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2023 Vikings Off Season Thread


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Ugh, this seems like it's going to be a long upcoming season. No draft picks, no cap room, a team that is old as dirt and the last two drafts may have been the worst in team history. Who are the building blocks? Anyone other than Jefferson, Darrisaw and O'Neill? 2022 was a fun year overall, but I think we're in for a pretty rough stretch now.

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Nick pretty much nailed the downside. The upside is premium talent at wide receiver and good talent in every position group. I think the key is that a lot of the talent is at or past the “use by” date. 

I wish the Twins has as loyal and passionate of a fan base, but maybe that is football fans over baseball fans. 

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Gotta start overhauling the defense. We need talent upgrades at every position group on that side of the ball. It’s also time to say goodbye to some long time veteran players in order to clear cap space. Guys that I predict are released or traded:

Offense:

- Dalvin Cook - makes too much money. 
- Alex Mattison - let him go to free agency

- Adam Thielen - He’s lost 2 steps. 

- Irv Smith Jr - Maybe he comes back on a 1 year cheap prove it deal. Wouldn’t offer him anything more than that. 

- Garrett Bradbury - No interest signing him long term. 

Defense:

- Eric Kendricks - Lost a step. No longer good in coverage. Never was a fit for the 3-4 scheme. 

- Jordan Hicks - Way too slow 

- ZaDarius Smith (trade) - Feels like he’s a one and done here. Faded big time in the last 8 games. 

- Danielle Hunter (trade) - If we stick to the 3-4 scheme, he’s another guy that doesn’t fit the bill. Get a 2nd round pick and move on. 

- Pat Peterson - Will likely go chase a ring elsewhere. 

- Cam Dantzler (trade) - Feels like something is up with him and we end up moving on from him for a mid round pick. 

- Harrison Smith - Tough call but he’s at the end of his effectiveness. Gotta get younger and faster in the secondary. 

Other trade candidates:

- Ezra Cleveland - I’d try to trade him to a team that needs either tackle or guard. Not really interested in extending him long term. A mid round pick will do. 

- Harrison Phillips - Didn’t really see him make too much of an impact this year. 

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1 hour ago, Aggies7 said:

Trade as many people you can for as many picks as you can. Kwesi better do a whollllle lot better than he did last draft or we’ll be battling for the basement. You might see the lions win the division next year….

Let’s hope the Wilfs don’t meddle with roster personnel decisions and allows Kwesi to do his thing. 

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58 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

I wouldn't be upset with blowing it up. I wouldn't be upset with some changes and blowing up the D. I suspect the latter 

They've committed to a "competitive rebuild", so there isn't going to be a nuking of the roster, and ownership wouldn't allow it in the first place. They'll make changes on D, no doubt, but they'll be spending a good chunk of their cap space on getting Tomlinson, Peterson, and maybe Bradbury back. I would also guess we see Hockenson and Cousins get extensions to lower their 2023 cap hits to allow room for free agents (probably a few defensive ones). And we have perhaps the least amount of draft capital in football minus a few teams that traded their 1sts away. This isn't a year to rebuild, last year they had that chance and they passed.

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1 minute ago, Danchat said:

They've committed to a "competitive rebuild", so there isn't going to be a nuking of the roster, and ownership wouldn't allow it in the first place. They'll make changes on D, no doubt, but they'll be spending a good chunk of their cap space on getting Tomlinson, Peterson, and maybe Bradbury back. I would also guess we see Hockenson and Cousins get extensions to lower their 2023 cap hits to allow room for free agents (probably a few defensive ones). And we have perhaps the least amount of draft capital in football minus a few teams that traded their 1sts away. This isn't a year to rebuild, last year they had that chance and they passed.

If they aren't in position to win, it's always time to rebuild. It's hard to see how they fix the D, given their constraints.

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9 hours ago, Danchat said:

They've committed to a "competitive rebuild", so there isn't going to be a nuking of the roster, and ownership wouldn't allow it in the first place. They'll make changes on D, no doubt, but they'll be spending a good chunk of their cap space on getting Tomlinson, Peterson, and maybe Bradbury back. I would also guess we see Hockenson and Cousins get extensions to lower their 2023 cap hits to allow room for free agents (probably a few defensive ones). And we have perhaps the least amount of draft capital in football minus a few teams that traded their 1sts away. This isn't a year to rebuild, last year they had that chance and they passed.

They could do some of those, but there's only one player this team needs to figure out how to work an extension, and it's not those guys.

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1 hour ago, Vanimal46 said:

If the Wilfs are still dictating how the roster is constructed, we have big time issues. And KAM isn’t the right person at GM. 

I was in favor of firing Spielman, but it made zero sense to do it when the new GM either opted, or was told to keep all of Spielman's guys.

Anyone in that building who thinks they can improve off of last year is delusional though; they HAVE to start making the tough decisions to get rid of the old, slow expensive players.

