Ranking the Vikings’ top 5 offseason moves

Top-5 moves
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores at Miami Gardens, Sept. 15, 2019. © Allen Eyestone via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The 2023 offseason has been quite a busy one for the Minnesota Vikings, and while they still have a few more moves to make, most of their offseason is now behind them. With that in mind, here’s a quick look at the top 5 moves they’ve made in the past few months.

1. Hiring Brian Flores

Offseason Stuff:
January 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores watches from the sidelines during the second quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

We can already see why this is Minnesota’s best offseason move. Not only does Flores help improve a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in many categories under Ed Donatelli, but he also helps the offense.

For more on how Flores helps the offense, check out Alec Lewis’ recent article The Athletic, but essentially, his defenses are already showing complex offensive formations in practice that they didn’t see last year. As a reminder, the team held all two OTA practices together, so this is extremely promising for the season.

2. Keeping Harrison Smith

Answered questions:  Hitman Status, Darrisaw as the real deal, Where was Cine?
September 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings parted ways with a number of veterans this offseason, most notably defensive end, but they managed to keep Harrison Smith for at least one more year, forcing him to take a pay cut through 2023.

Minnesota has very few experienced players left in the secondary, so Smith will be relied on to help nurture the younger guys, particularly sophomore Lewis Siné, as he returns from a compound fracture suffered in Week 4 of the 2022 season.

3. Jordan Addison Project

A pair of vikings project
April 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison on stage after being selected 20th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft in Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will benefit from this move more in 2024 than in 2023, but with Adam Thielen gone and the potential free agency for KJ Osborne, Minnesota could quickly lose depth at wide receiver.

Instead of paying Osborne a lucrative contract that other teams would be willing to sign for a consistent player like him, Minnesota now has the opportunity to cash in on Jordan Addison’s rookie contract and his precise route-running ability.

4. Signing Byron Murphy

ESPN lists the Cardinals' CB as "Best fit" For the Vikings in free agency
September 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates after recovering a 59-yard touchdown run in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings needed to find any kind of consistent starter to replace all the losses in their secondary, and Byron Murphy was as strong an option as they were going to find in free agency. As long as the cornerback stays healthy this season, he offers a lot of versatility and should be good for the defense.

5. Signing Josh Oliver

Syndicate: Florida Times-Union
Baltimore Ravens tight end Josh Oliver (84) rushes the ball after a touchdown as Mark Andrews (89) looks on and Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andre Sisco (5) slows to his feet after a fourth quarter stop attempt. regular season NFL football game on Sunday, November 27, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Jaguars beat the Ravens 28-27. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Jki 112722 Nfl Ravens Jags 51

This might be a surprising pick, but Josh Oliver should help the Vikings offensively this season in a number of ways. Minnesota’s offense relied too much on the passing game in 2022, and they need to find a way to become more balanced. Oliver is an excellent blocker, essentially offering a sixth offensive lineman to block in the run game.

However, we can’t sleep on his skills as a passer. It hasn’t come up much in his NFL career, but O’Connell has shown a willingness to make Johnny Mundt-like plays in the past. Oliver caught 91 passes in 2017 and 2018 while at San Jose State, so he’s definitely capable in that area.

The Vikings are ranked among the bottom half of the league for 2023 offseason moves

Josh Frey is a 2020 graduate of the College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com.. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, playing or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account. @Freyed_Chicken.

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