Minnesota Vikings Free Agency 2023
The Vikings had a strong 2022 regular season before losing in the playoffs to the New York Giants 31-24. The Vikings went 13-4 to win the NFC North Division. It will be a crucial offseason as the team hopes to take the next step to stay ahead of the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Here’s what you need to know about the Minnesota Vikings free agency situation for 2023.
Minnesota Vikings 2023 NFL Free Agents Overview
The secondary is taking a hit as Vikings cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Kris Boyd, and Chandon Sullivan hit free agency this year. Peterson had a great 2022 season at cornerback for the Vikings and might be worth re-signing. Sullivan started 10 games for the Vikings at slot cornerback and had 60 tackles on the year.
Kirk Cousins’ backup Nick Mullens is one of the free agents the Minnesota Vikings will consider keeping. A backup like Mullens is worth keeping around.
Running back Alexander Mattison had five rushing touchdowns last season. The Vikings likely will let him walk and look for running back depth in the market.
The special teams unit has some questions with 2023 free agents Greg Joseph (Kicker) and Andrew DePaola (long snapper). Joseph was 26 of 33 on field goals this season.
On the defensive line, Dalvin Tomlinson had a solid season. He has played at least 588 snaps each season since he was drafted in 2017. On the other side of the ball, three members of the offensive line have expiring contracts.
Unrestricted Vikings Free Agents
To be an unrestricted free agent, there are a couple of qualifications. An NFL player must have four or more years of experience. Also, their contract has to have expired or been voided. They can negotiate with any team without any restrictions or draft-choice compensation. Here’s a list of impending free agents for the Vikings who are unrestricted.
Alexander Mattison – RB
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Olabisi Johnson – WR
Irv Smith – TE
Centers, Guards, and Tackles
Garrett Bradbury – C
Austin Schlottmann – G
Oli Udoh – T
Defensive Tackles, Defensive Ends, and Edge Rushers
Jonathan Bullard – DE
Dalvin Tomlinson – DT
Cornerbacks and Safeties
Kris Boyd – CB
Patrick Peterson – CB
Chandon Sullivan – CB
Andrew DePaola – LS
Greg Joseph – K
Restricted Free Agents
A restricted free agent is a player who has played for three or fewer accrued seasons and has an expiring contract. The team can assign a tender to the player, which allows them to match any offer the player receives from other teams. The team receives draft compensation if the player signs elsewhere.
2023 NFL restricted free agents for the Vikings
Ben Ellefson – TE
Salary Cap and Roster
Cap space is going to be hard to come by for the Vikings. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will have to make some tough roster decisions to clear room. The NFL salary cap is $224.8 million for the 2023 season.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins commands a $36.3 million cap hit. Adam Thielen is second on the team at almost $20 million. Running back Dalvin Cook is a hit of $14.1 million. Cook played in all 17 games in 2022. The first time he’s done that since he was drafted by Minnesota.
The Vikings acquired TJ Hockenson before the trade deadline this past season. His cap hit is $9.3 million for 2023.
The team hopes to add more talent through the 2023 NFL Draft and move forward after the Wild Card playoff loss to the New York Giants.
Vikings Free Agency 2023 FAQs
NFL free agency will commence on March 15, 2023. It begins at 4 p.m. eastern time. The date signifies the start of the new league year and the end of all player contracts. Many players are set to hit the market and gain free agency status.
An unrestricted free agent is a player whose contract has expired, and they have no ties to their former team. Starting on March 15, they are free to negotiate with any team in the league without restrictions.
A restricted free agent can be extended what is called a qualifying offer. If offered, they are still allowed to negotiate with other teams around the league. Their current team is allowed to match any offer.
There is a “legal tampering” period that begins on March 13. Teams can talk to certified agents but no signings can be made until free agency is official.