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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.