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Rebuild, Reload....redo? 2023 Offseason Discussion


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What's everybody's thoughts for the future?

 

There is a whole lot of options on how we move forward, in reality its about impossible with Kirks $36M cap hit (5th highest in the NFL) to really rebuild or blow up the team without having a ton of empty space around him. There are some pretty good vets on this team that will almost certainly have to leave this year to even work to try and improve the team, and help resign Jefferson to a long term contract. 

Do we sign Kirk to another extension to try and help out some of the Cap situation? Do we just let him play out the final year, and move on come 2024?

Danielle Hunter also most likely will be looking for a new payday/extension also. Do we see a little bit of a holdout with him?

Some vets with some baggage. Harrison Smith, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, Adam Thielen, & Za'Darius Smith all have some pretty hefty contracts that just maybe its time to look into moving on from, what is some of our thoughts on these older vets?

Do we have any in-house free agents we should really be looking to keep?

List of Free Agents

CB Kris Boyd

C Garrett Bradbury

OT Blake Brandel (ERFA)

DE Jonathan Bullard

LS Andrew DePaola

TE Ben Ellefson (RFA)

WR Olabisi Johnson

K Greg Joseph

RB Alexander Mattison

QB Nick Mullens

CB Patrick Peterson

G Austin Schlottmann

TE Irv Smith Jr.

CB Chandon Sullivan

DT Khyiris Tonga (ERFA)

OT Oli Udoh

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There’s no reason to blow up anything on the offense. Just keep building upon it. 

The defense can be gutted and let a rebuild begin. 
 

21 minutes ago, gopherwrestler said:

Do we sign Kirk to another extension to try and help out some of the Cap situation? Do we just let him play out the final year, and move on come 2024?

I think a 1 year extension makes the most sense. But if Cousins is unwilling to do that, I’m perfectly ok with letting his contract run out. 

I’m also not opposed to trading Cousins, so long as there is a legitimate plan in place to replace him. I don’t want to see them do what the Falcons did with Ryan and trade him and simply hope for the best. 
 

27 minutes ago, gopherwrestler said:

Some vets with some baggage. Harrison Smith, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, Adam Thielen, & Za'Darius Smith all have some pretty hefty contracts that just maybe its time to look into moving on from, what is some of our thoughts on these older vets?

Cook, Kendricks, and Hicks should be gone. No need to restructure and try and keep them around. 

I’d like to see Harrison Smith, Z, and Thielen all return. I think their leadership is valuable and I do believe that they still offer value on the field. But Harrison and Theilen definitely need to bring their price down. 

30 minutes ago, gopherwrestler said:

Do we have any in-house free agents we should really be looking to keep?

Of the unrestricted FAs, Tomlinson and Bradbury should be priority to keep. If P2 is willing to come back on the same type of deal, I’d bring him back as well. Mullens can hopefully be kept. 

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I think this team needs to be 100% committed to Kirk Cousins for the next 4 years.

It doesn't make sense not to....

2023 needs to be spent rebuilding the defense. There's no doubt about it. Our offense was one of the best in the NFL (even though in the bottom 10 in rush yards but 7th in rush TDs). You have: Kirk, Jefferson, Hock, you're set at LT/RT, maybe bring in a guard then find a new RB and WR2 on rookie deals.

The reason you need to keep Kirk is that if they can get the defense to top-16 status in the next 1-2 years, it won't mean crap as we will having nothing at QB if Kirk isn't re-signed. Whether that's a rookie or stop-gap...who knows. Unless it's a top-10 defense, a middle of the pack defense and a middle of the pack offense may not be enough to me a serious contender. 

Kirk's contract is up in 2023, he's not brought back, and 2024 is a rookie/stop-gap and the offense takes two big steps back, does Jefferson even re-sign after the 2024 season? Or if he signs ahead of that, does he Diggs his way out? So now you risk your (on the track to being) future HOF WR walking after 2024 and now you're on a full offensive rebuild.

At this point, the Vikings need to pray Kirk takes about a 3-year, team friendly deal. Give that defense time to rebuild, fix about 3 pieces on offense (interior line, RB, WR2) and go from there.

That way we get 4-years of top-10 offense, time to let the defense rebuild, and figure out QBOTF while staying in the NFC North title picture.

