3 Bold Predictions for Vikings Free Agency

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Free agency kicks off tomorrow, and the 2024 NFL Draft is 46 days away. The Minnesota Vikings’ roster-building for 2024 gets underway in about 26 hours.

Vikings Bold Predictions: 3 Theories for Free Agency Week

The club has about $37 million in cap space, the most it has experienced in years.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
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The action will be fast and furious, beginning Monday and spanning about two weeks, so consider these three bold predictions for Vikings 2024 free agency. They’re ranked in no particular order. And remember — bold predictions are supposed to be “out there.” Normal free-agency predictions can be read here and here.

1. Vikings Sign DT Leonard Williams

Vikings Bold Predictions
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This bold prediction was initially slated as Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, but Chris Jones’ late-night deal on Saturday worth more than $30 million per season pumped the brakes. Wilkins may be too rich for the Vikings’ blood, particularly after Jones’ gaudy deal.

Minnesota recognizes the need for a productive interior defender — once and for all; the days of players like Shamar Stephen, Armon Watts, and Jonathan Bullard are stale — by signing Leonard Williams for three years and $57 million.

The Vikings can finally get some pressure on the inside of the defensive line and quit dinking around with placeholder types. Williams is 29, so the risk isn’t too grand; DTs can play quite well into their 30s, unlike running backs, for example.

And Williams fires up Pro Football Focus seasons habitually in the 70s range. Let’s do it.

2. Vikings Trade for Top 3 Pick in March

Draft Analyst
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After letting Kirk Cousins walk to a new team — another unlisted bold prediction — Minnesota can’t afford to wait until draft night for finding the right passer during life after Cousins.

Therefore, with the New England Patriots or Washington Commanders, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah trades up the board in March, a month before the draft, to ensure rights to Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels.

The trade will cost multiple high-round draft picks, but jumping in is the best way to get wet in the swimming pool. No more dipping toes in the water. Adofo-Mensah swings for the fences a month before the draft.

3. Harrison Smith Signs with Cowboys

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 11
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Observing the Vikings’ presumptive switch to a rookie quarterback, Harrison Smith realizes the club probably won’t contend for a Super Bowl in 2024. He’s 35, meaning one or two more seasons remain in his otherworldly career.

Because Smith wants a Super Bowl, he’s lured to Dallas this offseason, pairing with Mike Zimmer, who took over as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator last month.

The Cowboys renew all-in stakes, and Smith bolsters Zimmer’s defense for another playoff push. They won’t even have to pay him much because his Vikings money was guaranteed. A sad moment, Smith departs and joins an old friend down south.

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.