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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 18 January 2024

He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. - Thomas Carlyle

Syndication: Online Athens Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Well, the debates have begun with all kinds of craziness right?

Trade JJ, don’t resign Cousins, trade up for a QB, don’t trade up for a QB, trade down and still get that QB (yeah right), and the worst idea of all ...

Re-sign Cousins and draft a QB in the first round.

If Kwesi does this then he has gone completely mental. Way too many holes on the team to act like you can spare a first round pick.

I am not sure the top three teams will trade down and will not just stay put and get their QBOTF. I mean, I would stay put if I was their GM.

Maybe Chicago would talk themselves out of the 1st pick and go with Justin Fields. That is bold though. What if Caleb Williams is the real deal?

All I know is that with Kirk Cousins, the Vikings have been to the playoffs two times in 6 years and have only won one playoff game. They have only finished with a record over .500 three times in those six years.

I am not saying it is his fault so the defenders can calm themselves down (doubtful). I am saying that two regimes have proven that they cannot get it done with Cousins at QB. They cannot do enough around him to get the team to the top. I have serious doubts about the current regime doing enough around him. His play is fine if all goes well. If you need him to make a play then it is much harder to predict and ou probably are not going to see it.

So what do they do?

Gonna be a fun ride!


Since yore last open thread

Ivan Pace Jr., Mekhi Blackmon named to PFF All-Rookie Team

Report: Russell Wilson potentially “intrigued” by Vikings

No, the Vikings won’t be trading Justin Jefferson

Vikings Reacts: Predicting the quarterback of the future

Are the Vikings in trouble? - Let’s Dive into their Future


Other Vikings News

Why the Vikings trading Justin Jefferson would be Moss mistake 2.0

In a video clip posted by the NFL on CBS’ TikTok account, former NFL lineman Kyle Long argued for trading Jefferson saying: “You need to trade Justin Jefferson because you got the best receiver in football and you didn’t win a Super Bowl.
“Kirk Cousins had an awesome year but you’ve got other weapons there. You’ve got a great tight end there, you’ve got a coordinator, a great offensive minded head coach. Go get rid of Justin Jefferson and get a ton of other great players.”
After receiving criticism from Vikings fans for the take, Long took to Twitter to stand by his assertion that the Vikings should look at trading Jefferson.
“I do think the Vikings are in trouble if they don’t make major moves to acquire a long term option at quarterback being as Detroit and Green Bay are widening the gap in division. I think Jordan Addison is good enough to build around and when healthy TJ Hockenson is a game wrecker. I stand by my take which I’ve stood by since like week 3 tbh. If the goal is win a Super Bowl then u need to make moves to get a guy who can get u there and then win it for you. Kirk even when red hot and record breaking [numbers] I don’t think has the juice to beat the elites. Add to the fact that he’s now gotta rehab and come back prove it again- that’s a lot. Sell pieces to get into the sweepstakes for the top pick. If that’s Justin Jefferson heading out so be it. You won’t win a SB with this archetype of a roster.”

Predicting the Biggest NFL Trades That Could Shape the 2024 Offseason

Cardinals receive: WR Justin Jefferson
Vikings receive: 2024 first-round pick (No. 4 overall), 2025 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick (No. 71 overall)

Minnesota Vikings 2024 free agents: Who stays and who goes?


