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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How the Vikings can avoid disaster No. 4

Find a new starting running back

The running back position was a top priority under Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer as the duo transitioned from Adrian Peterson to Dalvin Cook. But with an analytics-driven front office replacing them, the age of cost-efficient running backs arrived when they released Cook last offseason.

This era got off to a lousy start as the Vikings relied on Alexander Mattison to be their starting running back. The decision turned out to be a disaster as Mattison didn’t have a rushing touchdown on 180 carries, while Cam Akers and Ty Chandler couldn’t jump him on the depth chart.

Mattison’s guaranteed salary means he’s a lock to be on next year’s roster, but the Vikings would be kidding themselves if they believed he’s in for a better year. Free agent options such as Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, and Tony Pollard should be considered, as should players in the draft who could provide a cheap option with more effectiveness.

O’Connell is a pass-first play-caller, but the running game has its merits. After the Chiefs and 49ers got to the Super Bowl with Isaiah Pacheco and Christian McCaffrey, the benefits of a running game were apparent as Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy threw it all over the place.

The same thing could happen for the Vikings, but they’ll need a new running back.