10 bold Minnesota Vikings predictions for the 2024 offseason

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and quarterback Kirk Cousins / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Bold Vikings Prediction No. 3

Harrison Smith will retire

One of the most important decisions this offseason won’t be made by the Vikings as Harrison Smith contemplates retirement.

A first-round draft pick by Minnesota in 2012, Smith wrapped up his 12th season with the Vikings and sounded emotional after their season finale against the Detroit Lions.

“Whenever I retire, I’m not going to tell you,” Smith said. “You’ll figure it out... It’s hard to have the ability to play and not have a desire to play. Whatever that gives you, I’m not trying to be ominous or anything. Right now, my shoulder hurts.”

Smith’s comments could be from a player who just went through the grind of a 17-game regular season. But they’re also from a player who contemplated retirement before returning on a revised contract last spring.

Set to turn 35 in February, Smith could be ready to hang it up, especially if he feels like he doesn’t have it anymore.

“I’ve been at peace for a while,” Smith said. “When I was a kid, I never thought I’d play in the NFL. To have a career I’ve had to this point, it’s pretty cool. [I] got to play with a lot of great people, a lot of great players and coaches. Lot of struggle, lot of ups and downs. It’s kind of what makes it so fun, too. Sorry, I don’t have any more info.”

Smith is under contract and has a cap hit of $19.2 million in 2024 and 2025.

With no guaranteed money remaining, the veteran safety could get cut if he doesn’t work out another revision on his contract, and that could spell the end of a Hall of Fame-worthy career.