7 free-agent edge rushers the Vikings could sign in 2024

Houston Texans pass rusher Jonathan Greenard
Houston Texans pass rusher Jonathan Greenard / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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When the 2024 free agency period begins during the second week in March, which edge rushers are expected to be available for the Minnesota Vikings to potentially sign?

As the new league year approaches, pass rushers Danielle Hunter and Marcus Davenport are set to become free agents. The Minnesota Vikings would probably like to keep Hunter with the team for the long haul, but they also need to have a backup plan in case that doesn't happen.

Will Minnesota figure out a way for Hunter to be around long-term, or will he end up moving on and getting the contract that he thinks he fully deserves?

In addition to the Vikings' decision about quarterback Kirk Cousins, the decision about Hunter looms large. Minnesota will likely attempt to do whatever they can to bring the Pro Bowl pass rusher back for the 2024 season.

Fortunately, the edge rusher market in free agency this offseason is quite robust, and there are numerous options available who could not only replace Hunter if necessary but could also be added to the defense along with Hunter if he chooses to return.

So, let's look at a few of the top edge rushers who are expected to be available in free agency this year.

Free-Agent Edge Rusher No. 1

Brian Burns

2023 Team: Carolina Panthers

Brian Burns is currently set to become a free agent this offseason, but there are rumors that the Panthers may choose to tag him and trade him for some return.

Last year, Carolina declined a massive trade offer for Burns, which now appears to be a costly error as the team is seriously lacking in talent.

If he does enter the free-agent market, he could be the most sought-after edge rusher this year. Even though his sack numbers were not high in 2023, he has shown multiple times in the past that he can be a dominant force on any defensive line.

He had 12.5 sacks in 2022 and eight sacks in 2023, playing in all 16 games both seasons. If the Vikings don't bring back Hunter, they may be able to sign Burns, as he would be an equivalent replacement if he joined Minnesota.

Burns is an exceptional athlete on the edge with a remarkable bend for his size, and better coaching could help him consistently achieve double-digit sacks.