A Quick Summary of Minnesota’s Assets & Resources Going into the 2024 Offseason

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is the value GM, so he’s going to have a thorough understanding of Minnesota’s assets and resources for the 2024 offseason.

At every twist and turn, the Vikings should be maximizing the value of the resources that are available to them. Or, at the very least, that’s the goal for the investor-turned-GM. Put differently, the desire from Adofo-Mensah is to make every dollar, draft pick, and personnel decision more broadly do as much work as possible.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Spending top-tier money on top-tier talent is solid work; spending top-tier money on below-average talent is far from ideal. One scenario points toward fair value; the other points toward the opposite. Even better, at least from a GM’s perspective, is when a player wildly outperforms his deal. The surplus value can make the difference between a winning team and a losing team.

Look at it from another angle.

For the price of the 23rd selection in the draft, the Vikings were able to add an excellent WR2 in Jordan Addison. Yes, the young receiver demanded other forms of resources — most notably, a roster spot and then a hair below $2.5 million in cap space — but he was more than worthy of his draft slot. Picking him represented positive value for the Vikings, an outcome Kwesi will be looking to replicate early and often throughout the offseason.

Minnesota’s Assets & Resources in the 2024 Offseason

Begin with the money. Or, more specifically, the available cap space (those two things aren’t necessarily the same thing).

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The initial word coming into the offseason was that the Vikings were sitting on roughly $36.4 million in cap space. So, not league-leading cap room but certainly enough to put a dent into free agency.

However, it’s worth noting that the number is going to be adjusted in short order. Simply grafting in the low-end deals that help to fill out an offseason roster will chew up close to $10 million in cap room. Jason Fitzgerald, the top dog at Over the Cap, puts it this way: “#Vikings should have about $27.5 million in cap room next year. Jefferson extension on the horizon and big decision on Kirk Cousins. Kind of in no mans land with that roster.”

Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.

Keep in mind that the OTC projection, though very helpful, isn’t gospel. The Vikings (and the league more broadly) will have the precise numbers, but the information available to us offers a good guideline.

And, of course, there’s the reality that an NFL team has a pile of options when it comes to creating cap space. Cutting Harrison Smith and extending Justin Jefferson, for instance, has the potential to free up more than $26 million in cap space.

And then one thinks of the draft picks. Currently, Minnesota has nine selections. Not bad. The highest selection is (obviously) the 1st round pick, which is coming in at 11th. Unlike last year, the Vikings also own their 2nd. That one comes in at 42nd, meaning Minnesota is working with a pair of top-45 selections. Again, not bad.

Being able to digest huge cap hits often requires a team to find value players. In other words, the kind of savings that can come from the cheap, cost-controlled deals of players working on their rookie deals. Snagging several starters from a draft — which is to say nothing of the depth pieces — is an excellent way to balance the books.

The 2023 NFL Draft Order Is Set
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before a wild card game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Consider, for instance, what the LA Rams were able to do.

The Rams had around $80 million in dead money for the 2023 season, a stunning amount that should have been totally debilitating when it comes to putting together a competitive football team. A major part of their 10-7 season, though, was the effort from RB Kyren Williams (1,144 yards & 12 TDs) and WR Puka Nacua (1,486 yards & 6 TDs). The sophomore running back demanded a touch under $950,000 whereas the receiver made a bit beyond $811,000.

What do these picks represent in the mind of someone like Adofo-Mensah? Tremendous value. LA overcame the odds since they had players who were making a mere pittance (in the world of NFL finances, at least) but were producing like top-level performers at their position.

Minnesota’s goal will be to go and do likewise as they set their sights on contention in 2024.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

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.