All Things 2023 Minnesota Vikings Off-Season Thread

kg21

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Cut:
Kendricks
Hicks
H. Smith
Z. Smith
Cook
Thielen
Ham

You lose almost no production, save some money, and start addressing the cap now.

The offense can still be dynamic with what's left. Cook is easy to replace. Thielen isn't hard to replace either, especially if they draft a WR in Round 1.

So, in 2023 you can have a good offense, a horrible defense (so remain even with 2022), and then have a chance to set the defense straight for 2024.
If they'd have only taken care of the wr in round 1 last year.
 

BleedGopher

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Ten things Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must do before next season​


Now it's Adofo-Mensah's turn to prove himself.Here's what his to-do list looks like:

  1. Work with O'Connell in hiring a new defensive coordinator who will be able to manage the transition from old, savvy veterans to young, more explosive athletes. It's a difficult job, but it can be done. Go back and look at the talent Tony Dungy had to work with when he made the Vikings a defensive powerhouse in the 1990s. Other than John Randle, he was working mostly with average NFL players.
2. Choose wisely and, perhaps, ruthlessly when deciding which veterans to retain. The Vikings' most admirable players are among those who either need to be cut or have their contracts restructured.

3. Sign Justin Jefferson to a large contract. This has to happen, and Adofo-Mensah and his staff need to find a way to accommodate the large contracts of Jefferson and Cousins. It won't be as hard as you might think, but this is where NFL general managers distinguish themselves.

4. Replace center Garrett Bradbury. Bradbury gives all he has, but he shouldn't have been a first-round draft pick and hasn't earned another contract. If the Vikings can upgrade at center, their offensive line should be quite good going forward.

5. As Thielen declines, decide whether K.J. Osborn should be the new No. 2 receiver, or whether the next No. 2 receiver will have to be brought in from the outside.

6. Get his top two draft picks, safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth, healthy and up to speed. If they play well in 2023, the defense could rapidly improve.

7. Keep Hunter. He wasn't the every-down force this season that he once was, but he was productive and finished the year healthy.

8. Follow the approach popularized by many of the league's best franchises, and save money at running back. Not since the 2013 season has a Super Bowl winner relied on an expensive star running back, when Seattle won big with Marshawn Lynch and an otherworldly defense. You can win it all with a running back committee or an affordable veteran. Dalvin Cook was healthy and productive this season, but he's no longer the centerpiece of the offense.

9. Seek athletes. The Vikings defense had plenty of experience and savvy. That doesn't matter much if you can't keep up with a receiver or shrug off a block. Spielman's strength was finding great athletes and having a coaching staff that could develop them. Remember, Hunter was a relatively unproductive college player who went in the third round. Adofo-Mensah needs more explosiveness and a defensive staff that can develop players.

10. Embrace the role of a public figure. Adofo-Mensah, who felt burned by an interview he did last summer with USA Today, rarely speaks publicly. He should. When first hired, he came across as charming. Now he looks like he's hiding. That's a bad look, and unnecessary for someone who is impressive and likable.


Skol Vikes!!
 


Ope3

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They want to sign Jefferson this offseason. Most of that money saved will go to him.

We are in no mans land
I don't think the extension would kick in until 2025.
 



howeda7

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I don't think the extension would kick in until 2025.
He would presumably get a signing bonus that would raise his 2023 cap # some, bu the big $ would kick in for 2025. I don't see how you can pay him and Kirk over $30 million at the same time.
 

howeda7

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If we're going back to a 4/3, keep Hunter. If we're staying 3/4 trade him. He's wasted in a 3/4 defense. You should be able to get at least 2nd round pick for him.
 


kg21

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Kurt Warner watched Daniel Jones and Kurt Warner. Here is what he said about The Vikings defense:

 



JimmyJamesMD

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If we're going back to a 4/3, keep Hunter. If we're staying 3/4 trade him. He's wasted in a 3/4 defense. You should be able to get at least 2nd round pick for him.
what do you think of the performance of the 3 interior lineman? they were ghosts except for tomlinson every once in awhile
 


#2Gopher

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Maybe they'll pull a Twins and just fire the trainer and proclaim all is well....
They clearly had a problem with the previous trainer who didn't communicate well with the players. In addition, they have made some moves that I like for the most part. Not sure about Gallo. Who knows maybe he'll have a banner year coming up. If not, he'll be fanning the fans with his bat.
 

Gophers_4life

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what do you think of the performance of the 3 interior lineman? they were ghosts except for tomlinson every once in awhile
It was 2 more often than not, in our 2-4-5 base defense. In a 3-4 those interior guys mainly try to clog up gaps and tie up blockers, to let the LB's make the tackles.

FWIW
 



Gophers_4life

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I know it's a "you live by it, you die by it" thing .... but I'd love to see a DC brought in who constantly brings pressure.

I'm tired of just playing base defense and bend don't break. Let's try attacking.
 

forever a gopher

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Cut:
Kendricks
Hicks
H. Smith
Z. Smith
Cook
Thielen
Ham

You lose almost no production, save some money, and start addressing the cap now.

