Vikings Free Agency 2024: Arrivals and departures from Day 1

Minnesota Vikings LB Blake Cashman
Minnesota Vikings LB Blake Cashman / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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It was a very eventful first unofficial day of the 2024 free agency period for the Minnesota Vikings as they added some new faces and said goodbye to a longtime friend.

March 11, 2024, will forever be remembered in Minnesota Vikings history as the day Kirk Cousins left the franchise to sign a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

However, a number of other Vikings-related headlines were made on Monday during the NFL's first unofficial day of the 2024 free agency period (it's the unofficial first day since contracts technically cannot be signed until Wednesday).

Minnesota was able to add some intriguing new names to their 2024 roster, they retained a pair of offensive linemen, and some of their 2023 contributors followed Cousins out the door.

Following the initial storm of Vikings news on Monday, the team was also involved in plenty of rumors about other possible players they could sign in free agency this offseason.

So, let's just get right into all the arrivals and departures that took place for Minnesota on Monday during the unofficial opening day of free agency.

Vikings Free-Agent Signings on Day 1

Sam Darnold - QB

2023 Team: San Francisco 49ers
Contract: 1 year, $10 million

If you went to bed at a normal hour on Monday, you probably didn't see that the Vikings and free-agent quarterback Sam Darnold agreed to a one-year contract worth $10 million.

Darnold is someone who has been connected to Minnesota for the last few weeks, and now he will suit up for the purple and gold in 2024.

Vikings fans shouldn't worry, though. The fact that Minnesota signed Darnold to just a one-year contract seems like a dead giveaway that they will be looking to add one of the top young quarterbacks in this year's NFL Draft.

Jonathan Greenard - EDGE

2023 Team: Houston Texans
Contract: 4 years, $76 million

With Danielle Hunter likely not returning to the Vikings this offseason, the team went out and got a younger pass-rusher (turns 27 in May) coming off of his best year in the NFL.

In 15 games with the Texans this past season, the 6-foot-3, 263-pound Greenard accumulated 52 tackles (15 for a loss), 32 pressures, 22 QB hits, 12.5 sacks, two pass deflections, and one forced fumble.

Andrew Van Ginkel - EDGE

2023 Team: Miami Dolphins
Contract: 2 years, $20 million

While the signing of Greenard feels like an effort to replace Hunter, the signing of Andrew Van Ginkel feels like a move made by the Vikings to replace D.J. Wonnum.

Van Ginkel is an underrated defender who finished the 2023 season with the seventh-best defensive grade from PFF among 112 qualifying edge rushers around the NFL.

He was also a member of the Dolphins during all three seasons when Brian Flores was the team's head coach, so he's clearly very familiar with the defensive scheme Minnesota will be running during the 2024 campaign.

Van Ginkel isn't exactly a big-name signing, but there's a good chance he will make a significant impact for the Vikings next season.

Blake Cashman - ILB

2023 Team: Houston Texans
Contract: 3 years, $25.5 million

A Minnesota native and a former Minnesota Golden Gopher is coming back to his home state to play for the team he grew up watching.

Blake Cashman is more than just a guy returning to play for his hometown team. He was one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL last season.

In 14 games with the Texans, he racked up 106 tackles (nine for a loss), five pass breakups, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception. Cashman's performance in 2023 also resulted in him finishing with the eighth-best defensive grade from PFF among 82 qualifying linebackers around the league.

Blake Brandel - OL

2023 Team: Minnesota Vikings
Contract: 3 years, $9.5 million

Selected by the Vikings in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Blake Brandel is sticking around for a few more seasons.

Brandel appeared in three games for Minnesota in 2023, and given the contract they signed him to, it seems like he could have a significant role for the team next season.

David Quessenberry - OT

2023 Team: Minnesota Vikings
Contract: 1 year, $1.885 million

Along with Brandel, David Quessenberry was one of the two offensive linemen the Vikings re-signed on Monday.

Quessenberry appeared in six games for Minnesota during the 2023 campaign, and he finished this past season with a better pass-blocking grade from PFF than Dalton Risner, Garrett Bradbury, and Ed Ingram.