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Vikings Move On From Multiple Veterans

What does it mean for the team going forward?

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Kwesi sure seems to be trimming the fat around this current Minnesota Vikings roster. Within the last few months, the Vikings have moved on from several key veterans. With the latest news on Dalvin Cook being cut today, the list of veteran players that will not be playing in purple keeps growing.

Among the first of those veterans to be let go was Eric Kendricks. EK was a member of the Vikings since being drafted here with the 45th pick in the 2015 draft. After spending his entire career in Minnesota, Eric Kendricks will be playing for the Los Angeles Chargers this upcoming season.

Kendricks was a very key player in this defense as the middle linebacker for the past 7 years. In his tenure with the Vikings, EK had 919 tackles, 15 sacks, with 9 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns. Moving forward without him, the team will have to rely on guys like Jordan Hicks, Brian Asamoah, and rookie undrafted free agent Ivan Pace to pick up the slack.

Next up, Adam Thielen. As we all know, the Minnesota man is headed to play for the Carolina Panthers in this upcoming 2023 season, where Adam said “This team has a chance at a title” as one of the key reasons for joining Carolina. Adam has been another big part of this Vikings team for almost a decade. Since 2014, the undrafted Minnesota State-Mankato product had 534 catches for 6,682 yards, with 55 touchdowns. With the Vikings recently drafting Jordan Addison from USC this year, it will be up to him, K.J. Osborn, Jalen Nailor and company to help provide that same impact Adam left here.

Moving on to Patrick Peterson. Pat only spent two seasons with the Vikings, but graded out to be one of the best free agent pickups at the time. Pat played well in Minnesota but you could tell throughout the year that he had regressed just a bit from his days in Arizona. Peterson is getting up there in age but was a great mentor for our young corners who will all be fighting for his spot on the roster this year. The guys looking to take over for Pat Pete are Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, and Mekhi Blackmon. Assuming Byron Murphy gets the number one role, look for the other three youngsters to battle for Pat Pete’s spot this fall.

Dalvin Cook is also reportedly gone, as the Vikings look to release him on June 9th, according to multiple reports. This one hurts. Losing a guy of Dalvin’s caliber for nothing, literally not even a seventh-round pick, stings a little. Dalvin did undergo surgery this off-season that may have scared some teams away from putting together a trade package for the running back. But once Dalvin was medically cleared after a successful surgery, you’d think some team would be willing to give up a few late-round picks for a top 6 back in the league. Dalvin has 4 straight seasons with the Vikings in which he rushed for 1,000 yards or more. He was also and is still, a top 5 most explosive player in the NFL. Looking into the future, the likes of Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, and rookie seventh-rounder DeWayne McBride will have some big shoes to fill this year in the duties of replacing one of the best backs this team has ever had.

Soon to be Danielle Hunter? Yes, it’s true. The Vikings are reportedly “fielding calls” for our star pass rusher. Danielle has had a plethora of injuries in his days with the Vikings, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping teams from asking about his availability. Since being one of the biggest steals of the draft for the club in 2015, Hunter has been, when healthy, a force to be reckoned with. In his 7 years with Minnesota, Hunter has had 379 tackles and 71 sacks for the Vikings. The thing about Hunter being potentially traded is that the Vikings currently do not have the depth behind Hunter to fill those shoes, especially with Za’Darius Smith now in Cleveland. With Hunter presumably gone this off-season, the team will have to rely on guys like Patrick Jones, D.J. Wonnum, and the two new additions via free agency, Dean Lowry and Marcus Davenport.

With all of this unloading of veterans the Vikings are currently doing, does the team have the depth behind these vets to be competitive? Or is the team going to have to keep making moves to sure up some of these voids these key veterans are leaving behind? Kwesi is definitely doing some cooking, the question is, is that cooking going to be good enough to eat?