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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 8 February 2024

“Truth tends to reveal its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

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Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

JJ wants the BAG!

Since yore last open thread

Teams know the Vikings want to trade up for a quarterback

Vikings 2024 Offseason Plan v3.0

Vikings Pro-Bowl Games Roundup

Senior Bowl Risers & Who Might Be A Viking?

Always make sure you get the right Randy Moss

The Pro Bowl Is Decadent And Depraved

Other News

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson : With or without Kirk Cousins ‘I’m going to be that same type of player’

“It could be Kirk , it could not be Kirk ,” Jefferson said Wednesday on NFL Network’s Super Bowl Live, “I have no idea, but it doesn’t matter who’s going to be throwing me that ball, you know I’m going to be that same type of pla
It’s a massive focus for the Vikings this offseason regardless of the future at QB, a point made by Jefferson on Wednesday and during the 2023 season. So, as the Vikings ponder re-signing Cousins or looking to another QB of the future, Jefferson isn’t sure if what happens under center will impact his next contract or not.
“I’ll really have to see if we really bring back Kirk or not, if we decide to want to draft, or want to pick up a quarterback,” Jefferson said when asked if he would pass on doing a deal this summer if there’s still uncertainty as to who the long-term QB will be. “All of that plays a part, but also, I still managed to get 1,000 yards by playing through four different quarterbacks as well, so it really doesn’t matter too much who’s throwing me that ball as long as someone’s throwing it to me. I feel like I’m confident and I have the ability to make plays, no matter if the ball is 100 percent accurate or if it’s a little behind or a little in front or a little off. So I’m always confident in my game, confident that I’m going to play the same no matter who’s going to throw me the ball, but of course, having Kirk out there to be that leader and that captain, to throw that ball with accuracy and precise as he does, it definitely is very valuable and useful being a receiver.”
“I’m definitely aware of what I’ve been doing for the organization, what I’ve done ever since I stepped foot on this NFL field,” Jefferson said. “So, I’m definitely going to do what’s right by getting the amount that I feel I’m valued. I definitely will keep in mind the different stats and where I am as a player and as a receiver, so you know I’m going to definitely let the agent and all of that do all of the different negotiations and the different numbers, but I definitely would like and hope to be one of the highest-paid players, or especially wide receiver.”

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson on next contract: ‘I want to break the bank’

“I want to break the bank and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me and to really give me what I deserve. I feel like eventually the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building, but I don’t really know at this very moment,” Jefferson said. “Only time will tell, I feel like I have the right people in my circle to negotiate and do what’s right. I feel like this whole process of how we handled things and how we went accordingly with the season and the contract stuff, I feel like we did a great job with it.”

Vikings Eyeing Athletic Cornerback Prospect in Draft, Insider Says

The Minnesota Vikings had an advantage at scouting the cornerback position at the Senior Bowl last week — and no draft prospect made a bigger impression than Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell.
The Vikings had several staffers nominated to coach the Senior Bowl, including defensive pass coordinator Daronte Jones and assistant cornerbacks coach Michael Hutchings.
At 6-feet, 195 pounds, Mitchell ran a 4.3-second 4o-yard dash that, combined with his speed, made him a nightmare in man coverage. He set Toledo’s all-time record for passes defended, tallying 46 breakups in his four years (including an abridged six-game season in 2020 due to the pandemic).
Mitchell also shined in more complex coverages that the NFL demands and was seen as an ideal fit for Flores’ scheme.
From Lewis:
Additionally, Mitchell played match coverage, which starts as zone and turns into man, depending on the route the receiver runs. This responsibility requires a seamless application of rule memorization to on-field application. Most NFL teams, including the Vikings, ask for this depth of understanding from their cornerbacks.
Defensive coordinator Brian Flores utilizes “hot coverage,” which mandates corners maintain eye position on the quarterback and react swiftly once the ball is snapped. Vikings cornerbacks Byron Murphy Jr., Akayleb Evans and Mekhi Blackmon successfully navigated this complexity at times during the 2023 season. Murphy and Blackmon, though, are better suited for slot responsibility, while Evans’ inconsistency during the back half of the season leaves some uncertainty surrounding his long-term viability on the outside.
That’s where a player of Mitchell’s caliber could fit in. That is if the Vikings don’t opt to jump up for a quarterback or add to their defensive front. Free agency and draft circumstances will likely affect the Vikings’ path, but they’re doing their due diligence in the meantime.

