Two Days into Vikings Free Agency, Three Big Questions Remain

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Over the past two days, we’ve learned a lot about what the 2024 Minnesota Vikings will look like.

So far in this Vikings free agency period, we’ve found out that Minnesota will have a new starting QB (though the name of that starter remains unknown), and we know that they’ve opted to fill their defense with new names rather than bringing back incumbent veterans. However, there are still questions that need to be answered. Here is a look at three of them.

Defensive Tackle

Harrison Phillips Had
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While it has come at the cost of losing a couple very talented players, the Vikings have done strong work in terms of filling out their roster on the defensive side. Their linebacker position has been solidified, and they have true starting caliber edge rushers now.

However, one of the thinner portions of the roster has only gotten thinner this week. After Dean Lowry was released on Tuesday, the Vikings employ only two defensive tackles on their roster right now: Harrison Phillips and Jaquelin Roy.

Phillips, of course, is a starting caliber talent who can more than hold his own. However, Roy played just 96 snaps with the defense during his rookie season, and the Vikings most likely need at least one more quality player amongst that group, never mind the currently nonexistent depth.

Justin Jefferson Contract

Vikings Young Core
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While many other stars in the NFL have been getting new deals, Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson still remains without a new contract extension. While the expectation should remain that Jefferson will get a new contract, it hasn’t been done yet and structure remains a massive question in terms of total money and years.

Jefferson is the most important piece of Minnesota’s competitive rebuild. Without Cousins around, the Vikings are more than likely going to do everything in their power to take a shot on a rookie quarterback this spring. If Jefferson is not around for the development of whichever QB that is, it will only make the development process that much harder.

Harrison Smith Decision

Vikings Free Agency
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The Minnesota Vikings have seen some major veteran pieces leave over the past couple years such as Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, and most recently, Danielle Hunter. While the Vikings have just about completely turned over their defense since 2021, one piece has remained: Harrison Smith.

Smith has been a staple of the Vikings defense since 2012, but there is at least some question as to whether or not he will remain on the roster for a 13th season. The 35-year-old safety carries a $19.2 million cap hit, and he may be forced to either take a pay cut or head elsewhere.

The Vikings can save $11.384 million in cap space if they move on from Smith, which would certainly go a long way towards either adding additional pieces in free agency, trading for another playmaker like L’Jarius Sneed, or even simply paying draft picks in April. For now, we still must wait for a final decision.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.