The Updated List of the Vikings’ Pending Free Agents
Much has been made of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s competitive rebuild, an approach that has certainly factored into who is included among the Vikings’ pending free agents.
Climbing to 13 wins in 2022 was an unexpected accomplishment that quickly fell flat after the Vikings fell flat against the New York Giants — a very poor football team — in the opening round of the playoffs. The roster got stripped down in the aftermath as various notable veterans were allowed to sign elsewhere or actively cut by the team.
Patrick Peterson wasn’t brought back and neither was Dalvin Tomlinson. Za’Darius Smith got traded away. Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, and Eric Kendricks were cut. Gone were lesser-known players such as Kris Boyd, Irv Smith, Chandon Sullivan, and Cameron Dantzler.
The GM, it would seem, isn’t afraid of making bold decisions.
A major part of that bold decision making has been a willingness to play hardball in contract negotiations, a tactic that has led to some players operating on the final year of their deal (which is to say nothing of the failed Justin Jefferson extension).
Names like Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter really stand out since they play such prominent positions at such a high level. And, to be sure, their hefty contracts also demand plenty of attention, especially since both are leaving behind significant dead money charges if there isn’t a new deal.
One thinks of Marcus Davenport as a fascinating decision for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings’ front office. When healthy, Davenport is capable of playing like an EDGE1, a pass rusher who presents significant challenges for the opposition’s protection (re-watch the Week 4 Panthers game as a good example of what I’m talking about).
Partnering him with Hunter makes a lot of sense, at least upon first glance. The main concerns simply rest in their age, injury history, and cost to keep them in Minnesota.
The complete list of Vikings players who are operating on the final year of their contract is included below. As you’ll see, there’s a mixture of both high-end guys and depth players. Some are getting to the end of their rookie deals, others are playing within the final games of an agreement handed out by either Rick Spielman or Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (read more about that tug-of-war on PurplePTSD).
Practice squad players aren’t included, but everyone currently on the active roster or the IR have been considered. If an error is spotted — my frail humanity remains — be sure to let me know on Twitter.
Oh, and a final thought or two. The Vikings are sitting on a projected $52 million in cap space for 2024 (roughly), meaning there’s room in the budget to keep internal talent while also courting external talent. And, of course, the number is going to change dramatically once Adofo-Mensah handles the contracts of well-paid veterans such as Harrison Smith, Harrison Phillips, and so on.
With all of that being said, take a peak at the Vikings’ pending free agents. The list includes 26 players.
The Vikings’ Pending Free Agents
- Kirk Cousins ($28.5M Dead Money in 2024)
- Josh Dobbs
- Cam Akers
- K.J. Osborn
- Brandon Powell
- Trishton Jackson
- N’Keal Harry
- Johnny Mundt
- Nick Muse
- David Quessenberry
- Oli Udoh
- Hakeem Adeniji
- Chris Reed
- Blake Brandel
- Dalton Risner
- Austin Schlottmann
- Jonathan Bullard
- Khyiris Tonga
- James Lynch
- Danielle Hunter ($14.9M Dead Money in 2024)
- Marcus Davenport ($6.8M Dead Money in 2024)
- D.J. Wonnum
- Jordan Hicks
- Troy Dye
- Theo Jackson
- Greg Joseph
Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap helped with this piece.
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K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.