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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 4 January 2024

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Mahatma Gandhi

Florida v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

As we gear up for the final game and whether or not the Vikings can pull off a win, we obviously are looking towards next season too. I expect the team to play hard and try to get the win because that is simply what players do. I would not be surprised if they did get the win. It wont help the draft positioning though. If they win it would cost more to trade UP and you get less to trade DOWN.

I cannot see a GM or head coach telling the players to not try their hardest. It is a disaster waiting to happen injury wise. If the Vikings decided to start Jaren Hall though then it would help that draft positioning. Would that be tanking? Maybe? But they could explain it away as they want to see more out of their 5th round pick. The Raiders have been starting Aiden O’Connell several games this year. Are they tanking?

The HUGE elephant in the offseason strategy room is what to do at Quarterback and do they want to try and bring back Kirk Cousins. One note about his deal which I do not believe I knew or ws aware of is that if the team does not extend Cousins before March 13th, his entire 28.5M dead money cap hit will be on the books. They could still extend him after that date but that would defeat the purpose no?

Kirk Cousins’ 2024 through 2027 contract years automatically void on the last day of the 2023 league year (March 13). Even with an earlier voiding date, Cousins wouldn’t be able to make visits before free agency started. Derek Carr could because the Raiders released him.

Interesting takes here from two former Vikings offensive linemen

Who should Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback be in 2024?

At the 10:50 point Alex Boone, gives his viewpoint.

He said getting to the playoffs means absolutely nothing to the players. They want to get to the TOP. If they are not getting their and are continually just asking the playoffs they get pissed off. He asks why are we not getting over the hump? He asks what is going to change after years of being close?

He asks that if they bring back Cousins and do not get to the TOP, it would be another year of NOT drafting AND developing a potential QBOTF. Hard to argue with him.

Sirles is OK with Kirk coming back at the right price. I have to believe the price went up and it has to be close to 40M per year and it wont be for only one year guaranteed.

I simply cannot get onboard with bringing back Cousins AND drafting a QB early. They have too many holes on the defensive side of the ball. Flores cannot make chicked salad out of chicken sheet.

Since yore last open thread

2023 NFL Week 18: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Vikings announce Nick Mullens to start against Lions

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: Initial injury reports for both teams

Vikings Reacts Week 18: Short survey to end the season

Other Vikings News

Two Vikings make the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl, six are alternates

Danielle Hunter and Andrew DePaolo are Pro Bowl starters.
FB C.J. Ham (1st Alternate)
TE T.J. Hockenson (1st Alternate)
S Josh Metellus (2nd Alternate)
C Garrett Bradbury (3rd Alternate)
T Christian Darrisaw (4th Alternate)
S Harrison Smith (4th Alternate)

5 starting quarterback options for the Vikings in 2024

Kirk Cousins
Russell Wilson
Jaren Hall
Kyler Murray
Jayden Daniels

Why re-signing Kirk Cousins would put extra heat on Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The complicated web the organization finds itself in calls to mind something Adofo-Mensah shared at the trade deadline. Cousins had just suffered a season-ending injury, creating a sense of doom. Adofo-Mensah was asked how Cousins’ strong performances leading up to his Achilles tendon injury would impact deliberations on whether to try and re-sign him this offseason.
“I think my want for Kirk to come back isn’t just a me thing,” he said that day. “It’s a negotiation.”

