Ranking the Top-5 Moves of the Vikings Offseason
The 2023 offseason was a rather busy one for the Minnesota Vikings, and while they can still make a few more moves, the bulk of their offseason is now behind them. With that in mind, here is a quick look at the top-5 moves that they made over the past few months.
1. Hiring Brian Flores
We’re already seeing why this is the top move of Minnesota’s offseason. Flores is not only helping improve a defense that ranked among the bottom of the league in many categories under Ed Donatell, but he’s also helping the offense.
For more on how Flores is helping the offense, check out Alec Lewis’ recent piece on The Athletic, but essentially, his defenses have already been showing the offense intricate lineups in practice that they weren’t seeing last year. Reminder, the team has had all of two OTA practices together, so this is extremely promising for the season.
2. Retaining Harrison Smith
The Vikings parted ways with a number of veterans this offseason, particularly defensively, but they managed to keep Harrison Smith around for at least one more year by getting him to take a pay cut for 2023.
Minnesota has very few experienced players remaining in the secondary, so Smith will be relied upon to help mentor the younger guys, particularly second-year player Lewis Cine as he makes his comeback from the compound fracture suffered in Week 4 of the 2022 season.
3. Drafting Jordan Addison
The Vikings will reap the benefits of this move more in 2024 than 2023, but with the departure of Adam Thielen, and potential free agency looming for K.J. Osborn, Minnesota could quickly be losing their depth at wide receiver.
Rather than paying Osborn a lucrative contract that other teams would be willing to fork out for a consistent player like himself, Minnesota now has the opportunity to ride out the rookie contract of Jordan Addison and his precise route-running ability.
4. Signing Byron Murphy
The Vikings needed to find any kind of consistent starter to replace all the losses in their secondary, and Byron Murphy was about as strong an option as they were going to find in free agency. As long as the cornerback stays healthy this season, he offers great versatility and should be a boon to the defense.
5. Signing Josh Oliver
This may be a surprising pick, but Josh Oliver should help the Vikings offensively in a number of ways this season. Minnesota’s offense relied far too much on the passing game in 2022, and they need to find a way to become more balanced. Oliver is a terrific blocker, essentially offering a sixth offensive lineman to block in the running game.
We can’t sleep on his skills as a pass-catcher either, though. It hasn’t come up much during his NFL career, but O’Connell has shown a willingness to draw up plays for guys like Johnny Mundt in the past. Oliver caught 91 passes over 2017 and 2018 while at San Jose State, so he is certainly capable in that area.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. 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.