5 biggest surprises of Minnesota Vikings free agency in 2023

(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) Josh Oliver
(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) Josh Oliver /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) Josh Oliver /

Signing a blocking tight end first

Of all the needs the Vikings had, a blocking tight end wasn’t one that was close to the top of the list. The Vikings were expected to bring in a veteran cornerback, a defensive lineman, and perhaps even a wide receiver. No one had signing a blocking tight end as the first move on their Vikings free agency Bingo board, but that is exactly what happened.

This move has nothing to do with the quality of player that Josh Oliver is. He’s apparently not just a good blocker but has underrated pass-catching ability with good overall speed. It’s just that the Vikings had bigger needs to fill and not much budget to put into other, less important needs. He could end up being a huge get and really help the Vikings’ ground game if they choose to actually stay committed to the run in 2023.

This move was surprising because, with T.J. Hockenson, Johnny Mundt, and Nick Muse already on the roster, tight end seemed like a need that would only be addressed with either a late-round choice or an undrafted rookie free agent. When Kwesi made his first signing of 2023 a tight end, obviously, a lot of confusion and surprise ensued.