Vikings Urged to Sign $22 Million RB to Replace Alex Mattison

The Minnesota Vikings need reinforcements in the run game after a disappointing season from Alexander Mattison, and few signings would make more of a splash than signing Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis proposed.
“If the Vikings were to spend, bucking league-wide trends to add a proven, dynamic (and aging) running back like Barkley would be an interesting move. Barkley will turn 27 later this week. Among 49 qualified running backs this past season, Barkley’s average yards after contact per rush (2.92) ranked 24th. Adding Barkley to the Vikings’ mix of skill players might be transformative both for him and the offense (like the 49ers trading for Christian McCaffrey). It’d be a bold swing for a team that cannot afford to miss.”

What’s the timeline for T.J. Hockenson’s return?

2024 NFL Draft: Is Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy a Good Fit for the Vikings?

McCarthy is a fascinating prospect whose profile is rather different from the other two. Penix and Nix are fifth or sixth-year seniors who will be 24 when their rookie seasons begin. They were both Heisman finalists last season after finishing first and second in the nation in passing yards (by a lot) on high-powered Pac-12 offenses. McCarthy, meanwhile, is a true junior who just turned 21. Operating Michigan’s run-heavy offense, he finished 35th in the country in passing yards with less than 3,000 in 15 games. To cap an undefeated season, McCarthy led his Wolverines team over Penix’s Washington Huskies in the national championship game.
McCarthy’s lack of passing volume complicates his evaluation a bit, as scouts have a comparatively limited sample size to work with when watching his tape and forming opinions. He averaged just under 200 passing yards per game over the last two seasons, throwing 44 touchdown passes and nine interceptions (three of which strangely came in a September 2023 game against Bowling Green where he only attempted 13 passes). McCarthy shined in the national semifinals against Alabama — he went 17 of 27 for 223 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks in that win — but all he needed to do in the title game was complete ten passes for 140 yards, as Michigan ran for over 300 yards and four scores in their 34-13 victory.
Even on a smaller sample size, McCarthy has shown a lot to like as a passer. He’s a good processor with impressive arm talent and the ability to make plays outside of structure. He ran for 508 yards and eight touchdowns over the past two seasons, and that yardage number would be higher if college rushing stats didn’t include yards lost to sacks. McCarthy earned a 90.8 PFF grade in 2023, including marks above 92 in intermediate and deep passing. He shined out of play-action and completed over 72 percent of his attempts.

Lunchbreak: Grades Vikings Rookie Class

Verdict from Super Bowl Radio Row? The Vikings shouldn’t keep Kirk Cousins

“I didn’t run into anybody in a half a dozen or more NFL cities that thought it was a good idea for the Vikings to bring back Kirk Cousins,” Coller said on his podcast.
Vikings fans are currently experiencing offseason purple purgatory, where there are few solid reports and boatloads of meaningless speculation. With Cousins, he’s either going to re-sign with Minnesota or become a free agent on March 13, at which point he could still return to the Vikings but will have plenty of options.
What else did we learn from Coller’s podcast? Well, head coach Kevin O’Connell may have a desire to coach a dual-threat quarterback.
“What I think, or I’ll say, what multiple people have said to me is they could see Kevin O’Connell liking someone who could make a play, a really special play with their legs,” Coller said.

Vikings Listed as Potential Landing Spot for Future HOF Running Back

PFF’s Brad Spielberger recently listed the Vikings and Ravens as potential landing spots for Henry this offseason.
Minnesota’s rushing attack was one of the least efficient across the NFL this past season, and they may also be looking to bring along a young quarterback whether or not they keep Kirk Cousins in the fold. This front office may not be viewed as one very likely to pay top dollar to the running back position, especially after they sharply moved on from Dalvin Cook before the 2023 season, but maybe there’s enough of a buy-low opportunity here on Henry.

