20 Notable Vikings That Are Set to Hit Unrestricted Free Agency

Should the Vikings Bring Back Patrick Peterson in 2023?
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) celebrates his interception during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Minnesota Vikings playoff loss to the New York Giants, everyone is officially in offseason mode in regard to the Vikings. This could be a very busy offseason as many Vikings are set to hit free agency and have uncertainty regarding their future with the team. Here are 20 notable Vikings that are set to hit unrestricted free agency during 2023.

CB Kris Boyd

Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Kris Boyd (29) celebrates during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Boyd hasn’t necessarily been a huge part of the Vikings defense, especially in 2022, but he did emerge as a key contributor on the special teams. He appeared in all 17 games for the Vikings this season, recording 13 tackles and a forced fumble on a punt return against the New Orleans Saints on a punt return. He should be a priority for the Vikings this offseason.

C Garrett Bradbury

Defense in
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Bradbury probably carries the most intrigue regarding his future among the players on his list. After struggling throughout the first three years of his career, the Vikings center improved by leaps and bounds in his fourth NFL season. However, his back injury shortened his regular season, and with the Vikings needing to pay Justin Jefferson as well as figure things out on the defensive side of the ball, he may be playing in a different uniform during 2023 if he becomes too expensive.

DL Jonathan Bullard

Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings saw multiple injuries on their defensive front throughout the 2022 season, and Jonathan Bullard was no exception. He missed five games on IR, but when he was available, there were some bright moments. Bullard finished the 2022 season with 12 games played, including 7 starts.

WR Dan Chisena

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Dan Chisena (85) makes a reception against Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Chris Jones (41) during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Chisena was a special teams guru during his first two seasons with the Vikings, appearing in 25 games between 2020 and 2021. However, in 2022, he saw his role take a major step back. He appeared in just two games during the season, playing 24 special teams snaps.

LB Ryan Connelly

Oct 11, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer shakes hands with inside linebacker Ryan Connelly (57) during pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Much like Dan Chisena, Ryan Connelly was a key contributor to the Vikings special teams groups in both 2020 and 2021. After spending his rookie season of 2019 with the New York Giants, he came to Minnesota and played in 26 games during the following two seasons. However, his impact was also cut to a minimum in 2022. Connelly played in only Week 18 against the Bears, appearing in 29 snaps, including 16 on defense.

LS Andrew DePaola

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; A general view of the line of scrimmage as Minnesota Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola (42) snaps the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The long snapper position is often unglorified in terms of its impact. However, in his time with the Vikings, Andrew DePaola has become one of the best at what he does in the entire NFL. He was named a first-team All-Pro at the position in 2022, joining Justin Jefferson as the two Vikings listed on as first-teamers.

WR Olabisi Johnson

Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Back-to-back seasons have been derailed by injury for Olabisi Johnson as the wide receiver suffered torn ACLs in both 2021 and 2022. He showed tons of promise in his rookie season of 2019, playing all 16 games and catching 31 passes for 294 yards and 3 TDs. However, the emergence of Justin Jefferson in 2020 and now two knee injuries have shelved him for much of the past three seasons. Hopefully, he can avoid the injury bug in 2023.

K Greg Joseph

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) celebrates his game winning field goal against the Indianapolis Colts after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

It was quite the roller coaster ride for Vikings kicker Greg Joseph during the 2022 season. During his second season in Minnesota, he went through long spells of missing kicks, but he also came up clutch for Minnesota on a number of occasions. In the end, the most memorable moment of his season is probably the 61-yarder he hit against the New York Giants on Christmas Eve to seal the Vikings fate as NFC North champs.

RB Alexander Mattison

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Alexander Mattison has been expected to leave in free agency for some time now. The Vikings RB2 didn’t sign an extension last season and has said that he wants to be a starter in 2023. If he gets his wish, it will be interesting to see how the 24-year-old performs as a lead back in the NFL.

