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Vikings 2024 Offseason Plan v3.0

Super or Bust!

San Francisco 49ers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

As we rage on here at the Daily Norseman, it is time for another offseason plan. This one is the least favorite of mine because it involves bringing back Kirk Cousins. It is worth a look at one possibility though. I am of the strong opinion that if the team does bring Cousins back, they also MUST approach the next two to three years as Super Bowl or Bust. They can try to “rebuild” while also trying to win the whole enchilada but it will be tough. It is now or never with Cousins because there wont be any future extensions unless they have seriously gone completely mental.


Let us begin this total pipe dream.

https://overthecap.com/calculator/minnesota-vikings

Starting Cap Space:
2024 $24,658,132 (53 players)
2025 $139,489,530 (29 players)
...
Cut Harrison Smith & Lowry - saves $13,466,469
...
Extend Cousins - 3 yr 120M
48M signing bonus
Salaries of 13.75M, 18.25M, 40M
Cap hits of 36M, 40M, 56M, 16M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $7,500,000
...
Extend Jefferson - 4 yr 136M w/ 1 void yr
50M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 17.875M, 35M, 36M
Cap hits of 11.125M, 27.875M, 45M, 46M, 10M (void yr)
2024 Savings: $8,618,000
...
Sign DJ Reader DT - 3yr 51M w/ 1 void yr
20M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.21M, 12.79M, 17M
Cap hits of 6.21M, 17.79M, 22M, 5M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $5,415,000
...
Sign Bryce Huff EDGE - 4 yr 70M w/ 1 void yr
20M signing bonus
Salaries of 4M, 11M, 17.5M, 17.5M
Cap hits of 8M, 15M, 21.5M, 21.5M, 4M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $7,205,000
...
Sign L’Jarius Sneed CB - 4yr 84M w/ 1 void yr
25M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 13.875M, 21.5M, 22.5M
Cap hits of 6.125M, 18.875M, 26.5M, 27.5, 5M (void yr)
2024 Cost: $5,330,000
...
Sign AJ Epenesa DE/EDGE - 3yr 22.5M
9M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 4.875M, 7.5M
Cap hits of 4.125M, 7.875M, 10.5M
2024 Cost: $3,330,000
...
Sign Alohi Gilman S - 3yr 10.5Mr
3M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 2.875M, 3.5M
Cap hits of 2.125M, 3.875M, 4.5M
2024 Cost: $1,210,000
...
Sign Tyrel Dodson LB - 3yr 15M
4.5M signing bonus
Salaries of 1.125M, 3.875M, 5.5M
Cap hits of 2.625M, 5.375M, 8M
2024 Cost: $1,705,000
...
Sign Theo Jackson, T.J. Smith, and Nick Muse to ERFA contracts which only costs $20,000 because they displace others at the bottom of the roster that were in the top 51 calculation.
...
Starting Cap Space:
2024 $15,027,601 (58 players)
2025 $26,140,414 (32 players)
...

The team could pick up the RFA tender for Brandel and Tonga.

They could also sign Mundt, Powell, Schlottmann, Wonnum, Joseph, and Udoh to extensions but these likely will be very close to the minimum.

One other note, Cam Bynum has a cap hit of 1,234,453 and a salary of 1,055,000 in 2024. His salary will go up to $2,828,000 because of the NFL Proven Performance Escalator (PPE). He is a Level One player.

https://overthecap.com/proven-performance-escalator
https://overthecap.com/franchise-transition-and-rfa-tenders

...

In 2025, the big ticket extensions will be for Darrisaw and possibly Bynum. O’Neill will have a 26M cap hit so that is probably not going to remain and they could start thinking about a replacement. They would save 14.3M if he is cut or traded in 2025. He will be 30 as well.


The roster before the draft would be ....

