The Vikings Must Address These Positions in the 2024 Offseason

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

2024 is undoubtedly a huge offseason for the Minnesota Vikings.

The team has a large chunk of players set to hit free agency, and regardless, Minnesota needs to improve their depth at a multitude of positions if they want to get back into contention in the NFC next season. Here is a look at six positions that the Vikings must address this offseason.

Quarterback

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, one of the main topics of this offseason has revolved around Kirk Cousins’ future with the team. For the first time since joining the Vikings in 2018, he could hit unrestricted free agency after suffering a torn Achilles in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers.

It seems like Cousins will be healthy enough to start Week 1 for whichever team he plays on, but will that team be the Vikings? There seems to be interest from the quarterback in teaming up with Bill Belichick, and as we saw during the second half of the 2023 season, Minnesota doesn’t really have a succession plan in place for Cousins.

Regardless of if the Vikings are able to bring Cousins back, they should use this offseason to try and find their QB of the future. Cousins is entering his age-36 season, and at some point, Minnesota will need to move on to a younger option.

Running Back

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah (1) during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, 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 or perhaps utilize DeWayne McBride to ensure their rushing numbers improve next season.

Wide Receiver

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates his touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

It may seem strange to have wide receiver on this list considering Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson are already one of the better one-two punches in the league. However, both K.J. Osborn and Brandon Powell are set to hit free agency this offseason.

The Vikings currently have Addison, Jefferson, and Jalen Nailor under contract for 2024, but behind them, the picture gets murky. They need to add bodies to this room to take pressure off their stars, and then there is the added caveat of Jefferson’s contract extension that must get done before the 2024 season begins.

Cornerback

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates his interception against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

It became clear when both Mekhi Blackmon and Byron Murphy went down with injuries in 2023 that the Vikings didn’t have the firepower at cornerback to keep up with opposing offenses. Additionally, the Vikings defense came away with just 11 interceptions last year, which tied for 19th in the NFL.

Minnesota would be smart to consider adding another playmaker at the cornerback spot who is capable of not only hanging with top wide receivers on opposing teams but also create momentum-swinging turnovers.

Linebacker

Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) reacts in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ivan Pace was a revelation at linebacker last season. The undrafted rookie immediately stepped into a large role in the defense and started 11 games throughout the year. However, Minnesota’s main starter, Jordan Hicks, is set to hit free agency after his own stellar year.

Especially if Hicks were to leave in free agency, the linebacker position becomes a rather massive need for Minnesota. Brian Asamoah has not proven capable of taking extensive snaps with the defense yet, and they need another playmaker next to Pace.

Defensive Line

Vikings Must
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 could be losing Jonathan Bullard on their defensive line this offseason as the veteran heads to free agency.

If that happens, Minnesota absolutely needs to add more bodies to that room in the offseason. Even if they retain Bullard, the Vikings would be smart to add more of a pass-rushing presence to their defensive line.

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.

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