The Vikings Made 4 Splashes on Monday

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The Minnesota Vikings began “legal tampering” in the NFL’s free agency period on Monday, and the club was not quiet.

Vikings News: The 4 Big Items from Free Agency Day No. 1

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah claimed in January that his goal was to drop the “rebuild” noun from his competitive rebuild mantra. Based on the evidence from Free Agency Day No. 1, he wasn’t kidding.

These were the Vikings’ four splashes from Monday, ranked in ascending order of importance.

4. ILB Blake Cashman in the House

Vikings News
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NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, “Homecoming: The Vikings are signing Minnesota native and LB Blake Cashman to a three-year deal worth up to $25.5 million, his agent Blake Baratz of TeamIFA tells me and Ian Rapoport. Big deal for Blake Cashman, who grew up in Eden Prairie, played for the Gophers and now is a Viking.”

Cashman was chosen by the Jets in the 5th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft and began a consistent climb up the Jets’ and Texans’ rosters since, culminating in the sweet contract from the Vikings on Monday. He didn’t play much for New York, or at least not all the time on defense, but when he hooked up with the Texans, Cashman broke out. Banking 106 total tackles on 71% of Texans’ defensive snaps, he cemented his role as an NFL starter in Year No. 5 as a pro.

He’ll start next to Ivan Pace in September.

3. Andrew Van Ginkel, a Pass Rusher, Too

Vikings Free Agent Signings
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ESPN Adam Schefter tweeted the Vikings’ second free-agent domino, “Former Dolphins LB Andrew Van Ginkel agreed to terms on a 2-year deal with the Vikings for $20 million, including $14 million guaranteed. The deal was confirmed by agents Drew Rosenhaus and Ryan Matha.”

Van Ginkel encountered considerable playing time in 2023 when nearly every EDGE rusher for the Dolphins was lost to injury. He had 6 sacks and 20 pressures, according to Stathead, along with a heatseeking 91.1 Pro Football Focus grade.

The Iowan was a Flores draft pick for the Dolphins in 2019. Those ties between players and coaches always seem to resurface. In fact, Minnesota could explore more former Dolphins from free agency, like cornerback Xavien Howard, for example.

He and the next guy should reduce Vikings fans’ anxiety about the outside linebacker spot.

2. EDGE Jonathan Greenard Signs on Kwesi’s Dotted Line

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Signaling the end of Danielle Hunter’s tenure with the Vikings, Greenard enters the fold in Minneapolis on Monday. Tom Pelissero sent out the word: “A splash in Minnesota: The #Vikings are signing edge rusher Jonathan Greenard, sources tell me and @RapSheet.”

He played 62% of all Texans’ defensive snaps in 2023, notching 12.5 sacks and 22 QB hits. He’s three years younger than Hunter and, at $19 million per season, offers incredible value. Here’s Greenard’s Pro Football Focus resume to date:

  • 2023: 78.2
  • 2022: 63.4
  • 2021: 82.9
  • 2020: 51.9

A 3rd-Rounder from the 2020 NFL Draft, Greenard’s second contract arrives courtesy of the Vikings. The deal was four years and $76 million, a wonderful acquisition for a productive pass rusher with the league’s new salary cap threshold.

The man is also a wonderful run-stopper, which is not necessarily common among EDGE defenders. The EDGEs of the Vikings’ defensive line will be in good hands with Van Ginkel and Greenard — and Flores.

1. Kirk Walks

Have the Vikings Paid Kirk
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The Cousins Era in the Twin Cities ended in Minnesota the way it began — all about the money.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted, “The Falcons are signing Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract that includes a $50M signing bonus, per sources. Another monster payday for Cousins, who gets $100 guaranteed — $90M in 2024 and ’25, plus another $10M in 2026 — and a fresh start in Atlanta at age 35.”

Cousins will presumably finish his career in his wife’s hometown and hope to cook with Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Bijan Robinson, and Co. He lasted six years with the Vikings and helped the team win one playoff game.

Now, everything Vikings-related — absolutely everything — boils down to Adofo-Mensah getting the rookie quarterback selection right. The granddaddy of them all for competitive rebuild climaxes.


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.

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