6 ways the Vikings can avoid disaster in the 2024 offseason

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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The Minnesota Vikings have several key decisions to make during the 2024 offseason, but how can they avoid disaster?

The 2024 offseason for the Minnesota Vikings is a lot like a “Choose Your Adventure” book. With so many important decisions to make, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has several paths that could lead to building a Super Bowl contender or his dismissal.

But while someone on the outside can simply flip back to the page they chose the wrong path, that’s not a luxury for the Minnesota front office. Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter are approaching free agency, and Christian Darrisaw and Justin Jefferson could be seeking market-setting contract extensions.

The Vikings also have to find a way to enhance a roster that went 7-10 a year ago and do so while Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell are in the third year of four-year contracts.

When you piece it together, this is one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. It could define the team for years to come and whether Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell can see it through.

So what are a few ways the Vikings can avoid disaster and continue on their path to building a contender in 2024?

How the Vikings can avoid disaster No. 1

Don’t overpay Kirk Cousins

The Vikings' offseason begins and ends with the quarterback situation as the team has backed itself into a tough corner.

Cousins went to the negotiating table with hopes of a new contract last spring, but the Vikings decided against it and allowed him to play out his contract year. The results were bittersweet as Cousins was on pace for 4,953 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions before tearing his Achilles last October.

After watching Josh Dobbs, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall try to succeed Cousins last October, there could be a sense of urgency to have Cousins, who will turn 36 in August, return next season. But the possibility of a new contract comes with a slippery slope, as Cousins usually drives a hard bargain.

Cousins has worked under fully guaranteed contracts over the past eight seasons dating back to his time with the Washington Commanders. While the current regime gave him a fully guaranteed one-year extension upon its arrival in 2022, they haven’t been keen on fully guaranteeing salaries past one year, which SI’s Albert Breer and SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson have mentioned in recent reports.

It could take one phone call for that to change – either from the Vikings or another team – but it presents a challenge. If the Vikings don’t budge, they could go into the great unknown at quarterback. But if they overpay, it could prevent flexibility from enhancing the roster.

The key will be to meet somewhere in the middle and move on to a new plan if Cousins doesn't agree.