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Lunchbreak: Vikings Slotted 20th in's Post-Free Agent Power Rankings

What a month it has been around the NFL.

From big-name trades to splashy free agent signings to players returning to their current teams, there hasn't been any shortage of news or drama over the past few weeks.

With that in mind, Dan Hanzus of recently put together his league-wide power rankings after the first wave of free agency, putting the Vikings at No. 20 on his list.

Hanzus wrote:

The Vikings surveyed the QB landscape and decided Kirk Cousins still represents the best option for the team going forward. It's possible Cousins is the greatest American businessman since Andrew Carnegie. Facing cap restraints, Minnesota has been mostly quiet in free agency. The team restructured the contract of wide receiver Adam Thielen, signed run-stuffing defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and waived veteran DT Michael Pierce. Personnel changes are inevitable as new [Defensive Coordinator] Ed Donatell includes more 3-4 looks.

While the Cousins extension was the most notable news earlier this month, Minnesota also made noise by signing outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith earlier this week.

Smith, a two-time Pro Bowler with the Packers, has 44.5 career sacks.

As Hanzus mentioned, the Vikings also added Phillips, plus linebacker Jordan Hicks, in the first week of free agency.

As for the rest of the NFC North, Green Bay ranked seventh on the list after re-signing Aaron Rodgers and trading away Davante Adams. Chicago was 25th and Detroit was 29th overall in Hanzus' pecking order.

And speaking of rankings, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports also put out a list of rankings on the moves that all 32 teams have made so far in free agency.

View the best photos of Vikings S Harrison Smith from the 2021 season.

Minnesota landed at No. 22 on Benjamin's list. He wrote:

Phillips and Hicks are solid plug-and-play reinforcements for the defense. Smith is more of a boom-or-bust move, giving them a potential All-Pro pass-rushing pairing featuring a healthier Danielle Hunter. They might still have a playoff team on their hands, with QB Kirk Cousins locked up.

Minnesota actually was the highest-ranked team for Benjamin in the division, as Detroit (25th), Green Bay (29th) and Chicago (31st) were all in the bottom quartile of Benjamin's rankings.

Seifert outlines Vikings biggest remaining question

What's next for Minnesota?

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah touched on that topic Wednesday, saying the team will now focus on the second wave of free agency and the draft in the coming weeks.

But ESPN's Kevin Seifert also posed that subject about Minnesota, pondering what the Vikings biggest remaining question is for 2022.

He went with a high-profile player in Cousins, and how the quarterback will fit in with a new coaching staff.

Seifert wrote:

Can Kirk Cousins and Kevin O'Connell make magic? Cousins is a talented passer but a limited quarterback. O'Connell's job as the Vikings new coach is to navigate those parameters better than his predecessors. We won't have answers here until well into the season, but the job begins in offseason workouts, which open next month.

Cousins and O'Connell were together in Washington in 2017 when O'Connell was the quarterbacks coach. Cousins threw for 4,000-plus yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions that season.

The Vikings are scheduled to begin their offseason program on April 11.