QB Nick Mullens

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) throws the ball during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in Kirk Cousins tenure with the Vikings, Minnesota had a truly capable backup quarterback behind him. Nick Mullens was acquired during the preseason in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders, and when he got on the field in the regular season, he played quite well. In four appearances, Mullens completed 84% of his passes (21-of-25) for 224 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. With Cousins set to enter his age-35 season, the Vikings would be wise to retain their young backup.

CB Parry Nickerson

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Parry Nickerson (39) warms up on the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs before the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Parry Nickerson has been a depth piece for the Vikings the past two years, holding a spot on the practice squad. While he didn’t appear in a game for Minnesota this season, the cornerback played four times in 2021 for Minnesota, recording 17 defensive snaps as well as 35 on the special teams.

CB Patrick Peterson

Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In what was an extremely impressive comeback campaign for a 32-year-old Patrick Peterson, he now enters free agency with the potential to earn one last lucrative deal in free agency. In 2022, he played all 17 games and recorded his most interceptions (5) and pass defenses (15) in a season since 2012.

IOL Austin Schlottmann

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings guard Austin Schlottmann (65) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

While beginning the season as a backup on the depth chart, Austin Schlottmann ended up playing a crucial role for the Vikings down the stretch of the regular season. After Garrett Bradbury suffered his back injury, Schlottmann stepped up as the starting center for Minnesota. However, he broke his leg in Week 17 and now heads into the offseason in rehab.

CB Duke Shelley

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Duke Shelley (20) signals an incompletion after breaking up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson (9) on Sunday, January 1, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apj Packers Vs Vikings 010123 267 Ttm

Quickly becoming a fan favorite among Vikings defenders, Duke Shelley was the underdog story of the year for Minnesota. After Minnesota signed him to the practice squad after the Bears dumped him, Shelley rose through the ranks of the Vikings secondary and eventually closed the season as Minnesota’s starter opposite Patrick Peterson. The Vikings should do whatever they need to in order to get their bulldog CB back in 2023.

CB Chandon Sullivan

Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chandon Sullivan (39) during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings signed Chandon Sullivan in order to fill their nickel CB spot this season after he spent the previous three seasons with the Packers. Sullivan played all 17 games for Minnesota, recording 60 tackles. Minnesota may bring him back this offseason, but they just as well could look to add some youth at the position to challenge him for his spot.

TE Irv Smith

Questions Answered: Irv's Return, Duke Shelley and Khyiris Tonga, Mock Draft Season
Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

The fate of tight end Irv Smith Jr. seems to have been set ever since the Vikings made their trade to acquire T.J. Hockenson. Smith looked like a promising player that could have emerged into a star for Minnesota, but injuries have derailed the past two seasons. Expect to see him in a different uniform in 2023.

DL T.J. Smith

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman T.J. Smith (50) performs a drill during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Smith hasn’t seen the field often for Minnesota, but he has been a piece of the Vikings practice squad for each of the past two seasons. In those two years, he’s played two games, and this season, he recorded four tackles and a TFL against the Packers in Week 17.

DE Dalvin Tomlinson

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Dalvin Tomlinson went through his first injury troubles of his career, missing four games during the 2022 season. Outside of that, Tomlinson has been a reliable piece of the defensive front during his two years on the Vikings defensive front. Minnesota will likely make an attempt to retain him as a complement to their EDGE rushers.

NT Khyiris Tonga

Questions Answered: Next Man Up on DL, George Paton Cans HC, Ty Chandler
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA;Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings once again found themselves benefitting from a Chicago Bears cut by signing Khyiris Tonga. The big man in the middle of the defensive line made his Vikings debut in Week 8 and played every game after that. He recorded 28 tackles, including 2 TFLs and 0.5 sacks.

OT Oli Udoh

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Oli Udoh. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

After a rough season as the starting right guard for the Vikings in 2021, Oli Udoh went back to his natural position of tackle in 2022. He didn’t play much of a role on the offense early in the season, but down the stretch, he became the right tackle after both Brian O’Neill and Blake Brandel got hurt.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.