 

Edited by Vikes_Bolts1228
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5 minutes ago, Heimdallr said:

Yeah it seems like any mid/late round pick could be successful in this offense. Put the investment elsewhere.

Obviously it can't happen due to the amount of (bigger) holes we have and him projected to be a first round pick...but I have unhealthy fantasies about what this offense would look like with that Robinson kid out of Texas.

But as you said, a 2nd or 3rd round back would be just fine.

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23 minutes ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

2024 is a rookie/stop-gap and the offense takes two big steps back, does Jefferson even re-sign after the 2024 season? Or if he signs ahead of that, does he Diggs his way out? So now you risk your (on the track to being) future HOF WR walking after 2024 and now you're on a full offensive rebuild.

 

I mean, without a doubt they are going to almost have to re-sign him this year or it would make sense for him to hold out. You go and put on a show all year, #1 receiver in the NFL, he will be looking for that payday.

The "Diggs His Way Out" honestly isn't that happens that often, Jefferson hasn't quite shown the more of a "diva" (probably not the right word for it, but lets go with it for the conversation) type mindset like Diggs even did at times when he was on his rookie contract. Yes, I know Diggs was not the typical diva WR but he was pretty good at being vocal on the field and off the field.

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2023?  Already?  Well, as much as I like Cousins and what he's been able to do, I'm extremely concerned we don't have a better option in the wings.  I don't know when the team can start talking with his camp about extensions, but his current contract runs out at the end of 2023, correct?  He'll also be 36.  I don't want the Vikings to commit guaranteed 3 or 4-year deals for him . . . I hope they are able to agree on 1 or 2 years.  But they need to draft multiple QBs the next couple years to be ready . . . otherwise, you run the risk of being forced to sign veteran QBs at cost-prohibitive deals.  There are some good QBs to watch through the draft testing process, so hopefully some of the lesser knowns will show they're studly enough to be a 3rd or 4th rounder.

Center is the next most important position on the offense.  I like Bradbury, and he played much better this year.  BUT, I'm thinking longer term, the team needs to move on from him so they save cap space to sign Cleveland and Darrisaw . . . and defensive players.  If his price is reasonable, say 4 years for $36M guaranteed with some incentives, they'd have to consider re-signing him, wouldn't they?

JJ is probably one of the off-season extensions that'll make headlines.  Right now, the kid is top-dollar and will only get better as long as Cousins is hear and healthy -- they make each other look pretty good.  If the Vikes know Cousins is gone in 2-3 years, do you wait to sign JJ til next year?  And, what happens when he puts up another 1,800 yard season?  If he's worth $25M/yr right now, I say get him on the books for 5-6 years if you can . . . what would that contract look like?  $180M?  $120M guaranteed?

The last position on offense to look at is RB.  We know Cook's under contract, but Mattison is probably leaving . . . unless they trade Cook to re-sign Mattison.  It seems like there are a lot of options at RB.  Look at all they guys in college just praying for a chance.  I watched Tulane's bowl game trying to figure out what their team was about and that RB, Tyjae Spears, is one dynamic, quick dude.  He'll be maybe a 5th rounder, unless his speed is 4.3 . . . then, he's a Cordarelle Patterson/Steve Smith type gadget guy.  I just hope they don't over-invest in RB . . . but trying to move Cook feels like a bad deal to me.  He's really a good player overall. 

Defensively, I don't know what to think.  The talent of the players, on paper to me, appears to be more than sufficient to be a top-10 or better D.  So, until the team cleans house on the coaching side, the players can only sit back and shake their heads.  I like PP and Harrison Smith as veteran leaders of the team, but if they retire or are moved on from, I'd understand.  

 

 

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Sources say the #Vikings have started signing their practice squad players to futures deals and that tight end Nick Muse, wide receiver Trishton Jackson and center Josh Sokol are among those who already have signed on for next season.

-Chris Tomasson

@christomasson

 

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26 minutes ago, gopherwrestler said:

I mean, without a doubt they are going to almost have to re-sign him this year or it would make sense for him to hold out. You go and put on a show all year, #1 receiver in the NFL, he will be looking for that payday.

