5 Predictions for the Vikings Offseason: A Pair of QBs and a FA Addition at a Position of Need

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell reacts during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl is set to take place this weekend, and after that, the 2024 NFL offseason with be in full swing.

With offseason events like free agency and the draft rapidly approaching, the Vikings need to make a few moves in order to get back into playoff contention for the 2024 season. Here are five predictions regarding moves the Vikings will make this spring.

Kirk Cousins Re-Signs

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

Justin Jefferson has said that he wants Kirk Cousins back in 2024. Vikings brass has continuously supported the idea of Cousins back (for the right price). Cousins seems to want to come back (at his price).

At the end of the day, the Minnesota Vikings are an incomplete roster, but they are not as far away from contention as some may make them out to be. They had horrendous injury luck this past season (including Cousins), and if they can tweak a few things, they certainly can get back into the mix in the NFC North.

On top of that, the Vikings could actually save a good chunk of cap space in 2024 if they decide to bring back the veteran. Cousins will be back in purple next season.

RB Addition in Free Agency

Syndication: The Tennessean
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs through the Jacksonville Jaguars defense for a touchdown in the second quarter of their game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.

The Vikings were not nearly good enough in the running game during 2023. They finished the year 28th in total carries, 29th in rushing yards, 23rd in yards per carry, and worst of all, tied for last in rushing touchdowns. 

Ty Chandler took positive steps towards the end of the season, but Minnesota would be smart to rethink how they approached the running game last season. They don’t necessarily need to make a blockbuster move at the position (though Derrick Henry would be an interesting addition to the group), but it would be smart to either add a body to the room. With a number of talented running backs hitting the open market this spring, the Vikings take a stab at one in free agency.

QB Draft Pick

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, the Minnesota Vikings may not feel a need to trade up in the draft in order to select their QB of the future if they re-sign Cousins, but that shouldn’t stop them from selecting a quarterback altogether. Nick Mullens could be a cut candidate this offseason, and Josh Dobbs is also set to hit free agency.

As a result, the Vikings may be in need of another quarterback regardless of Cousins’ status with the team. They could stick at No. 11 and pick a prospect there, but No. 42 would also be an intriguing spot to land someone like a Michael Penix or Bo Nix. The Vikings will take a swing on another quarterback this spring.

Harrison Smith Retires or Gets Cut

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) warms up before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Harrison Smith was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings, and he quickly blossomed into one of the best safeties that the league has ever seen.

He earned the nickname “Hitman” for being a vicious tackler and has recorded 1013 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, 85 passes defended, 34 interceptions, and 12 forced fumbles. That interception total ranks second-highest among all active players behind only Smith’s former Vikings teammate, Patrick Peterson (36).

The defender seems to be heading towards his final days with the Vikings, though. Smith is set to carry a whopping $19.2 million cap hit for his age-35 season, and the Vikings would be able to save right around $11.384 million of that 2024 cap hit if they were to cut him in the spring. Unfortunately, with the depth at safety, it makes the most sense for the two sides to go their separate ways.

Vikings Acquire Another Top 100 Pick

Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing we know about Kwesi Adofo-Mensah through his first two seasons as the GM of the Vikings, it’s that the man loves his trades. In about 25 months, Adofo-Mensah has swung 19 different trades over the course of his tenure.

Nine of those trades have come during the NFL Draft, and currently, the Vikings don’t hold a selection in the third round. Seeing as the Vikings have a multitude of needs on their roster right now, Adofo-Mensah will find a way to get Minnesota a third top 100 pick to try and find another immediate contributor.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

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.