With the NFL lockout seemingly drawing to a close, free agency could be right around the corner. When an agreement is reached, players (whose contracts have expired) need only four years of experience to become unrestricted free agents. This will make for a nice free agent pool. And once free agency begins, there will likely be a whirlwind of activity as teams try to prepare for the upcoming season.
The Vikings had a nice 2011 NFL draft, where they made some tremendous value picks, while at the same time filling some of their team needs. Like most NFL teams, the Vikings still have holes to fill, so today I will be taking a look at some of the free agents that the team may consider once there is an agreement on the new CBA.
The Vikings have had a perceived need at the safety position since Darren Sharper left to join the New Orleans Saints in 2009, even after signing Madieu Williams to a six year, $34 million deal the previous year. There is some speculation that Williams, who has been disappointing since joining the Vikings, could be released or asked to take a pay cut.
According to Rotoworld.com, "Madieu Williams allowed a 114.0 passer rating on passes thrown in his direction while taking bad angles on running plays."
Leslie Frazier, who was defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003-2004, coached Williams during his rookie season and may decide to give him one more season to prove he can stay healthy and perform at a high level. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Husain Abdullah and Jamarca Sanford starting at free safety and strong safety respectively. There is also a chance that the Vikings could try to pick someone up when free agency begins. Here are a few potential free agent targets the Vikings could be looking at.
Weddle is a slightly undersized free safety who is equally effective in deep coverage as he is defending the run up close to the line of scrimmage. He has a good nose for the ball and shows excellent route recognition as well as the ability to read the quarterback's eyes to get a jump on the ball. He has good range and will show a closing burst as he breaks on the ball. He is not a big blow-up tackler but is consistent and does a good job of wrapping up and getting the ball carrier down. He is effective at disguising coverages and has a good nose for the ball.
Weddle, a four year veteran, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers 37th overall in the 2007 NFL draft. He was a key player for the Chargers, who lead the NFL in defense with the lowest offensive yards allowed per game. The Chargers only gave up 177.8 passing yards per game (1st in the NFL), while also holding opponents to just 93.8 rushing yards per game (good enough for 5th in the NFL). Weddle finished the 2010 season with 79 tackles, 10 passed defended, and 2 interceptions. Under the new CBA, it appears that Weddle will be an unrestricted free agent. I wouldn't mind seeing Weddle in purple this season, but I think if the Vikings want to pick up a free agent safety, there might be cheaper options available.
In his third year with the 49ers, Goldson became a full-time starter and was second on the team with 94 tackles and led the team with four interceptions. He is a good-sized safety with above-average speed along with excellent athleticism and body control. Goldson is flexible and can flip his hips easily or plant and drive on the ball when closing forward. He has good man coverage skills, thanks in part to having played cornerback in college. Goldson is a solid open-field tackler but is more of a drag down tackler than a blowup type, but he gets the job done. He shows good route recognition and can read the quarterback's eyes to get a jump on the ball from deep zone. Goldson still makes some mistakes by jumping on play-action fakes now and then or biting on pump fakes, but he is improving.
Goldson, like Weddle, will be an unrestricted free agent once the lockout ends. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. At 6' 2" and 200 pounds, Goldson has great size for his position. After two years with the team, Goldson worked his way up to become the starting free safety at the beginning of 2009. He finished his first season as a starter with 77 tackles, 6 passes defended, 4 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. In 2010, Goldson managed to start all 16 games despite battling lingering injuries to his foot, ankle, and wrist. After a down year, Goldson could be a bargain in free agency, and he now has a connection in Minnesota; this offseason the Vikings added Goldson's former head coach, Mike Singletary to their coaching staff.
- DeAndre McDaniel - Undrafted Free Agent (Clemson)
Good overall size and length...Good instincts in coverage...Displays solid route recognition...Also reads the quarterback's eyes to get into position...Gets his head around in coverage and can find the football...Good concentration and hands to come down with the interception...Comfortable playing in the box and is aggressive in run support...Hard-working player.
McDaniel finished his four year career in Clemson with 285 tackles, 20 passes defended, 15 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. At 6' tall and 217 pounds, McDaniel has an adequate frame for his position. He was projected to be drafted anywhere from the second to the fourth round, but he slipped out of the draft completely. Teams may have been concerned an incident in 2008 when McDaniel was arrested for assault and battery on his girlfriend. According to Scout.com, McDaniel has completed an intervention course and his record has been wiped clean. I think that some NFL team will sign him and give him a chance to compete.
