Disappointment No. 5
Minnesota's free-agent flops
The Vikings didn't have a ton of money to spend in free agency last year, but they were still able to bring in some fairly marquee free agents.
Unfortunately, Minnesota didn't get a ton of run from these players who were secured on the open market.
Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. was one of the better free-agent signings by the Vikings in 2023, but even he had some bad games that went along with the good ones.
What was interesting about Murphy was that when he got hurt during the team's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15, that was also the point when Minnesota's defense took a turn for the worst. So perhaps his presence was a big key to their success?
Josh Oliver was the first guy the Vikings went out and signed after the 2023 free-agency period began in March.
Oliver is one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL, and his addition was thought to be one that would provide a huge boost to Minnesota's running game, except that wasn't the case.
The Vikings couldn't run the ball in 2023 and basically paid $7 million for 22 receptions, 213 yards, two scores, and an opening play fumble at home against the Kanas City Chiefs in Week 5.
Veteran defensive lineman Dean Lowry was also a bust of a free-agent signing for Minnesota.
Lowry didn't wasn't given high expectations when he joined the Vikings, but he couldn't even contribute as a solid role player who just did his job.
The biggest free-agent flop for Minnesota in 2023 was easily Marcus Davenport.
The Vikings signed the injury-plagued pass rusher to a one-year, $13 million contract. Minnesota knew there was a risk that came with signing him, but they likely expected Davenport to accumulate more than seven tackles and two sacks in three games (technically four, but it was only four snaps).
He also didn't seem in a hurry to return after re-injuring his ankle, and he played his last snap well before Halloween.
The Vikings expected much more from their 2023 free-agent signings, and the fact that they glaringly underperformed was disappointing and frankly depressing.