The offense can still be dynamic with what's left. Cook is easy to replace. Thielen isn't hard to replace either, especially if they draft a WR in Round 1.

So, in 2023 you can have a good offense, a horrible defense (so remain even with 2022), and then have a chance to set the defense straight for 2024.
That's $41.85MM in dead cap in 2023. Not a chance in hell the Wilfs do that. Thielen in particular is ridiculous, with a $16.5MM dead cap hit. He's still owed $30MM over 2 more years, so do they cut him to save $0.50 on the dollar (from a cap perspective)?

If they draft a WR in round 1 this year, Kwesi should be fired immediately. This team needs pretty much every position on the D and 2 OL (center and G) way more than they need WR. Keep Theilen around one more year and cut him after 2023, where his dead cap is only $4.7MM. Especially with Hockenson (who you're paying $9MM to in 2023, and you blew your 2nd round pick on), your need for WR isn't that high. The D was 29th overall and 31st in scoring. WR is so low on the list of priority.

Zadarius Smith was about the only guy with a pulse on the defense. Other than freeing up cash, not sure why you'd want to cut him. DE's (or OLBs if they stay 3-4) don't come cheap. You're going to have to replace him with something.
 

Gophers_4life

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That's $41.85MM in dead cap in 2023. Not a chance in hell the Wilfs do that. Thielen in particular is ridiculous, with a $16.5MM dead cap hit. He's still owed $30MM over 2 more years, so do they cut him to save $0.50 on the dollar (from a cap perspective)?
Trying to minimize dead cap is a fool's errand, in this situation.

Do what needs to be done.


So you're right, they won't.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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That's $41.85MM in dead cap in 2023. Not a chance in hell the Wilfs do that. Thielen in particular is ridiculous, with a $16.5MM dead cap hit. He's still owed $30MM over 2 more years, so do they cut him to save $0.50 on the dollar (from a cap perspective)?

If they draft a WR in round 1 this year, Kwesi should be fired immediately. This team needs pretty much every position on the D and 2 OL (center and G) way more than they need WR. Keep Theilen around one more year and cut him after 2023, where his dead cap is only $4.7MM. Especially with Hockenson (who you're paying $9MM to in 2023, and you blew your 2nd round pick on), your need for WR isn't that high. The D was 29th overall and 31st in scoring. WR is so low on the list of priority.

Zadarius Smith was about the only guy with a pulse on the defense. Other than freeing up cash, not sure why you'd want to cut him. DE's (or OLBs if they stay 3-4) don't come cheap. You're going to have to replace him with something.
When can you start😃?
 

Gophers_4life

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Zadarius Smith was about the only guy with a pulse on the defense. Other than freeing up cash, not sure why you'd want to cut him. DE's (or OLBs if they stay 3-4) don't come cheap. You're going to have to replace him with something.
You hope that Wonnum and PJII fill the gap, plus perhaps another draft pick.

We need the money to address all the other broken parts.
 

Gophers_4life

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I mean you bring up all these pieces where we spend a lot of money on, old players who can't play at a high level any more.

But we still had a guy like Khyiris Tonga out there getting a good chunk of playing time on the interior DL.

If we can just find a guy like that, we will find other guys.

What about Duke Shelley, for crying out loud?



Cut the olds. Find guys. Make it work for a year or two, rebuild with good drafts.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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That's $41.85MM in dead cap in 2023. Not a chance in hell the Wilfs do that. Thielen in particular is ridiculous, with a $16.5MM dead cap hit. He's still owed $30MM over 2 more years, so do they cut him to save $0.50 on the dollar (from a cap perspective)?

If they draft a WR in round 1 this year, Kwesi should be fired immediately. This team needs pretty much every position on the D and 2 OL (center and G) way more than they need WR. Keep Theilen around one more year and cut him after 2023, where his dead cap is only $4.7MM. Especially with Hockenson (who you're paying $9MM to in 2023, and you blew your 2nd round pick on), your need for WR isn't that high. The D was 29th overall and 31st in scoring. WR is so low on the list of priority.

Zadarius Smith was about the only guy with a pulse on the defense. Other than freeing up cash, not sure why you'd want to cut him. DE's (or OLBs if they stay 3-4) don't come cheap. You're going to have to replace him with something.

I mostly agree with you here, and don't think they should take a WR in round 1, but Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be awfully tempting if he was available. Many considered him better than Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave last year, and those two were pretty good as rookies.

Za'Darius Smith was non-existent the 2nd half of the season. He only had .5 sacks and 18 total tackles over the final 8 games. That's not exactly difficult to replace. Hunter was far more productive throughout the season.
 
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howeda7

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That's $41.85MM in dead cap in 2023. Not a chance in hell the Wilfs do that. Thielen in particular is ridiculous, with a $16.5MM dead cap hit. He's still owed $30MM over 2 more years, so do they cut him to save $0.50 on the dollar (from a cap perspective)?

If they draft a WR in round 1 this year, Kwesi should be fired immediately. This team needs pretty much every position on the D and 2 OL (center and G) way more than they need WR. Keep Theilen around one more year and cut him after 2023, where his dead cap is only $4.7MM. Especially with Hockenson (who you're paying $9MM to in 2023, and you blew your 2nd round pick on), your need for WR isn't that high. The D was 29th overall and 31st in scoring. WR is so low on the list of priority.