- Deunta Williams - Undrafted Free Agent (UNC)
Very good instincts, reads and reacts very well, Has excellent range, can get from sideline-to-sideline very quickly, Solid in man coverage as well, has fluid hips and adequate speed, Has very good ball skills, good hands, and drives on receivers well,Heavy hitter, delivers the knockout blow,Aggressive in run support, will fly up and makes tackles at the line of scrimmage, Needs some work on open field tackling.
(NFL Draft Geek)
At 6' 2" and 205 pounds Williams has good length for a safety. He performed exceptionally well his first three years with the Tar Heels totaling 138 tackles, 12 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He was forced to sit out the first four games of the 2010 season after allegedly receiving extra benefits. His disappointing season eventually ended in December during the Music City Bowl against Tennessee when he broke his right fibula. After having surgery to repair the damage, Williams has been on the road of rehabilitation. Williams, who was unable to participate in the Senior Bowl or the Combine, was thought to be a second or third round pick before the injury. Like DeAndre McDaniel, Williams will likely get an opportunity to compete for a spot on an NFL roster.
The Vikings have a solid, if not spectacular, core group of linebackers; however, Ben Leber will be an unrestricted free agent this season. There is some speculation that Leber will not be back in Minnesota. If he were to leave, the Vikings could promote Erin Henderson or Heath Farwell, but there will be other options in free agency that the Vikings could elect to explore.
- Manny Lawson - San Francisco 49ers
Lawson is an excellent sized linebacker with speed and acceleration coming off the edge as a blitzing linebacker. He is athletic with good foot quickness, agility and body control, especially for someone with his length. He started all 16 games in 2009 and finished with 68 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Lawson can drop into coverage and get good depth and is starting to show good route recognition. He developing the ability to read the quarterback's eyes to get a jump on the ball from zone coverage. He still needs some work on his hand use when it comes to taking on and shedding blockers.
Lawson, who will be a free agent this season, was drafted 22nd overall by the 49ers in the 2006 NFL draft. At 6' 5" and 240 pounds, Lawson has great size and speed. Over his first five seasons, Lawson has totaled 181 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 14 passes defended, and 2 interceptions. The Vikings linebackers coach/assistant head coach, Mike Singletary has ties to Lawson from his days in San Fran. Perhaps Singletary will make a case to the Vikings' brass that Lawson would be a great addition.
He is a durable player who has missed only two games while with Washington. He played on the weak side in the 4-3 defense and is an active sideline-to-sideline player with very good speed and range. He is a very good tackler in line and in space. He breaks down well in the open field and is sure to wrap and finish. He is not a physical take-on player and will run around some blocks and get out of position. He is very good in coverage. He makes plays in man-to-man and in zone. He is an instinctive playmaker
McIntosh, like Lawson, had to make the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive scheme. He stands 6' 2" and weighs 242 pounds. McIntosh was drafted with the third pick in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft. In five years with the Redskins, McIntosh has accumulated 289 tackles, 8 forced fumbles, 17 passes defended, and 3 interceptions. Just another free agent option the Vikings could be looking at.
Anderson was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2006 NFL draft.
Anderson has served primarily as a backup linebacker who has provided quality depth. He is a slightly undersized linebacker with excellent straight-line speed as well as the agility needed to work his way through traffic when making plays down the line of scrimmage. He is more effective on the perimeter than he is against the inside power game and can struggle when he has to step up and take on a blocker. He looks quick and fairly fluid in his pass drops but needs more work on route recognition as well as reading the quarterback to get a jump on the ball. He can still be a bit late to pull the trigger when diagnosing the hole and looks more by the numbers opposed to being instinctive.
In 2010, Anderson had his best season as a pro, recording 130 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended, 1 interception, and 3.5 sacks. Anderson, who played strong side linebacker for the Panthers last season, performed exceptionally well against the run. Anderson is a better fit for the 4-3 defense, and according to Rotoworld, "Rivera does figure to mix in more 3-4 looks" this season. If Anderson decides to test the free agent market this season, the Vikings could be a potential suitor for the talented, young linebacker.
- Mark Herzlich - Undrafted Free Agent (Boston College)
Great football IQ, and awareness. Has elite ability to diagnose plays quickly, Plays 100 MPH, is very aggressive, and plays with a mean streak, Excellent size and bulk, Quick feet, and carries his pads well, Takes on blockers well. And does a great job shedding blocks, Ability to return after missing all of '09 with Cancer scare, is inspiring to say the least, Hard worker, leader, great locker room guy
(NFL Draft Geek)
Herzlich is an interesting prospect. He had a great career at Boston College totaling 218 tackles, 7 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions, and 3 sacks. He had to sit out the 2009 season after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. In 2010, he returned to the field and played out his final year of eligibility. According to Scout.com, Herzlich is now cancer free and cleared to play. If Herzlich not had the unfortunate bout with cancer, he might have been drafted as high as the first or second round. Herzlich has drawn some comparisons to the Vikings' Chad Greenway, and according to NFL.com, Herzlich has been training at the IMG football academy with the Vikings' Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Kyle Rudolph, and others. Herzlich could be in high demand once the lockout is over and he may get to pick and choose which team he wants to sign with. Maybe Ponder and company will convince him that Minnesota is the right fit.
