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Vikings free agency grades: Darnold, Jones, Greenard, Van Ginkel, Cashman

Minnesota were among the most active teams during Monday's official negotiating window

The Vikings have been one of the most active teams during the NFL's official negotiating window, reportedly making five signings.

With Kirk Cousins off to Atlanta the Vikings front office has gone to work using the extra cap space to fill a plethora of holes on the roster. According to several NFL experts, Minnesota's five moves have graded pretty well ahead of the official start of free agency Wednesday.

Below is a running list of reported signings and the grades each has received from The Athletic and Pro Football Focus:

Aaron Jones

  • PFF Grades - Fit/Need: A | Value: A
  • The Athletic - B-

In signing the former Packers bruising back the Vikings upgraded their running game for relatively cheap (one-year, $7 million). The Athletic notes Jones "should fit well in Minnesota’s system, because it’s very similar to Green Bay’s" but questioned whether he can stay healthy. "Jones needs to be a member of a committee to stay fresh, efficient and explosive, but he is all of those things when healthy," said PFF. "Add in that he’s still one of the better pass catchers at the position, and this could be a great low-cost signing."

Sam Darnold

  • PFF Grades - Fit/Need: A | Value: C+
  • The Athletic - C

After losing out on Cousins the Vikings moved quickly to get their bridge QB in the building. Darnold had "legitimate flashes at the end of the 2022 season in Carolina" said PFF while adding that "teams still believe in the former No. 3 overall pick."

The Athletic calls the one-year, $10 million deal for the 26-year-old QB a "low-risk commitment." They were also quick to point out that Darnold will recognize portions of O'Connell's offense due to his connections to the 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Blake Cashman

  • The Athletic - B

Minnesota started overhauling their defense Monday  with three big signings in key areas of need. Minnesota inked the former Gopher linebacker to a three-year, $25.5 million deal that The Athletic labeled as "a bit of a projection signing" due to just one year as a starter. Cashman was "strong against the run and solid in pass-coverage" during his career year in 2023 for the Texans.

Andrew Van Ginkel

  • PFF Grades - Fit/Need: A | Value: B
  • The Athletic - B

The Vikings added two pass rushers Monday, seemingly in an attempt to fill the hole by Danielle Hunter's eventual departure. Van Ginkel previously played for Brian Flores when both were in Miami. Despite that PFF said they were not "confident in how to approach Van Ginkel’s projection, given his injury history" but also noted he was "remarkably efficient as a pass rusher in 2023." The Athletic said that Van Ginkel brings "good versatility as an edge rusher capable of bringing pressure from either side."

Jonathan Greenard

  • PFF Grades - Fit/Need: A+ | Value: A-
  • The Athletic - B

The other pass rusher signed Monday was the former Texan who racked up 12.5 sacks in 2023. The Athletic said that if Greenard can stay healthy he "has the potential to be a real force up front for Brian Flores’ defense." PFF noted that Flores will "will surely love Greenard’s ability against the run, in addition to a still-developing arsenal of pass-rush moves."