This Monday Is Shaping Up to Be a Frenzy for Vikings

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All Minnesota Vikings news is marching toward a steady climax, conveniently scheduled for a single day.

Vikings News Will Be a Frenzy on Monday

That’s Monday, March 11th, 2024, when “legal tampering” begins in the NFL. Ordinarily, that event is quite compelling for the Vikings, but this year is supersized.

vikings news
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota has mighty offseason dominoes — ones that fans have pondered for over eight weeks — and unless news breaks this weekend or hints are learned, Monday is the time when verdicts will be reached. Here’s how and why.

1. The Kirk Cousins Verdict

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The Stakes:
Cousins arrived in Minnesota six years ago, and he’s scheduled to hit free agency next week for the first time since. The Vikings curiously didn’t extend him last offseason, perhaps tipping their hand that the end was nigh. Now, Cousins is a year older and recovering from a torn Achilles.

If the Vikings didn’t re-up with the veteran signal-caller then, would they really do so now with Cousins a year older and on the mend from a serious injury?

The Latest:
On Monday night, Pro Football Talk reported that the Atlanta Falcons were trending as the favorites to sign Cousins. Mike Florio wrote, “We can’t get into the specifics, for now. But we’re getting very credible indications that Cousins is seriously considering moving his family to Atlanta. Which would mean, obviously, that he’d be signing with the Falcons. The Falcons have always been the top alternative to the Vikings for Cousins, who becomes an unrestricted free agent next Wednesday.”

2. The Danielle Hunter Verdict

Priority Is So
Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports.

The Stakes:
The Vikings have zero starting EDGE rushers attached to the current roster for 2024. They must re-sign Hunter and find another — or find two new ones from free agency or the draft.

Hunter has stated a few times in the last year that he’d like to stay with the Vikings for the long haul but seemed to walk that sentiment back at the Pro Bowl. He told about his upcoming free agency last month, “Just letting everything play its course. I did my job. Everything’s in my agent’s hands and my team — and whomever it is that’s out there. My job, like I said, is to do my job. And I’m gonna make sure I stay in shape and whatever is best available for me, I’ll take that.”

The Latest:
And according to Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling, the end may actually be near for Hunter in purple. Goessling joined The Paul Allen Show on KFAN this week, and when asked if he believed Hunter would find a new team on Monday, he replied, “I do.”

Goessling diligently covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune and doesn’t present improbable theories. When he says he expects Hunter to head elsewhere, it’s not out of left field.

3. All the “Normal” Free Agency Stuff

Cap Increase
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Stakes:
The Vikings have 25 free agents set to nibble at the NFL’s marketplace. Half or more will return. Still, this offseason is set to become quite the foundational hinge, especially based on the Cousins and Hunter outcomes.

Think of it this way: Minnesota has a “normal” free agency period afoot, but that’s stacked on top of the Cousins and Hunter sagas, so much so that it almost feels like a footnote.

The Latest:
The Vikings have about $37 million to spend on new players, by far their most in years.

These are the men scheduled to test free agency:

  • OT Hakeem Adeniji
  • RB Cam Akers
  • LB Anthony Barr
  • IOL Blake Brandel
  • DL Jonathan Bullard
  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • OLB Marcus Davenport
  • QB Joshua Dobbs
  • LB Troy Dye
  • OLB Danielle Hunter
  • LB Jordan Hicks
  • TE Johnny Mundt
  • K Greg Joseph
  • DT James Lynch
  • OT Oli Udoh
  • G Chris Reed
  • WR K.J. Osborn
  • WR Brandon Powell
  • OT David Quessenberry
  • IOL Dalton Risner
  • IOL Austin Schlottmann
  • DL T.J. Smith
  • DT Khyiris Tonga
  • LB Nick Vigil
  • OLB D.J. Wonnum

And don’t forget about Harrison Smith, a beloved Viking — he could retire, take a paycut (again), or test the open market.

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).

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