Pat Williams has been a big part of the Minnesota Vikings ability to consistently be a top notch rushing defense. He is getting older and may not to want to be involved in any kind of rebuilding. According to ESPN, he has said that there is a 50-50 chance he is back in Minnesota. I almost expect him back in purple; however, if he were to leave, the Vikings would be lacking a true nose tackle. Letroy Guion seems ready to play, but he, like Kevin Williams, is most effective as a three-technique tackle. If the Vikings look for a free agent to replace Pat Williams, here are a few players they might think about.
Since being drafted in the third round of the 2007 draft, Mebane has been a very effective starter on the inside of Seattle's defensive line. He has enough power to hunker down and clog things up on the inside and can be extremely quick off the ball to penetrate and create problems in the backfield. He is an adequate pass-rusher from the inside but will struggle when having to chase for any distance. He is quick to read and recognize blocking schemes and does a good job of using his hands to defeat and shed blockers. He fights through blocks and keeps his feet moving to leverage his way to the ball but will struggle when trying to fight through double teams due to his lack of overall strength and power. He plays within himself and under control while being able to react and adjust to movement.
Mebane was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft. He has started 53 games for the Seahawks during his four year career. He will likely be an unrestricted free agent this season and he doesn't believe he is in the Seahawks' future plans.
"I feel like I wasn't in their plans," said Mebane. "And I feel like I have the right to think that because I got a third-round tender. If they really wanted me, they had plenty of time to do what they had to do."
In 2008, Mebane had his best season as a nose tackle. Lining up next to Rocky Bernard, who played three-technique tackle, Mebane finished the year with 5.5 sacks and 39 tackles. From 2009-2010, after Bernard left the Seahawks, Mebane was switched to the three-technique position, where he only recorded 2.5 sacks and 60 tackles (two-year totals). I think Mebane is better suited to play the part of a run-stuffing nose tackle, something the Vikings might need if big Pat leaves town.
- Aubrayo Franklin - San Francisco 49ers
Franklin spent his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens as a backup who saw limited action but then found success after signing with the 49ers prior to the 2007 season. He has become a very effective run stopper in the middle as he plugs up the middle. He plays with excellent leverage and does a good job of using his hands to control and shed blockers. He lacks great lateral range and makes most of his lays in the box. He lacks the upfield speed and acceleration to pressure the pocket as a pass-rusher but can cave in the pocket with an effective bull rush at times.
Franklin is another player that Vikings linebacker coach/assistant head coach Mike Singletary could potentially lure to Minnesota if needed. Franklin, an eight year NFL veteran, was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifthd round of the 2003 NFL draft. Franklin might make more sense in a 3-4 defensive scheme, but there is no doubt he could get the job done in a 4-3 scheme. The only problem with Franklin is that he is going to be seeking a very large contract. He has been around for a while, but there are many big run-stuffers who played at a high level into their late 30's (Pat Williams being a prime example). With the Vikings in somewhat of a rebuilding/retooling mode, I'm not sure if they will want to dish out the kind of cash that Franklin may require.
- Iam Williams - Undrafed Free Agent (Notre Dame)
Good short area mobility...Good burst off the line...Uses his hands well...Plays with reasonably good leverage...Very solid power... Gets into opponents quickly...Can get occasional push with bull rush... Plays the run well...Very solid anchor...Does an adequate job shooting gaps...Can occupy double teams...Stay at home run stopper...Chases the action...Good tackler...Good range...Good leader...Good instincts and awareness...Good motor
Why not replace one Williams with another Williams? Ian Williams was projected to be a mid-round draft pick this past April, but like other players, he was trying to bounce back from a season-ending injury and slipped through the cracks of the 2011 draft. Minnesota has a good defensive line coach in Karl Dunbar that could develop Williams' potential. If the Vikings decide to go young, Ian Williams could be given a good look.
It's no secret that the Vikings could use more than one upgrade on their offensive line, but the interior of the line seemed to be the biggest problem. I am going to assume that the Vikings will give center John Sullivan one more chance this season, but according to Rotoworld.com, Anthony Herrera, who will be due $2.65 million this year, and Steve Hutchinson, who will be due $6.68, are both in danger of being released. If the Vikings cut ties with either player, there are a few players in free agency that the Vikings might consider.
