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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 9 January 2024

“A stoic, a skeptic, and an optimist walk into a bar. The bartender says, ‘Is this a joke?’”

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

This offseason is going to be fun! Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s career depends on how it navigates all the deals he needs to execute.

I personally do not see Hunter returning for less than 25M. If the Vikings do not offer that then I would advise him to test the market to see if he can get that elsewhere. Plus, he might want to go to a team that he feels has a better chance at winning like maybe Houston where he grew up.

Obviously the Quarterback (Kirk Cousins) decision looms large. Cousins says “structure is probably more important than money.” This should be a clear signal that he does not want only one year guaranteed. Will Kwesi offer two?

It is a tough position for Kwesi since he did that massive restructure last year. He has to decide by March 13th otherwise the entire 28.5M counts against the cap. He does not get to see if Cousins has a market and what that market is.

I am not sure Cousins will have as robust a market as some might predict?

Bears, Commandos, Patriots, Falcons, Giants(?), Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Saints, Broncos, and Rams all could be looking to draft a QB but which team would sign Cousins? Which team has the pieces in place he needs to succeed?

I really do not see a team stepping up and offering a deal The Steelers are negative 17M in cap space for 2024. But they could create ample cap space with some cuts. The Commandos? Doubtful he entertains that idea at all. Maybe the Falcons will draft a QB and sign Cousins?

Cousins is super smart so he probably knows this is the best place to be since he knows the offense and the weapons are awesome. The line is not too shabby either but is always a work in progress.


Since yore last open thread

Vikings Off-Season Evaluation Part II: Quarterback

Byron Murphy suffered a Grade 3 MCL strain in Bengals game

Could Kirk Cousins be willing to give the Vikings a “hometown discount?”


Other Vikings News

Kirk Cousins plans to “relinquish” to his upcoming free agency

He nevertheless recalled something a coach told him eight or nine years ago: “It’s not about the dollars, but it is about what the dollars represent.”
In other words, the money conveys a level of respect and status within the team. If the starting quarterback isn’t paid at a certain level, it becomes harder for him to lead the team the way he needs to lead the team.

Kirk Cousins open to new deal to return to Vikings next season: ‘Dollars are really not what it’s about’

“I’m not going to try to sell myself, if you will,” Cousins said on Monday, via ESPN. “I kind of like to let people make their own decisions, because I do think the league needs quarterbacks, and if you’re trying to talk yourself out of a quarterback, then I can’t help you much. The Achilles is going to heal. And it’s on track, and I’m a pocket passer and there’s a lot of time before next season. For a lot of reasons, it doesn’t concern me, but if I can’t convince other people of that, then that’s OK.”
But for Cousins, he insists it’s not about the money at this point in his career. If the Vikings wanted a “hometown discount” of sorts to keep him there, he’s not against it. In his eyes, “structure is probably more important than money.”

Cousins is 100% correct. He has proved he can play the position at a well above average level and he should be treated with the respect he has earned when it comes to pay.

2 yr 40M with all of it guaranteed is a discount and probably fair to him.


Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell already planting seeds for Justin Jefferson extension

“I know Justin, in the games we had him, especially in the full games we had him, was as dominant as any player in this league,” O’Connell said in his postgame press conference. “Hopefully we’re just getting started with him and where we’re going to take our offense.”

Vikings Sign 10 Players to Future Contracts

Receiver Trishton Jackson
Receiver N’Keal Harry
Receiver Thayer Thomas
Running back DeWayne McBride
Cornerback Joejuan Williams
Cornerback Jaylin Williams
Linebacker Abraham Beauplan
Tackle Coy Cronk
Guard Henry Byrd
Guard Tyrese Robinson

NFL News

NFL Black Monday tracker: Commanders fire Ron Rivera, Arthur Smith out in Atlanta

No Flores interview requests yet.


A Quick and Dirty Nuclear Plan

Starting Cap Space:
2024: $37,296,185
2025: $139,489,530
Don’t extend Cousins or Hunter
Cut Harrison Smith, CJ Ham, Dean Lowry

.

2024: $52,613,633
2025: $166,722,082
Extend JJ - 3 yr 105M
Extend Risner - 3 yr 24M
Extend Wonnum - 1 yr 6.125M
Sign Austin Schlottmann 1yr 1.125M
Sign Johnny Mundt 1yr 1.125M
Sign Brandon Powell 1yr 2M
Sign Jordan Hicks 2yr 8M
Sign Blake Brandel via RFA (original round - $2,828,000)
Sign Theo Jackson ERFA ($985,000)
Sign TJ Smith ERFA ($795,000)
Sign Lucky Jackson ERFA ($795,000)
Sign Nick Muse ERFA ($795,000)

.

2024: $30,600,633
2025: $118,972,082

.

Target players who become cap casualties and wait for the 2nd tier of free agency to sign a few players for 4M or less on short deals.

Sign another veteran QB to go with Mullens. I like Minshew but he could cost close to 10M per year.

This way, the team will get the 3rd round comp picks in 2025.

Also, the 2025 cap space will be quite large but it only represents about 30-35 players right now.


Yore Mock

Trade Partner: Raiders
Sent: Pick 42, Pick 104
Received: Pick 44, Pick 77
...
Trade Partner: Raiders
Sent: Pick 161, 2025 MIN 3rd
Received: Pick 104, Pick 187
...

11. Jayden Daniels QB LSU 6’4” 210

44. Chris Braswell EDGE Alabama 6’3” 255

77. Zach Frazier OC West Virginia 6’3” 311

104. Kris Jenkins DT Michigan 6’3” 305

124. Payton Wilson LB NC State 6’4” 238

153. Ennis Rakestraw Jr. CB Missouri 6’0” 188

154. Jermaine Burton WR Alabama 6’0” 194

187. Sione Vaki S Utah 6’0” 208

.

First 10 picks of this mock ...
1. CHI Drake Maye QB North Carolina
2. WAS Joe Alt OT Notre Dame
3. NE Dallas Turner EDGE Alabama
4. ARI Olumuyiwa Fashanu OT Penn State
5. LAC Marvin Harrison Jr. WR Ohio State
6. NYG Brock Bowers TE Georgia
7. TEN JC Latham OT Alabama
8. ATL Caleb Williams QB USC
9. CHI Terrion Arnold CB Alabama
10. NYJ Keon Coleman WR Florida State
Bo Nix went #36 to Washington, J.J. McCarthy went #20 to Tampa, and Michael Penix went #42 to the Raiders

.

Obviously, this seems far fetched especially in regards to Caleb Williams going at #8 and the Patriots not taking a QB at all. Maybe they go with Cousins no?

When I do a mock, I try to check most of the boxes while trying NOT to reach. Edge rusher will be a need with Hunter leaving. Center should be high on the list of needs.

Trading away a future 3rd to get Jenkins who dropped a bit may seem foolish but in this plan, the team should get two 3rd round comp picks.



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