An Offseason of Uncertainty Begins for Prominent Vikings Free Agents

The Minnesota Vikings saw their 2023 season come to an end following their 30-20 loss to the Detroit Lions.

With the loss, an offseason of uncertainty begins for a number of players on the current roster. The Vikings have a whopping 26 players set to hit free agency this spring and could field a very different team in 2024 if a few of those free agents opt to head elsewhere.

QB Kirk Cousins

Offseason of Uncertainty
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) signals his team against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As has been discussed at length over the past 12 months or so, Kirk Cousins came into the 2023 season on the final year of his contract with the Vikings. It was the first time since joining the team that there was any uncertainty regarding his future.

Then, Cousins tore his Achilles in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers right as Minnesota was beginning to hit their stride offensively and will enter free agency in March with that as the final memory of his season.

Of course, there is a chance that the Vikings bring Cousins back for at least one more year, considering he has $28.5 million in dead money for next season and Justin Jefferson has made it clear that he wants the QB back, but could another team outbid Minnesota with how poor some of the QB play has been this year?

OLB Danielle Hunter

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Danielle Hunter has single-handedly carried the Vikings’ pass-rush at times this season. He was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl team this year and racked up career-highs in tackles for loss (22) and sacks (16.5).

Now, the superstar hits unrestricted free agency in March and could get a truly massive payday from a number of teams looking to bolster their groups of edge rushers. Of course, the Vikings have nearly $15 million in dead money on the books for Hunter, so they should find any way they can to retain him.

OLB D.J. Wonnum

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum (98) celebrates his sack against the New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

D.J. Wonnum’s season came to an end in Week 16 against the Lions after suffering a partially torn quad and being placed on IR.

The pass-rusher entered the final year of his rookie contract this year and will hit free agency in the spring. After a slow start to the year, Wonnum had put together 4.0 sacks in the past five games leading into Week 16, and he could have done enough to earn himself a nice payday on the open market.

WR K.J. Osborn

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) carries the ball for an incomplete touchdown during the first half of the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

K.J. Osborn has been as consistent a WR3 as the Vikings could have hoped for over the past few seasons. Since 2021, Osborn has totaled 158 receptions, 1845 yards, and 15 TDs in the Vikings offense, and now, he is at the end of his rookie contract.

When Osborn enters free agency, he will inevitably be a target for multiple teams, and given the money being thrown in the direction of wide receivers over the past few years, his price tag might be too much for Minnesota to be able to retain him.

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.

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