Cowherd Proposes Vikings-Patriots Trade Involving Justin Jefferson, No. 3 Pick

NFL News

Baker Mayfield hopes to remain in Tampa alongside Mike Evans: ‘We want to get the band back together’

“Obviously, we want to get the band back together,” Mayfield said.
“For me, evaluating it the same way I did going into free agency last year,” he said. “Look at the organizations. Who does it the right way? Who’s going to put me in the best position to win?
“Obviously, Tampa’s got … the upper hand because I’ve seen it firsthand, so for me, just evaluating that. Understanding where I’m headed in life right now. … I want to win, and that’s really important to me to be able to have a chance to win Super Bowls. …”
“I understand where Mike is in his career,” Mayfield said. “… He’s a huge target. The guy has done it so consistently, 10 years in a row with 1,000 (receiving) yards. Very few people can ever say that. …
“The guy is unreal. Everyone wanted to put an age on it and say that he’s not going to be good anymore, and I think he took it personally.”
“So we’ve both voiced our opinions that we want to be together, but it’s got to be the right way,” Mayfield said. “Mike deserves to be a Buccaneer for life. He’s done so much for that community, so much for the franchise. He’s put his time in. I can’t say enough about the guy as a player, and just as a guy in general.”

2024 NFL Free Agency: Potential landing spots for top running backs and tight ends

NFL, NBA caught by surprise on mega sports streaming service announcement

Franchise tag candidates for all 32 NFL teams entering the 2024 NFL offseason

49ers’ practice field complaints part of lingering turf war between NFL players union and the league

Yore Mock (w offseason plan)

Cap Space
2024: 24.6M
2025: 139.5M


Cut Smith


Extend Jefferson 4 yr 140M
Extend EDGE Marcus Davenport 1 yr 2M (250K gtd and saves 3.1M)
Extend EDGE DJ Wonnum 2 yr 8.5M
Extend OG Risner 3 yr 21M
Extend LB Hicks 2 yr 11M
Extend TE Mundt 1 yr 1.375K (250K signing bonus)
Extend OC Schlottmann 1 yr 1.3M (175K signing bonus)
Extend DT Tonga 1 yr 1.205M (150K signing bonus)
Extend OT Brandel 1 yr 1.205M (150K signing bonus)


Sign QB Gardner Minshew 2 yr 20M
Sign DT Javon Kinlaw 2 yr 11M
Sign EDGE Dorance Armstrong Jr 3 yr 24M
Sign CB/KR Keisan Nixon 2 yr 9M
Sign WR Curtis Samuel 2 yr 18M
Sign S Deshon Elliot 2 yr 9M


Cap Space
2024: 12.2M
2025: 60.5M
Trade Partner: Bengals
Sent: Pick 11
Received: Pick 18, Pick 49, Pick 251
Trade Partner: Browns
Sent: Pick 49
Received: Pick 54, Pick 154

18. J.J. McCarthy QB Michigan 6’3” 202

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

42. Bralen Trice EDGE Washington 6’5.3” 308

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images

54. Christian Haynes OG UConn 6’2.4” 318

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

108. DeWayne Carter DT Duke 6’2.4” 308

Duke v Louisville Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

129. Brenden Rice WR USC 6’2.1” 212

UCLA v USC Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

154. Ray Davis RB Kentucky 5’8.4 220

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Kentucky at South Carolina Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

155. Christian Jones OT Texas 6’5.0” 318

Texas v Kansas Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

164. Theo Johnson TE Penn State 6’6.0” 257

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

178. Marshawn Kneeland EDGE Western Michigan 6’3.0” 268

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 03 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

227. Nathaniel Watson LB Mississippi State 6’2.1” 244

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 03 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

251. Joshua Karty K Stanford 6’1.6” 208

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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