Za’Darius Smith in Town Visiting Vikings

AP Photo

The Minnesota Vikings are tired of being left off the front page of newspapers in Minneapolis/St. Paul. After watching the hockey and baseball teams execute headliner roster moves over the past 72 hours, Kwesi-Adofo Mensah picked his own phone up and dialed the agent of former Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl EDGE rusher, Za’Darius Smith, who has reportedly accepted an invitation to visit TCO Performance Center on Monday.

Smith was an absolute menace with Green Bay, totaling 26 sacks in 32 games between the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He spent all but 18 snaps of 2021 recovering from back surgery. Vikings fans won’t have to be told how disruptive Smith is. We’ve watched him completely change the course of games against our favorite football team.

Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith

Danielle Hunter’s $18 million roster bonus became guaranteed on Sunday so all signs point to his return in 2022. A defense that has both Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter on the defensive line may not even need NFL-caliber cornerbacks to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.

With a limited budget, spending on the EDGE position makes a lot of sense. Bad cornerback play is much less likely to get exposed on a weekly basis if the pass rush doesn’t allow the opposing quarterback any time in the pocket.

Striking a deal with Smith could add more wins in 2022 than just about any addition the Vikings could have made this offseason, beyond extending Kirk Cousins. Speaking of Cousins, how can Kwesi & Co afford such a move? That’s a great question because they have only $2.4 million in cap space, as I type this blog (Spotrac).

But just because the Minnesota Vikings haven’t converted Danielle Hunter’s roster bonus into a signing bonus yet, which would save them $13.5 million against the cap for 2022, doesn’t mean they won’t. The front office, with nothing more than a phone call to let him know, can go back to the Danielle Hunter savings account anytime they find a need.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan