The Vikings free agency action proved fairly mild in the midst of a wild month across the league.
But Minnesota's moves were measured and strategic, adding significant names to the defensive side of the ball and bringing back cornerback Patrick Peterson for a second season in purple.
CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr recently ranked the 16 NFC teams following the first wave of free agency, and he put the Vikings at No. 8. Kerr wrote:
The Vikings are set at the skill positions with Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen – yet the Kirk Cousins love affair remains a conundrum. Minnesota signed Cousins to an extension this offseason, keeping him with the Vikings for at least two more seasons. The Vikings could do better than Cousins, but they can do so much worse, too.
Minnesota's defense was the unit in need of a revamp, getting that opportunity with new Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell. [Za'Darius] Smith is a major boost to a pass rush that is getting Danielle Hunter back from injury, which will be vital to the success of the unit. [Jordan] Hicks is an underrated signing at linebacker, as he'll be paired with Eric Kendricks on the inside.
The secondary still needs work outside of Harrison Smith, but Chandon Sullivan signing to play the slot is an underrated move. The Vikings are better, yet it's hard to get a grasp on where they stack up in the conference.
The Vikings were ranked second highest among NFC North teams, as Kerr tabbed Green Bay at No. 4 overall. He wrote, "The Packers will always have a Super Bowl opportunity with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback" but added that Green Bay's roster "took a massive hit" due to the magnitude of Rodgers' extension.
Keeping Rodgers and retaining key free agents was the offseason plan for Green Bay, and the Packers nearly executed it to perfection. The [Davante] Adams trade is puzzling with Rodgers returning, hurting their status as Super Bowl contenders. Improving at wide receiver will help Green Bay catch up to the Rams and Buccaneers.
The Lions and Bears were ranked 13th and 14th, respectively, ranked ahead of only the Giants and Falcons.
Chicago doesn't appear to be bringing back Akiem Hicks, as the pass rush remains a mystery outside of Robert Quinn. ([Al-Quadin] Muhammad was signed as the compliment to him on the edge). The Bears do have Roquan Smith at linebacker, but not much else yet. The same can be said with the secondary, as the defense is undergoing a major renovation.
[Justin] Fields' top pass catcher is the emerging Darnell Mooney, but the Bears did sign [Byron] Pringle to compliment him in the slot. David Montgomery is back at running back as the Bears hope Tarik Cohen can stay healthy as a complimentary back. The offensive line is still a mess, as the Bears don't have a starting tackle back from last year. [Lucas] Patrick should solidify the interior of the line.
View photos of Vikings CB Chandon Sullivan touring TCO Performance Center and getting introduced to the team for the first time.
Greenway involved in new partnership between Signing Day Sports & MFCA
The Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) has partnered with Signing Day Sports, "the future of recruiting for college athletics," it was announced Tuesday.
A press release by Signing Day Sports shared the following:
Now more than a thousand high school coaches representing over 355 schools across the state will have access to Signing Day Sports' innovative platform that is revolutionizing the recruiting process for student-athletes and high school and college coaches alike through its digital ecosystem.
The partnership came to be thanks to an introduction from Vikings Legend Chad Greenway, who is a Signing Day Sports ambassador.
In his work across the Minnesota community and with Signing Day Sports, Greenway is committed to increasing exposure for and providing opportunities to high school athletes across the state in which he played his entire professional career.
"This exclusive partnership with the MFCA is the next exciting step in creating an equitable recruiting space in a state whose significance in my personal football career cannot be understated," said Greenway. "I'm excited to watch the impact the Signing Day Sports platform will have in leveling the recruiting playing field across the state and look forward to seeing Minnesota's football talent find collegiate opportunities that they otherwise could have missed."
Minnesota high school football coaches will receive access to athlete information and other key benefits not available to or centralized for them from recruiting platforms. Signing Day Sports offers a unique digital ecosystem to help athletes get discovered and recruited by coaches across the country, featuring one-of-a-kind aspects.