Zadarius Smith was about the only guy with a pulse on the defense. Other than freeing up cash, not sure why you'd want to cut him. DE's (or OLBs if they stay 3-4) don't come cheap. You're going to have to replace him with something.
Zadarius did almost nothing the 2nd half of the season because he got banged up. He can't stay healthy And they can save like $14 million in cap space by cutting him. I would cut all of those mentioned except Harrison Smith. The savings on him aren't huge and he can still play.

They can get to about $45 million under the cap by cutting Zadarius, Kendricks, Hicks, Thielen, Ham and trading Delvin Cook. That gives plenty of $ to address areas in FA. Of the pending FA's, the only ones I'd bring back are Duke Shelley and Mullens, who should both be cheap. Perhaps Mattison depending on the cost. I'd target JMS in the draft to fill the center spot and get a #2 WR, RB, LB(s) and CB in free agency.
 

forever a gopher

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Trying to minimize dead cap is a fool's errand, in this situation.

Do what needs to be done.


So you're right, they won't.
I agree with you and Gopherguy0723 100%, but I know that's not what the Wilfs will do. Especially with a new GM that probably doesn't have that trust built up yet, not expecting massive dead cap moves this offseason, even if that's what should be done.
 

forever a gopher

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I mostly agree with you here, and don't think they should take a WR in round 1, but Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be awfully tempting if he was available. Many considered him better than Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave last year, and those two were pretty good as rookies.

Za'Darius Smith was non-existent the 2nd half of the season. He only had .5 sacks and 18 total tackles over the final 8 games. That's not exactly difficult to replace. Hunter was far more productive throughout the season.
I will contradict myself in saying if Smith-Njigba was available at wherever the Vikes are picking, it would be hard to pass. I'm assuming he's gone long before then, wouldn't he? Generally, I'm of the mindset that you pick the best OL or D (really any position) that is available.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I will contradict myself in saying if Smith-Njigba was available at wherever the Vikes are picking, it would be hard to pass. I'm assuming he's gone long before then, wouldn't he? Generally, I'm of the mindset that you pick the best OL or D (really any position) that is available.

Most of the mock drafts I've seen have him going right around the Vikings pick. I'd like to see them take a DL or CB, but that is the one WR I'd consider.
 

Gophers_4life

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Zadarius did almost nothing the 2nd half of the season because he got banged up. He can't stay healthy And they can save like $14 million in cap space by cutting him. I would cut all of those mentioned except Harrison Smith. The savings on him aren't huge and he can still play.

They can get to about $45 million under the cap by cutting Zadarius, Kendricks, Hicks, Thielen, Ham and trading Delvin Cook. That gives plenty of $ to address areas in FA. Of the pending FA's, the only ones I'd bring back are Duke Shelley and Mullens, who should both be cheap. Perhaps Mattison depending on the cost. I'd target JMS in the draft to fill the center spot and get a #2 WR, RB, LB(s) and CB in free agency.
Your post is spot on, except the bolded is wrong.

Far too many other glaring weaknesses when Bradbury is fine and certainly no worse than Ingram. They absolutely should draft defensive talent in the first round, unless some freak playmaker is there.
 

howeda7

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Your post is spot on, except the bolded is wrong.

Far too many other glaring weaknesses when Bradbury is fine and certainly no worse than Ingram. They absolutely should draft defensive talent in the first round, unless some freak playmaker is there.
Bradbury is a free agent. Even if he were "fine" it's not worth the $$ it would take to re-sign him. Getting the #1 center at pick 23 when it's a position of need is better than getting the 5th or 6th best DE or CB. We've done that plenty and it ends up Jeff Gladney and Mike Hughes more often than not.
 

kg21

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Bradbury is a free agent. Even if he were "fine" it's not worth the $$ it would take to re-sign him. Getting the #1 center at pick 23 when it's a position of need is better than getting the 5th or 6th best DE or CB. We've done that plenty and it ends up Jeff Gladney and Mike Hughes more often than not.
A historically bad defense should go defense.
 

Gophers_4life

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Bradbury is a free agent. Even if he were "fine" it's not worth the $$ it would take to re-sign him. Getting the #1 center at pick 23 when it's a position of need is better than getting the 5th or 6th best DE or CB. We've done that plenty and it ends up Jeff Gladney and Mike Hughes more often than not.
It's not a position of that great of need, when we have so many other positions of greater need.

I don't see how Bradbury can command top dollar, when the team basically played as well with Schlottmann back there. If Bradbury can get more dollars elsewhere, then godspeed. Make Schlottmann the starter, then. He played well.


We need more help on D and elsewhere.
 

howeda7

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It's not a position of that great of need, when we have so many other positions of greater need.

I don't see how Bradbury can command top dollar, when the team basically played as well with Schlottmann back there. If Bradbury can get more dollars elsewhere, then godspeed. Make Schlottmann the starter, then. He played well.


We need more help on D and elsewhere.
That's why I want to spend most of the cap room on defense.
 





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