

Vikings QB Situation
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The undisputed and almighty offseason domino, nothing else really matters about Vikings football until the team’s front office renders a verdict on Cousins. He’ll turn 36 in August and is recovering from a torn Achilles. Minnesota entertained a Cousins extension last offseason, but the two parties couldn’t meet in the middle.

If the Vikings’ brass wouldn’t extend Cousins last summer, would it really be more inclined this time when Cousins is a year older and coming back from a major injury?

This one could really, really go either way, but Cousins likely departs after six seasons.

Official Prediction: Cousins hits free agency and signs with the Atlanta Falcons for three years and $126 million.

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 OverTheCap.com.