Matthew Coller: The NFC North is a problem for Vikings’ future

Combine Love’s playoff win with his 32-touchdown debut season as a starter (second in the NFL), his 34 big-time throws (per PFF, fifth in the league) and 4,158 yards and you have a full blown franchise quarterback.
Whatever happens next in Detroit during these playoffs, they proved this year to be contenders and they aren’t going anywhere. Goff is 29 years old and the Lions have the sixth most projected cap space for 2024 (per OverTheCap.com). They also own an extra top-100 draft pick from the Vikings this year.
In Chicago, Bears have the eighth most cap space heading into the offseason. Oh and the Bears hold the No. 1 and No. 9 overall picks in the draft.
Now the Vikings sit with the 15th most cap space, the No. 11 overall draft pick but only one other draft pick in the top 100 (42nd) and a decision to make on Kirk Cousins.
The team has repeatedly expressed its desire to bring back Cousins and the veteran quarterback has said that he would like to return in purple. Both sides had their caveats when speaking with the media at the end of the year. Cousins said the decision will be “about structure” and noted that “the league needs quarterbacks.” Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah talked about projecting his play. The GM said: “How do you believe the performance will go? There’s different examples through time.”
Both sides may be playing a negotiating game of chicken but if they stay together they may end up going over the cliff together. Cousins is entering the final stanza of his career and noted that winning was at the top of his list for a destination. The Vikings have a high quality offensive setup but their WR3, WR4 and LG spots are open and on the defensive side Harrison Phillips is the only starting defensive lineman from 2023 under contract for next season. Linebacker Jordan Hicks is a free agent, Harrison Smith may retire and Byron Murphy Jr. is the only cornerback locked in.
That’s a lot to rebuild in an offseason.
The Vikings would probably love to split the difference and draft a quarterback while bringing back Cousins. The issue with that approach is that it’s one less draft pick to help solidify the foundation around the veteran quarterback. Plus, Cousins was brought to Minnesota to take them over the top from their NFC Championship appearance in 2017. If their odds aren’t high of reaching that goal, why wait for the future QB?

PFF Lists Vikings’ Biggest Reason for Optimism Heading Into 2024

PFF recently answered that question for every non-playoff team, and went with this for Minnesota: “A competitive roster that needs its quarterback back.”
The Vikings showed a lot of competitive spirit in 2023. After starting 1-4, they responded with three straight wins before losing Kirk Cousins to a season-ending injury. It would have been fair to write off Minnesota, but the team never quit, finishing with a 7-10 record despite a revolving door at quarterback.
The defense looked reinvigorated under Brian Flores, and the offense is full of playmakers. If the Vikings re-sign Cousins in the offseason, they’ll likely walk into 2024 with justified optimism.
Not everyone would agree with that approach, though. That’s essentially what the Vikings have done for the entire Cousins era, and all they have to show for it is one single playoff victory. When looking at the state of the NFC North, there’s an argument to be made for letting Cousins walk in free agency and trading up for a quarterback in the draft.

How much will it cost Vikings trade for 3rd, 4th or 5th pick in NFL Draft?

So to go from 11 to 5 likely requires Minnesota’s first-, second- and fourth- or fifth-round picks. Maybe the mid-round pick(s) are provided in 2025.
Last year, Arizona traded its first- and fourth-round picks (third and 105th overall) to Houston for the 12th and 33rd picks, plus 2024 first- and third-round picks.

NFL News

Weighing fifth-year options for 2021 NFL Draft’s first-round selections: Who merits further commitment?

How many busts and what players might be good to trade for?


RB Index: What’s next for Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley? Team fits for top free agent running backs

Tony Pollard
Age: 26
Minnesota Vikings
Pollard ‘s stock likely decreased in 2023. Yes, he eclipsed 1,000 yards in his first campaign as Dallas ’ RB1, but his yards-per-carry average plummeted from 5.2 in 2022 to 4.0 this season. I don’t see Dallas bringing him back for another go-around, but I could envision Minnesota scooping up the dual-threat back. The Vikings’ run game was atrocious this season, ranking 29th in the NFL at just 91.4 yards per game. They cannot go into 2024 with Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler spearheading the rushing attack. (Well, I suppose they could , but they shouldn’t.) Adding a guy like Pollard — who can add some juice to both the run and pass games — would be ideal for Kevin O’Connell’s attack.

Wow! How many heads would explode if the first signing was a RB. Kind of like Josh Oliver no?


Draft Stuff

Vikings 2024 Mock Draft Tracker: Version 1.0

NFL Draft 2024: Top 20 college football players who spurned the pros to return for another season

Postseason NFL Mock Draft 2024: First-Round Picks and Predictions for All 32 Teams

Minnesota Vikings
Team Needs: Edge, CB, QB
Edge Dallas Turner, Alabama
A quarterback of the future should be on Minnesota’s radar, but with four already off the board, the Vikings should avoid the temptation to reach for the next-best one. Instead, they land an explosive pass rusher with athleticism and versatility in Turner, who put up huge numbers this season


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