The "Diggs His Way Out" honestly isn't that happens that often, Jefferson hasn't quite shown the more of a "diva" (probably not the right word for it, but lets go with it for the conversation) type mindset like Diggs even did at times when he was on his rookie contract. Yes, I know Diggs was not the typical diva WR but he was pretty good at being vocal on the field and off the field.

It doesn't but maybe we're just too use to top WRs being pains in the butts in Minnesota. You had Moss. You had Sidney Rice's STUPID injury decision in 2010 after a monster 2009. Diggs forcing himself out after a year of drama....

With the NFL becoming more and more a league where players can do something as simple as removing two words in their Twitter bio (Minnesota Viking WR) that will create a crap storm of drama/uncertainty....Jefferson wouldn't be the first star WR to get crabby over poor QB play or not winning.

Hopefully it's a long shot but after seeing Adams and Hill moving on with even top QBs....it's a small chance maybe.

 

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2 minutes ago, gopherwrestler said:

Sources say the #Vikings have started signing their practice squad players to futures deals and that tight end Nick Muse, wide receiver Trishton Jackson and center Josh Sokol are among those who already have signed on for next season.

-Chris Tomasson

@christomasson

 

18-0 to the bowl!

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12 minutes ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

It doesn't but maybe we're just too use to top WRs being pains in the butts in Minnesota. You had Moss. You had Sidney Rice's STUPID injury decision in 2010 after a monster 2009. Diggs forcing himself out after a year of drama....

With the NFL becoming more and more a league where players can do something as simple as removing two words in their Twitter bio (Minnesota Viking WR) that will create a crap storm of drama/uncertainty....Jefferson wouldn't be the first star WR to get crabby over poor QB play or not winning.

Hopefully it's a long shot but after seeing Adams and Hill moving on with even top QBs....it's a small chance maybe.

 

I mean Adams left basically because his payday was going to be better elsewhere, playing with an old teammate, and well the Packers couldn't afford to pay him.

 

Tyreek left because he wanted to go to Miami.... he got to Miami.

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1 hour ago, gopherwrestler said:

List of Free Agents

CB Kris Boyd

C Garrett Bradbury

OT Blake Brandel (ERFA)

LS Andrew DePaola

K Greg Joseph

QB Nick Mullens

CB Patrick Peterson

DT Khyiris Tonga (ERFA)

OT Oli Udoh 

Those are the FA's I'd try to keep around. Duke Shelley should be on the list too, I believe.

I'd look to extend Kirk for 2 years to hopefully bring his cap number down. Maybe put a couple of dead years on there to spread out the pain. But there's simply no better option available this offseason...or likely next, for that matter. I don't think this year is the year to try to find his replacement. We don't have the ammo to move up. We'll know a bit more when all of the underclassmen declare, but I don't think we're looking at a future franchise QB where we pick. I certainly don't want to draft a 3rd or 4th rounder to be the plan for life after Kirk either. 

Donatell needs to go. I don't see anything improving on defense if he isn't let go. There was enough talent on the defense to be better than they were. 

As for players we need to part ways with: Kendricks and Hicks need to be replaced. They're either too old and slow or just bad fits for the 3/4. 

There are guys who either need to restructure significantly or be let go. Those are: Dalvin Cook, Thielen, and Harrison Smith.

Dalvin Tomlinson, Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson need to be extended this offseason. 

As for the draft, I wouldn't look to use any picks on our secondary unless we let Harrison and Patrick Peterson go. We have to hope that Cine, Booth, and Evans can come back healthy and that we get something productive out of our 2022 draft class. I think we will trade out of the first round to recoup some picks. We'll need to pick LB and DL early. If Bradbury walks, we should look for a center in the 3rd or 4th. 

The Vikings will need to be savvy with their draft picks and get some bargain FAs to round out the roster. I absolutely think they can be a better team next year, but they need to get younger and get a Defensive Coordinator who is willing and able to adapt to his personnel and situations.

 

 

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I did see someone on twitter that did make a fair point. Blowing up most of the defense, if it still wouldn't work out great....we would then just end up 32nd in defense instead of being ranked 31st.

I personally have to issue with basically just getting young. 

Really the tough part will be deciding what to do with Hunter. 

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