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The Minnesota Vikings Need To Re-Sign These Three Players

The 2023 Minnesota Vikings season was full of ups and downs. Despite being without their starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, the team was in playoff contention until the final weekend.

Now -- it's time to turn our attention to the offseason. Minnesota has 27 players who could become free agents come March. It seems unlikely they'll be able to keep everyone, so who should be at the top of the 'must-sign' list? Here are three players Minnesota needs to bring back next season.

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A True Starting Quarterback

Vikings fans got a taste of what life is like without Kirk Cousins, and I don't think many are ready to move on from the 35-year-old yet.

Cousins was having one of his best statistical seasons before going down with the Achilles injury in Week Eight. Although the 4-4 record left lots of room for improvement, Cousins completed 69.5% of his passes and recorded 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions. calculated Cousins' market value to be around $39.6 million, but the four-time Pro Bowler hinted that he wasn't concerned with getting the highest contract this offseason.

It's hard to imagine a scenario where Kirk Cousins isn't the Vikings starting quarterback come September. Stability and another offseason of work with Kevin O'Connell could be a recipe for success for the Minnesota Vikings in 2024.

Vikings Defensive Star

Similar to Kirk Cousins, the Vikings can not miss an opportunity to bring back defensive end Danielle Hunter. The former third-round pick had a career-high 16.5 sacks this season, which was fifth-most in the NFL

Hunter finished the 2023 campaign with 83 combined tackles, 22 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles. He also led the league with 23 tackles for loss. The Viking with the second-most tackles for loss was D.J. Wonnum with seven.

You can't justify moving on Hunter after the season he had, especially when the pass rush has become a premium in the National Football League. It's going to cost you, there's no doubt about it. In fact, Spotrac has Hunter's market value set at $20 million, but if he can produce the way he has this season, the contract would be worth every penny.

Another Key Defensive Starter

The stats that Jordan Hicks put up in 2023 are not jaw-dropping, but you could feel his absence when he missed four games in the middle of the season. Minnesota went 1-3 in those four games without Hicks, with the only victory being the strange 3-0 win in Las Vegas.

As mentioned above, the stats won't jump off the page. However, he still made 107 combined tackles, with four tackles for loss and two QB hits. The nine-year veteran also scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery in Week Six against the Chicago Bears.

While the Vikings are probably more than pleased with the performance of undrafted rookie Ivan Pace Jr., keeping Hicks will bring a lot of experience and knowledge to the Vikings' defense. 

It's unlikely that Minnesota would go after one of the other available linebackers this offseason, so keeping a familiar face, who can still produce seems like the way to go.

Honorable Mentions

It's hard to keep this list to only three, as there are a few others who the Vikings should be trying to keep on their roster. 

The most obvious player outside of the three above has to be kicker Greg Joseph. The kicker was perfect on field goals inside 40 yards. He had just six missed field goals during the entire season and recorded only two missed PATs. Fans in Minnesota have trust issues with their kickers, and Joseph can provide some stability in the position.

Two other Vikings I would like to see return to the team in 2024 are D.J. Wonnum, who had a good season, along with guard Dalton Risner who helped improve the offensive line.

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