OFFENSE
QB: Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall
RB: Ty Chandler, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, DeWayne McBride, Myles Gaskin
FB: CJ Ham
WR: Justin Jefferson, Lucky Jackson, N’Keal Harry, Trishton Jackson, Malik Knowles
WR: Jordan Addison, Jalen Nailor, Thayer Thomas, Daylen Baldwin
TE: TJ Hockenson, Josh Oliver, Nick Muse
LT: Christian Darrisaw
LG: Henry Byrd
OC: Lloyd Cushenberry
RG: Ed Ingram, Tyrese Robinson
RT: Brian O’Neill, Coy Cronk

...

DEFENSE
DE: AJ Epenesa
NT: Harrison Phillips, TJ Smith
DT: DJ Reader, Jaquelin Roy
LOLB: Bryce Huff
LILB: Tyrel Dodson, Brian Asamoah II, William Kwenkeu
RILB: Ivan Pace Jr., Abraham Beauplan
ROLB: Patrick Jones II, Andre Carter II
LCB: Byron Murphy Jr., Andrew Booth Jr., Joejuan Williams
SS: Alohi Gilman, Josh Metellus, Theo Jackson
FS: Camryn Bynum, Jay Ward, Lewis Cine
RCB: L’Jarius Sneed, Akayleb Evans, Mekhi Blackmon
NB: NaJee Thompson, Jaylin Williams

...

SPECIAL TEAMS
PT: Ryan Wright
PK:
LS: Andrew DePaola

Heading to the draft, the roster needs help at offensive guard, edge rusher, and possibly cornerback.

But there is enough cap space left to try and pick up a veteran or two for cheap before the draft.


TRADES
Trade Partner: Arizona Cardinals
Sent: Round 1 Pick 11
Received: Round 1 Pick 27, Round 2 Pick 3
...
Trade Partner: Carolina Panthers
Sent: Round 2 Pick 3, Round 5 Pick 31
Received: Round 2 Pick 1
...
Trade Partner: Green Bay Packers
Sent: Round 2 Pick 10
Received: Round 2 Pick 25, Round 3 Pick 24, Round 6 Pick 43
...
Trade Partner: Carolina Panthers
Sent: Round 4 Pick 8, Round 6 Pick 43
Received: Round 4 Pick 1

...

27: R1 P27 OT Troy Fautanu - Washington - 6’4” 317


33: R2 P1 C Jackson Powers-Johnson - Oregon - 6’3.2” 334


57: R2 P25 EDGE Adisa Isaac - Penn State - 6’4.5” 250


88: R3 P24 DL Darius Robinson - Missouri - 6’5” 286


101: R4 P1 WR Brenden Rice - USC - 6’2.1” 212


129: R4 P29 DL Gabe Hall - Baylor - 6’5.6” 290


158: R5 P22 LB Trevin Wallace - Kentucky - 6’1.2” 244


176: R6 P1 TE Ben Sinnott - Kansas State - 6’4” 254


187: R6 P12 LB Nathaniel Watson - Mississippi State - 6’2.1” 244


229: R7 P10 K Joshua Karty - Stanford - 6’1.6” 208

A kicker highlight? WTF bro?


242: R7 P23 CB Jarvis Brownlee - Louisville - 5’10.5” 183


A trade down? Again? WTF bro? You hitting the pipe again?

If I am going to bring back Cousins then I need to improve the interior line which was respectable last year but still not good enough.

In this scenario, you got the starting line looking like ...

LT - Darrisaw

LG - Fautanu

OC - Powers-Johnson

RG - Ingram

RT - O’Neill

They still have Bradbury whom you likely could trade and they should bring back Brandel, Udoh, and Schlottmann.

I think the team will give Wonnum a one year prove it deal so that helps the EDGE position.

With Reader on board, Phillips does not have to play the nose as much.

Also, they probably bring back Tonga depending on price.

In the draft, they need more bodies on the defensive line in the 5 technique position.

Roy, Robinson, and Hall can rotate hopefully.

The linebacker depth chart is not pretty at all. They need to keep adding bodies.

I like it. I like it a lot but the 2025 cap space will be tighter than a bull’s butt during fly season!

...

Note: I doubt they can get all of these free agents with every other team wanting them too. You never know though. I would hope to get Reader and Huff most of all.