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44 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

I was in favor of firing Spielman, but it made zero sense to do it when the new GM either opted, or was told to keep all of Spielman's guys.

Anyone in that building who thinks they can improve off of last year is delusional though; they HAVE to start making the tough decisions to get rid of the old, slow expensive players.

Agreed. The best days are behind them with the current long term core of Kendricks, Harry, Hunter, Thielen, and Cook. 

A good indicator of the Wilfs still meddling in roster decisions is if Dalvin Cook remains on this team. A true analytics guy won’t have a $10+ million RB approaching 30 years old on their roster. 

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23. Minnesota Vikings: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Between now and the draft, I’m sure we will hear plenty of quarterback talk surrounding the Vikings. But they also need help on defense, obviously, including in the secondary. A cover-and-clobber corner, Deonte Banks has rangy speed and ball skills. Several NFL teams have second-round grades on the Maryland corner, but others believe he can crack the first round.

Here are his 3 trades:

1. Indianapolis Colts (via Chicago): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Projected trade: No. 1 for Nos. 4, 35 and a 2024 first-round pick

5. Carolina Panthers (via Seattle): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Projected trade: No. 5 for Nos. 9, 93 and a 2024 first-round pick

15. Detroit Lions (via Green Bay): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Projected trade: No. 15 for Nos. 18 and 48

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Positives - Darrisaw and O'Neil look like better than good tackles, Cleveland improved at LG. He misses some blocks but he's good and he's really good on double teams. I like Ingram and think he'll be better with a season under his belt. Since I was mostly worried about the O-line coming into this season, this was a nice surprise. 

Jefferson + Hockenson + Osborn look like they'll be a solid core of receiving options going forward. (I think Theilen gets restructured). Reager didn't get a lot of looks but I wish they had given him more opportunities. They might have some solid depth without needing to add too much.

Negatives - the defense was horrible. The 3-4 scheme didn't work, the umbrella coverage allowed other teams to move at will, we were bad against the run. Kendricks, in particular, looked completely out of place in a 3-4. Hunter covered RBs on obvious passing downs instead of rushing. That's on the coaches. Scheme better. 

I'd invest all the draft and FA capital into the defense. Looks like the draft has a number of good CB and a few DL that could fall to us at 23 but also some good depth behind that. Get a new defensive coordinator and strongly reconsider the 3-4 scheme. I think Hunter and Wonnom are better in 4-3 scheme as DEs. I think Smith can be an OLB in a 4-3. (admittedly, maybe I'm wrong). The secondary is a huge mess. Not sure what to do but try to upgrade everyone. (I assume Peterson is gone in FA and Smith retires). I don't think the defense can go from 31st to top 10 in a year but if we could get a solid line, make it harder to rush, and generate more pressure without blitzing as much, maybe it could protect a bad secondary? Make them a top 15-20 defense to go with a potential top 10 offense? That could be a fun team to watch.

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4 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

They could do some of those, but there's only one player this team needs to figure out how to work an extension, and it's not those guys.

Jefferson’s extension won’t have crazy cap hits until 2025, which is why I didn’t mention it, but I expect that will get done. At most it’ll raise his 2023 cap hit by $2-3M due to the signing bonus.

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44 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

 

23. Minnesota Vikings: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Between now and the draft, I’m sure we will hear plenty of quarterback talk surrounding the Vikings. But they also need help on defense, obviously, including in the secondary. A cover-and-clobber corner, Deonte Banks has rangy speed and ball skills. Several NFL teams have second-round grades on the Maryland corner, but others believe he can crack the first round.

Here are his 3 trades:

1. Indianapolis Colts (via Chicago): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Projected trade: No. 1 for Nos. 4, 35 and a 2024 first-round pick

5. Carolina Panthers (via Seattle): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Projected trade: No. 5 for Nos. 9, 93 and a 2024 first-round pick

15. Detroit Lions (via Green Bay): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Projected trade: No. 15 for Nos. 18 and 48

If this team blows another high pick on a DB, I'll probably lose my mind. 

It's not that the team doesn't need DBs, but that's one of the few positions where there's little difference between a high round pick and a mid round pick. And the Vikings are the LAST team that should think it matters. They've proven unable to tell the difference between a defensive back and a bag of donuts through two regimes now.

They need pass rushers more anyway.

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14 hours ago, Danchat said:

They've committed to a "competitive rebuild", so there isn't going to be a nuking of the roster, and ownership wouldn't allow it in the first place. They'll make changes on D, no doubt, but they'll be spending a good chunk of their cap space on getting Tomlinson, Peterson, and maybe Bradbury back. I would also guess we see Hockenson and Cousins get extensions to lower their 2023 cap hits to allow room for free agents (probably a few defensive ones). And we have perhaps the least amount of draft capital in football minus a few teams that traded their 1sts away. This isn't a year to rebuild, last year they had that chance and they passed.

