General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in his first offseason landed one huge signing so far. It was the signing of a two-time pro bowler and second-team all-pro linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Smith is the splashiest Vikings free agent in the 2022 off-season. Six other players have been signed to the team but they will have a lesser impact than Smith.
Vikings Free Agent Targets
The Vikings have about 11 million in cap space right now with no extension, cuts, or restructuring on the horizon. With the limited cap room and high-impact needle-moving players left on the market can the Vikings make another huge move? I think so and if they were landing one of these players can help the team in 2022 and beyond. Also making another huge move can help you in the draft and narrow down your needs.
The players on this list have connections to the coaching staff or front office. The connections might be enough to get conversations going as the days of free agency comes to an end.
Clowney is as big-name as they come. His pedigree includes being a former first overall pick second team all pro and a three-time pro bowler. Even with those accomplishments, Clowney finds himself in his third consecutive off-season as a free agent. In 2020 signed with the Tennessee Titans and then In 2021 he signed with the Cleveland Browns. Why would the Vikings sign Clowney?
The Vikings have Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter as a potent pair. However, they are still one injury away from having only one capable pass rusher. D.J Wonnum who according to pff.com had an overall grade of 50.2 isn’t a suitable backup. They also have a handful of young inexperienced players such as Patrick Jones II, Janarius Robinson, or Kenny Willekes. These young players only have a combined 16 games between the four of them. A theme of the off-season for the Vikings has been reconnecting old players to the new staff or front office. Signing Clowney would reconnect him with Kwesi who was in Cleveland in 2021.
Tretter is known for being the center for the Browns for the past five seasons. He also was the NFLPA president representing the players association in negotiations with owners and the league.
Tretter started 80 games for the Browns since 2017 only missing one last season. He also posted a respectable grade of 78.7 according to Pro Football Focus. Bringing him in would be a huge upgrade from Garrett Bradberry who has struggled in pass blocking. With Kirk Cousins under contract for two more seasons, Minnesota should have a short leash with Bradbury. However, Kevin O’Connell spoke highly of him at the combine.
Kwesi’s connection to Cleveland can help this come to fruition. Both being Ivey league guys can help that as well (Cornell & Princeton)
Odell Beckham Jr
Beckham has been a polarizing player since he entered the league in 2014. Starting with one-handed catches, sideline meltdowns, and breaking records in his first few seasons. Then his career took an unexpected turn for the worse as he dealt with ankle and quadriceps injuries. Then was dealt with the Browns and had little production due to his chemistry with Baker Mayfield.
A change of scenery for Beckham happened when he was released and then signed with the Rams and produced tremendously. In the regular season, he scored 5 touchdowns in eight games and two Touchdowns one being in the Super Bowl.
Why would Beckham be a Vikings free-agent target?
Beckham’s connections are strong in Minnesota for him with the coaches and players. Starting with Head coach Kevin O’Connell and offensive coordinator Wes Philips who Odell played for last season. These coaches along with Sean Mcvay created game plans for Odell to succeed.
Justin Jefferson and Danielle Hunter are former LSU tigers like Beckham Jr, which could be another connection. Jefferson and OBJ have a brother-like friendship and they can unite for a season or two here. Patrick Peterson was here last season and spoke highly of the Vikings and has hinted at coming back.
The Viking’s off-season is not close to over and can benefit from one more major move. These three guys can help them do that landing one should be on the shortlist of things to do.