2022 Offseason Predictions

With the Vikings at -$16M in cap space, the new leaders of the team are going to have to make some decisions that fans may not be too happy about. Obviously the moves below are not calculated to perfection, many numbers will end up being different than I can find online and there will be much more changes to rosters with additional free agents and draft picks.

Offensive Starter Predictions:


QB- Kirk Cousins

RB- Dalvin Cook

FB- C.J. Ham


WR1- Justin Jefferson

WR2- Adam Thielen

WR3- K.J. Osborn

TE- Irv Smith Jr.


LT- Christian Darrisaw

LG- Ezra Cleveland

C- Brian Allen

RG- Wyatt Davis

RT- Brian O'Neill

 

Offensive Roster/Cap Moves:


Extend Kirk Cousins- 2 year/$66M fully guaranteed deal

Kirk Cousins is set to make $45M in 2022, but that very simply cannot work financially for the Vikings. If Kirk does not agree to a somewhat friendly deal the Vikings will be forced to trade him. Realistically I think something will get done between both parties.


Restructure Adam Thielen- $9M converted to bonus/cash

Thielen has been good about restructuring in the past and I would not be surprised if he were to do it again. Restructuring benefits both parties, saving the Vikings cap space and giving Thielen part of his money guaranteed and upfront for the 2022 season.


Sign Brian Allen- 2 year/$12M deal

Brian Allen recorded an 80.2 PFF grade in 2021, only allowing 5 sacks on 903 snaps played. With Garrett Bradbury not living up to his expectations, it could be time to move on from him for a guy who has played well already in the Kevin O'Connell system.


Let Tyler Conklin Walk-

Tyler Conklin recorded 61 catches, 593 yards, and 3 touchdowns in the starting role for the Vikings in 2021. With Irv Smith Jr. coming back from injury and being a likely breakout candidate it is not very practical to pay for another TE who is set to make a pretty penny in 2022.


Start Wyatt Davis-

Wyatt Davis did not receive much praise or playing time in 2021 under the Mike Zimmer coaching staff, which I wouldn't take as meaning much...but, Wyatt Davis has expressed his unhappiness with the way he performed in his rookie year in practice and is ready for a new slate with Kevin O'Connell to prove his worth this offseason.


Estimated Offensive Cap Savings:

Kirk Extension- +$12M

Thielen Restructure- +$9M

Allen Signing- -$6M

Overall: +$15M

 

Defensive Starter Predictions:


DE- D.J. Wonnum/Kenny Willekes

DT- Dalvin Tomlinson

DE- Danielle Hunter/Patrick Jones II


OLB- Janarius Robinson/Danielle Hunter

MLB- Eric Kendricks

OLB- Nick Vigil/D.J. Wonnum


CB1- Charvarius Ward

CB2- Cameron Dantzler

CB3- Kris Boyd/Draft Pick/Free Agent

SS- Harrison Smith

FS- Camryn Bynum

 

Sign Charvarius Ward- 2 year/$14M deal

The Vikings were labeled as the best fit for Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward, who recorded a 65.7 PFF grade in 2021. Ward played well for a very underrated Chiefs secondary with former Vikings Mike Hughes beside him. Ward could definitely be a good addition for a young and weak secondary group being rebuilt for the 2022 season.


Cut Michael Pierce- Save $6.5M

Although Pierce has 2 years remaining on his contract he, unfortunately, does not fit into the picture of the Vikings 2022 defense. With the Vikings moving to a 3-4 defense there is only one interior DLineman needed and Pierce seems to be the odd guy out. Armon Watts is on his cheap rookie deal and Tomlinson's contract is structured in a way that it would be difficult to get out of it coming away with any money saved.


Let Anthony Barr Walk-

I honestly don't see Barr and Hunter back together, originally I had Hunter being traded in this, but after Ed Donatell's press conference I've changed my mind. I think that Hunter could enjoy his role as a DE/OLB in the new 3-4 scheme. With that being said I don't think you can pay both Hunter and Barr this season.

Star Janarius Robinson at OLB-

With the team moving to a 3-4, OLB is essentially a further outside DE, which Robinson actually has some experience at from Florida State. He played as a Standup OLB so it would not be anything new for the athletic freak that we’d like to see more of in 2022.


Let Patrick Peterson and Xavier Woods walk-

Both of these guys played well in a struggling Vikings secondary group. You may ask why let them walk? The simple answer is money. The Vikings cannot afford these guys who will most likely make a solid bag in free agency.


Let Sheldon Richardson and Everson Griffen walk-

I honestly would love to see Sheldon Richardson back in purple in 2022, especially at DE in the new 3-4 defense. Unfortunately, though, I think Sheldon would make more money elsewhere considering our cap restraints. As for Everson Griffen, I doubt he comes back with no Mike Zimmer or Andre Patterson on the coaching staff.


Estimated Defensive Cap Savings:

Pierce Cut- +$6.5M

Ward Signing- -$7M

Overall: -$.5M

 

Minnesota Vikings 2022 Draft Picks(above predictions included):


1.12 - Cincinnati CB Amhad Gardner

2.46 - Alabama LB Christian Harris

3. 77 - Baylor S Jalen Pitre

5.156 - Pittsburgh TE Lucas Krull

6.183 - Arizona State OG Dohnovan West

6.191 - Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt

6.207 - Rutgers WR Bo Melton

7.230 - Iowa EDGE Zach VanValkenburg


This is my first Mock Draft of the season so don't take this as a guide for who to expect in the draft. I still have a lot to learn about this draft class and am excited to go through the offseason with you guys!

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