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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 4 July 2023

It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company. George Washington

Minnesota Vikings v Miami Dolphins Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Happy 4th of July!!!!!

Kwesi is probably waiting to the last minute to get some deals done. Deadlines usually promote results no?

Since yore last open thread ...

Watch the best Vikings analysis video you’ll see before Training Camp


Other Vikings stuff ...

Where is the TJ Hockenson extension buzz?

Signing a pass-catching tight end to a long-term deal appears to be a bit of a cap hack these days, depending on the player. While receivers cracked the $30 million per year mark last year with Tyreek Hill’s contract, the highest paid tight end in the NFL only makes $17 per year. Somehow Kelce caught 110 passes for 1,338 yards and has an AAV of $14.3 million. If he was designated as a receiver, he’d get double that.
The Vikings need to be conscious of their spending around a presumed Jefferson mega deal. They will also have to pay Christian Darrisaw a long-term extension assuming his career trajectory continues the way it went last year and if both players are among the highest paid at their position there isn’t much room to add a free agent receiver if KJ Osborn leaves after this season. Plus the bang-for-buck isn’t very impressive in the free agent receiver market. Hunter Renfrow makes more per year than Kelce.
From the perspective of the team, there doesn’t appear much to debate. Hockenson is an elite pass-catching tight end who is only 26 years old and hasn’t had any major injury issues. That screams five-year extension.
But only if he wants to sign on the dotted line now. Prior to last season the Raiders signed 31-year-old tight end Darren Waller to a contract worth $17 million per year and the previous year Mark Andrews got $30 million fully guaranteed, most in the NFL for a second contract tight end.

NFC North secondaries ranked from worst to best in 2023

4. Minnesota Vikings
Projected starters: Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum
Minnesota’s pass defense ranked 31st last season, and the team made significant changes to the secondary. Patrick Peterson, Chandon Sullivan, Cameron Dantzler, and Duke Shelley played the most snaps of Vikings cornerbacks last season, and the team moved on from all four of them this offseason.
The Vikings signed Byron Murphy Jr. in free agency. He only played nine games last season, but in 2021, Murphy defended 12 passes and made four interceptions.
Six-time Pro Bowler Harrison Smith is still a key starter in the Vikings’ secondary, but he enters his age-34 season.
Minnesota will hope second-year safety Lewis Cine can make an impact when he returns from injury, as well as rookie second-round pick Mekhi Blackmon.
The Vikings added some talent but they also lost key starters, like Patrick Peterson. Serious questions remain for Minnesota’s secondary.

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