5 extremely early Vikings cut candidates for the 2024 offseason

Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith
Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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The Minnesota Vikings made several surprising cuts this offseason, but who could be on the chopping block one year from now?

After losing in the first round of the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings said goodbye to some popular names this offseason. Adam Thielen and Eric Kendricks were released back in February, and the Vikings could have had more cuts if Harrison Smith didn't agree to a restructured deal.

While the moves may have been difficult to make, it benefits Minnesota in the long run and could be a sign of things to come.

According to Over The Cap's salary calculator, the Vikings have just under $42 million in cap space for the 2024 season. While that seems like a lot of money, Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson are expected to sign lucrative extensions in the coming months, and Christian Darrisaw is due for a similar payday next spring.

With Minnesota likely to dive into free agency, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would probably like to have more flexibility heading into next year. But that also means that more popular names could be on the chopping block.

In this article, we'll take a look at five names who are already cut candidates ahead of next season and how their release could help the Vikings become even bigger players next offseason, starting with an All-Pro safety who will likely be in the team's Ring of Honor one day.