Film Session; Feat. Harrison Smith

As a rookie, Harrison Smith would often stay late at the Vikings Winter Park practice facility to watch film.
He’d pull up a chair to a small table in the defensive backs room, flip on the computer screen and use the mouse to click through frame by frame, keying in on anything he could to grow his game.
Eleven years later, the location and method have changed, but the attention to detail hasn’t.
“If I had a bad practice, I always want to go watch the film,” he said. “I just want to see, ‘Why did I do that?’ … You try to be harder on yourself than your coach is going to be. You’re just gonna be better. That’s just how it is.
“Some of the most fun I’ve had watching film, though, is on game days – after the game. Especially after a win,” he added.
One might think by this point in his career, Smith has learned all he can from film study.
But that simply isn’t the case. It’s the greats who are never content.
Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones believes the players who truly utilize film study are the ones who see longevity in the league.
“Our bodies don’t move like they used to the older we get. So then, what becomes your advantage? The things that were great for you before may not be great for you now, so how do you adjust your game?” Jones said. “And I think Harrison’s done a phenomenal job at adjusting his game, becoming more cerebral. He may be a little step slower than what he used to be, but his mind is two steps faster. So it balances out.”
“He’s a flat-out dog, too, so that helps,” Metellus said with a grin. “But a lot of 2-2’s game is mental, and he puts himself in positions to make plays. He capitalizes on those. The more he plays, he more he just figures out what’s going on and plays faster than anybody else.”
Sometimes, an exact look from the tape shows up on game day.
But at its core, football is a game of chess. A battle of wits. Not every play by the opponent can be anticipated, and not every game goes exactly as expected.
“Sometimes you’re tired, you got beat on a play earlier so you’re thinking about that or thinking, ‘They’re doing this, so it’s different than normal,’ but it’s not. You’re trippin’. You’re seeing ghosts,” Smith said.
“There are multiple instances where we just talk through plays and Harry will say something, he’ll remind you or give you a little tidbit [from the tape],” Metellus continued. “It’s the little things like that, that happen all game, that help. If you ever see him talking to people on the field, he’s probably telling somebody a way to show something or do something to keep the offense on their toes.”

NFL Power Rankings, Week 18: Vikings’ Playoff Hopes Nearly Dead

Conor Orr, No. 22 (Down 3 spots)
It’s wild that a team this bad (at least in terms of overall roster quality) is not going to be drafting in the top 10. Minnesota does have one thing going for it: the ability to pick coaches who will never be bad enough to completely tank a season. Kevin O’Connell was tough in 2024, but has clearly reached the end of his fairy dust supply when it comes to the quarterback position.
Josh Kendall, The Athletic: No. 22 (Down 3 spots)
The lesson: Kirk Cousins is going to get paid
Viking coach Kevin O’Connell is 17-9 with Cousins as his starting quarterback. He is 3-5 without Cousins and is now very aware of what life is like in the NFL when you’re in quarterback limbo. Minnesota has cycled through Jaren Hall, Joshua Dobbs and Nick Mullens since Cousins tore his Achilles. That memory is going to loom large when Cousins, who will be a free agent, asks for his next deal.
Eric Edholm, No. 21 (Down 3 spots)
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: No. 21 (Down 4 spots)
Bleacher Report Staff: No. 21 (Down 2 spots)
ESPN Staff: No. 23 (Down 5 spots)
Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Kirk Cousins
For the past 10 months, Cousins’ contract has hovered over the Vikings more than any other issue facing the roster — and it’s still no closer to being resolved. Cousins was playing at a high level when he ruptured his right Achilles tendon midway through the season, having thrown for the second-most yards and tying for the most touchdown passes in the league at the time. The team’s 3-5 record since then can be traced to poor quarterback play behind him. But the Vikings will have to decide whether they want to pay top dollar to a quarterback who will be 36 next summer and is coming off the first major injury of his professional career at a time when they have other holes to fill and a big check to pay receiver Justin Jefferson at some point. — Kevin Seifert
The Ringer Staff: No. 21 (Down 2 spots)
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 21 (Down 3 spots)
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: No. 24 (Down 1 spot)
David Helman, FOX Sports: No. 25 (Down 2 spots)

Yore Mock

Trade Partner: Broncos
Sent: Pick 43, Pick 203
Received: Pick 53, Pick 99
Trade Partner: Eagles
Sent: Pick 99
Received: Pick 115, Pick 148

12. Jayden Daniels QB LSU 6’4” 210

53. Jackson Powers-Johnson OC Oregon 6’3” 320

105. Nazir Stackhouse DT Georgia 6’3” 320

115. Mike Sainristil CB Michigan 5’10” 182

123. Payton Wilson LB NC State 6’2” 239

148. Zak Zinter OG Michigan 6’6” 322

153. Jermaine Burton WR Alabama 6’0” 194

155. MarShawn Lloyd RB USC 5’10” 210

161. Jasheen Davis EDGE Wake Forest 6’3” 259

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