The Vikings have been competitively rebuilding for most of their existence. A big reason why the trophy case is bare. Always competitive, never get high draft picks. Mired in competitive mediocrity 

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I got rid of my XM so all I really have on in my car is sports talk despite the fact that I hate it.

Case I point: this afternoon, one of the dreadful shows on espn radio suggested that the Vikings send a bunch of picks to Baltimore to acquire Lamar Jackson. How these guys get hired when they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about is astonishing.

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2 hours ago, Aggies7 said:

This afternoon, one of the dreadful shows on espn radio suggested that the Vikings send a bunch of picks to Baltimore to acquire Lamar Jackson.

That suggestion is embarrassing, even by ESPN standards.

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5 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

Agreed. The best days are behind them with the current long term core of Kendricks, Harry, Hunter, Thielen, and Cook. 

A good indicator of the Wilfs still meddling in roster decisions is if Dalvin Cook remains on this team. A true analytics guy won’t have a $10+ million RB approaching 30 years old on their roster. 

Especially when now days RBs are always available via the draft hence much much cheaper.

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2 hours ago, Aggies7 said:

I got rid of my XM so all I really have on in my car is sports talk despite the fact that I hate it.

Case I point: this afternoon, one of the dreadful shows on espn radio suggested that the Vikings send a bunch of picks to Baltimore to acquire Lamar Jackson. How these guys get hired when they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about is astonishing.

They have the "hot takes".  Dont believe me?  Ask 'em.

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3 hours ago, gunnarthor said:

Get a new defensive coordinator and strongly reconsider the 3-4 scheme.

I’m good with keeping the 3-4 scheme. We just need the players to make it work. Which obviously we didn’t in 2022 due to poorly constructed contracts by Spielman. Even if we were in a 4-3 this year it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. We’ve been a bottom 3 defense in the league for the last 3 regular seasons. It’s a talent issue, not scheme. 

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19 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

I’m good with keeping the 3-4 scheme. We just need the players to make it work. Which obviously we didn’t in 2022 due to poorly constructed contracts by Spielman. Even if we were in a 4-3 this year it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. We’ve been a bottom 3 defense in the league for the last 3 regular seasons. It’s a talent issue, not scheme. 

Yeah, there seems to be a lot more flexibility with the 3-4, and it's not like anyone thought they could make one of the leagues worst 4-3 defenses into a competent 3-4 defense in one year. Being terrible was always expected. ****That was not an endorsement to keep Donatell, he has to go, as they should have been bad, but not THAT bad*****

I'm not sure I want Wes Phillips here either though. The offense should have been way more consistent. Still not yet answered, why was this team successful on like 1 out of 100 screen, swing and dump off passes around the LOS this year? How did those fail at such an outstanding rate? Those are staples of all decent offenses yet I bet if there's a way to measure their success, the Vikings were patrolling near historic ineptitude levels.

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36 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

I'm not sure I want Wes Phillips here either though. The offense should have been way more consistent. Still not yet answered, why was this team successful on like 1 out of 100 screen, swing and dump off passes around the LOS this year? How did those fail at such an outstanding rate? Those are staples of all decent offenses yet I bet if there's a way to measure their success, the Vikings were patrolling near historic ineptitude levels.

Not sure what Phillips does exactly as OC, but that's on O'Connell. He's the play caller.

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6 minutes ago, Musk21 said:

Not sure what Phillips does exactly as OC, but that's on O'Connell. He's the play caller.

Yeah, that's fair, but I can't imagine it's all about the play calling. Don't get me wrong, he called some atrocious gimmick plays at the absolute worst times, but the execution of some basic stuff was just terrible. Like the screen/swing passes I mentioned. And the WRs working to get open when Kirk was in trouble? Where they even working to get open, or did they just stick with their routes? They rarely seemed to bail out the QB when he had to improvise.

And when or when not to pick up blitzes.....I don't think any position group was on the same page in those cases. 

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There is certainly room for improvement on offense. But being 31st in the league on defense should have serious consequences for that group of coaches and players.

Either create the best offense ever and score forty per game, or fix the defense to near average, which probably isn't enough, but might be. 

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1 hour ago, nicksaviking said:

Yeah, that's fair, but I can't imagine it's all about the play calling. Don't get me wrong, he called some atrocious gimmick plays at the absolute worst times, but the execution of some basic stuff was just terrible. Like the screen/swing passes I mentioned. And the WRs working to get open when Kirk was in trouble? Where they even working to get open, or did they just stick with their routes? They rarely seemed to bail out the QB when he had to improvise.

And when or when not to pick up blitzes.....I don't think any position group was on the same page in those cases. 

They also seemed to stall on offense after the scripted first drive or two. That needs to improve moving forward 

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