The Minnesota Vikings ended 2017 on a tough note, with an embarrassing loss to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Riding the hot hand of quarterback Case Keenum, the Vikings finished first in the NFC North with a 13-3 record. General Manager Rick Spielman has decided that now is the window to go all in. Making a huge splash in free-agency, Minnesota landed the top overall free agent in quarterback Kirk Cousins. Later, they added former first-round pick defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, making an already elite defense even better. Here’s The Minnesota Vikings Free Agency Grades.
QB Kirk Cousins, B+
Since entering the NFL, Cousins has been consistently thought of as a fringe top ten QB. Last season, Cousins threw almost 30 touchdowns to only 13 interceptions. One thing that could push Cousins over the top is the Vikings’ number one defense. He will be facing much better field position on almost every possession, which should result in more big plays and more passing touchdowns. Pair that with the emergence of wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and this is now a top ten offense. Signing Cousins to a big guaranteed deal may be slightly risky, but when your window to win a Super Bowl is open, you better jump through it, and fast. The Vikings jumped.
DT Sheldon Richardson, A
The former first-round pick has been dormant for a few years, and a change of scenery to the league’s number one defense may be exactly what the doctor ordered. There’s no question Richardson has incredible talent, but off-field issues and lack of effort have been issues in his two previous stops. Mike Zimmer is the one coach I would bet my house could get the most out of him. He is also signed to a one year deal, so the team risk is minimal. Being able to add a potentially elite defensive tackle to an already top five D line is a home run. If he hits even 70% of his ability, the Vikings win and win big.