Two Vikings Free Agents Who Should Return to Minnesota in 2024

Vikings Can Buy
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At the beginning of the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings saw about half of their roster enter free agency.

With the bulk of the free agency period now behind us, there are still eight notable Vikings free agents available on the open market. Minnesota should consider bringing two of them back for another go in 2024.

Two Vikings Free Agents Who Should Return to Minnesota

Vikings Free Agents
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Of course, that list of eight players looks like this:

  • RB Cam Akers
  • IOL Chris Reed
  • G Dalton Risner
  • LB Anthony Barr
  • DT Sheldon Day
  • DT James Lynch
  • DT T.J. Smith
  • LB Nick Vigil

As of now, the Vikings have two major holes on their roster heading into the 2024 season: interior offensive line and defensive tackle. Minnesota doesn’t have a clear starter set at left guard yet while they have done very little to address a defensive tackle position that was largely ineffective last season.

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Because of this, it would make sense for the Vikings to bring back Risner for another year. After going unsigned into the 2023 season, Dalton Risner finally caught on with the Vikings during the regular season. When Ezra Cleveland went down with a foot injury and was promptly traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Risner finished the year as Minnesota’s starting left guard.

Once again, though, Risner has struggled to find a new contract that suits his liking early on in free agency, so much so that he actually took to social media to express his dissatisfaction. By bringing him back, the Vikings would have the same five starters on their offensive line that they finished the 2023 season with. Chemistry at that position could be very important, particularly if they are protecting rookie QB J.J. McCarthy.

Additionally, the Vikings could bring back a depth piece on the defensive line who has proven to be rather effective in the past. That player is James Lynch, who missed the entire 2023 campaign because of a torn ACL.

Vikings Week 17 Final Injury Report
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Over his first three seasons, Lynch appeared in 37 games, making three starts, and he recorded 53 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. He certainly isn’t going to be a player to completely turn Minnesota’s defensive line around in 2024, but additional depth certainly can’t hurt at this point.

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

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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.