The Minnesota Vikings hope to maintain or improve on their amazing 13-4 record from a season ago in 2023, and the quest will formally begin in two months.
Kevin O’Connell’s men will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10 at US Bank Stadium.
Vikings starts two months from today. Know what is here.
And while clubs will still hold a training camp and preseason, here are three big things to know if you’re returning to football after a few months off.
a new defense
There is a saying that some people hesitate to say out loud – it can’t get worse,
In 2022, under former defensive coordinator Ed Donatelle, Minnesota ranked second-worst in yards allowed to opponents and third-to-last in points allowed. In that sense, it is miraculous that the Vikings won 13 games.
O’Connell’s 2022 defense completely failed at home in the playoffs six months ago, enabling Daniel Jones and his New York Giants to march up and down the field in the wildcard round. During that game Minnesota’s offense struck in all aspects, but the defense fared poorly.
Accordingly, the Vikings hired Brian Flores to lead and transform the 2023 defense, emphasizing youth, speed and affordability. Several new starters are tentatively on tap, from Marcus Davenport, Khyris Tonga, Dean Lowry, Brian Asamoah, Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth to maybe Lewis Caine.
Minnesota won’t have a lot of experience on the defensive depth chart in 2023, instead bringing in an influx of new blood.
A lot of your favorite players = gone
These people left your favorite football team:
- Eric KendricksILB – Joint Chargers
- adam thilenWR – Joined the Panthers.
- Cameron Dentzler, CB – Composite Bill. (was forgiven by Min)
- patrick petersonCB – Joined the Steelers.
- dalvin tomlinsonDT – joined the Browns.
- Duke ShelleyCB – Joined the Raiders.
- irv smithTE – Joined the Bengals.
- chris boydCB – Joined the Cardinals.
- sandalwood sullivanCB – Joined the Steelers
- Zadarius SmithOLB – Joined the Browns (trade)
- dalvin cookRB – Free Agent
Through some Vikings media outlets, you’ll read something like, “The Vikings are driving it back.” But this claim is absolutely false. In fact, in the last three or so years, few teams have reversed their rosters quite like the Vikings.
General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is fully executing on his ‘competitive rebuild’ promise, and look no further than the above list. It’s strong.
Kirk’s Final Year – On Paper
If you’re looking for the most important developments from the Vikings offseason, stop right here.
For the first time in Cousins’ Vikings career, he will be playing in a ‘contract year’. Adofo-Mensah could have made a move on the soon-to-be 35-year-old, but he declined, at least until next season, signaling an off-ramp for Cousins in Minneapolis for the first time.
In addition, Minnesota did No Use the 2023 NFL Draft to select quarterbacks with high draft capital. Will Lewis and Hendon Hooker were available. Adofo-Mensah took a flier on Jarren Hall in Round 5, but ‘late’ drafted men are lottery tickets for subsequent QB1 use.
To put it this way on Cousins - if the Vikings were looking for a way to end the Cousins era as quickly as possible, their behavior over the past six months has been exactly the template. For now, Cousins is set for 2024 free agency in February and March, like Derek Carr.
For nearly three consecutive offseasons, a faction of Vikings fans has imagined life without Cousins, sending trade ideas out the wazoo. Here and now just around the bend is the first real glimpse of an onslaught of cousin-less Vikings.
dustin baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, vikesnow, He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday raun sah And Sal Masala, His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. List of guilty pleasures: Peanut butter ice cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Bassett Hounds, and The Doors (band).