The Minnesota Vikings face an important offseason in 2024, but there are a few potential mistakes that could come back to haunt them.
This offseason could be one of the most important in the history of the Minnesota Vikings, and it comes with several big decisions.
With Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter, and Dalton Risner pending free agents and other players such as Justin Jefferson and Christian Darrisaw looking for big paydays, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has several big decisions to make that could shape the 2024 team as well as the future of the franchise.
While some decisions could have a minimal impact, others could have major ramifications that could not only cost the current regime its job but set the team back years in the process.
In this article, we’ll list six mistakes the Vikings can’t afford to make this offseason and how they could hurt Minnesota if it chooses to ignore the warning signs.
Mistake No. 1
Not giving Justin Jefferson a long-term extension
It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Justin Jefferson would receive a contract extension last spring, but last offseason came and went without a blockbuster deal for the star receiver.
While several factors led to a deal not getting done, the Vikings would be unwise to make the same mistake this offseason.
The case for Minnesota to pass on a long-term contract would involve the cost it would take to get it done.
At 24-years-old, Jefferson will be looking to not only become the highest-paid receiver in NFL history but also the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league.
Entering this offseason, Tyreek Hill currently has the highest average salary per year for receivers, with a four-year, $120 million contract from the Miami Dolphins, which includes $52.35 million guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Nick Bosa became the highest-paid non-quarterback with a five-year, $170 million contract from the San Francisco 49ers, with $88 million guaranteed.
These numbers would make the Vikings swallow hard before offering a contract that would give Jefferson both titles in a new contract, and it could persuade them to trade the star receiver for assets to help rebuild the team.
But trading away star receivers hasn’t worked in the team’s favor in recent history.
The Kansas City Chiefs are currently rolling with rookie Rashee Rice, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and Kadarius Toney after trading Hill two seasons ago, and Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel both got fired by the Tennessee Titans two years after trading A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Minnesota did get lucky by acquiring Jefferson with the first-round pick acquired in the Stefon Diggs trade and came out on top after landing Xavier Rhodes with the first-round pick acquired in a deal that sent Percy Harvin to Seattle in 2013.
But hoping to land a receiver with similar talents to Jefferson would be hoping that lightning strikes twice and could leave the Vikings in a situation similar to when they traded Randy Moss in 2005.