In 2008 Dahl earned a starting job as a guard and has started the last 27 games he has played in, missing five games in 2009 with an ankle injury. He has excellent size with adequate initial quickness, agility and body control. He is not a natural knee bender and has to work to keep his pad level down to leverage blocks, but has enough mass and power to generally sustain and work the block. He can shuffle and adjust in a limited area but will struggle when isolated and in space. He knows how to use his hands to control and steer opponents.
Dahl went undrafted in 2005. After the draft, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys. He was later waived, bouncing through San Francisco on his way to Atlanta. In 2007, the Falcons signed Dahl from the 49ers practice squad. He has since established himself as one of the nastiest players in the league, helping to protect Matt Ryan and open holes for Michael Turner. Dahl will likely be looking for a big pay day in free agency, and if the Vikings are willing to pay him, he could potentially follow the Falcons former quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach Bill Musgrave to Minnesota. On the flip side, Dahl and Vikings linebackers coach, Mike Singletary, got into a heated verbal argument during a 2009 matchup between the Falcons and the 49ers after which Singletary was accused of spitting on Dahl.
- Justin Blalock - Atlanta Falcons
Blalock was drafted by the Falcons in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft. Blalock has been a solid starter since his rookie season with the Falcons. Here is the report on Blalock from ESPN insider.
Blalock is a thick, wide body with above-average initial quickness and body control. He has limited lateral range in pass protection but can be very effective in a limited area. He has improved his techniques when it comes to hand use as well as keeping his pad level down, but he plays tall at times which causes him to lose his leverage on run blocks. He can engulf and overpower opponents with his raw power once he gets his hands on them, but still needs to work on keeping his intensity at a high level over the course of the whole game.
If the Vikings decide to make some changes on the offensive line, Blalock, like teammate Harvey Dahl, could be a decent option for Minnesota (especially given the Bill Musgrave connection).
Joseph was drafted by the Buccaneers with the 23rd overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Joseph, who started 12 games his rookie season, became a full-time starter during his second season. He was named a reserve for the 2009 Pro Bowl.
Joseph is a powerful drive blocker who has the upper-body strength to control and steer opponents and enough initial quickness and agility to get out on the pull or to climb to the second level. He is a decent knee bender who can keep his pad level down to leverage blocks and can roll his hips on contact to deliver a solid blow in small spaces. He has adequate lateral range in pass protection and can sink his hips and get his weight shifted and back to the inside to react to counter moves.
Joseph has dealt with a broken foot two out of the last three years, but he is only 27 years old and has a bright future ahead of him. When healthy, Joseph has been a beast. He will likely be looking for a lucrative, multi-year deal in the open market if he does not re-sign with the Buccaneers. Joseph seems to be as his best when he is run blocking; something the Vikings interior line could use some help with.
- Zach Hurd - Undrafted Free Agent (UConn)
Hurd has the measureables and toughness to make it as a starting offensive lineman, but may need to slide inside to guard. Does a very good job against power pass rushing opponents, but can be taken advantage of by quicker, savvy ends with an array of moves, and misses some responsibilities in blitz pickup. Gets by in the running game with solid mobility and natural size, walling off lineman or punishing second and third level players in the open. Appears to love the game, considering his admirable work ethic and the natural passion he plays with. Has starting potential, but Hurd could slip to day three of the draft.(NFL.com)
If the Vikings decide to go the young, cheap route, Hurd could one of the better choices. At 6' 7" and 305 pounds, Hurd blocked for four 1,000 yard rushers during his career at UConn. He started every game during his last three years at UConn and was named First-Team All-Big East in 2009 and 2010.
The Vikings are faced with the reality that Sidney Rice will be free to walk once the new CBA is resolved, and Bernard Berrian's production has been decreasing every year. I am of the belief that Rice will be re-signed to a healthy contract, but if Rice were to leave, the Vikings would have a humongous void at wide receiver. Berrian, on the other hand, could be released.
Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities doesn't believe Bernard Berrian will make it to Vikings training camp unless Sidney Rice leaves in free agency. And in that scenario, Pelissero says it's only a "maybe" Berrian lasts so long. Leslie Frazier spit out some coachspeak at the NFL owners meetings, saying "We've got to get (Berrian) back in the fold and get him to where he's a major contributor to our offense." Pelissero sees right through it, calling Berrian "a fallback at best" who in an ideal world would be released outright. Mar 22, 10:56 AM
Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter
Burress was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 8th overall pick of the 2000 NFL draft. He played for the Steelers for five years, during which he broke the 1,000 yard milestone twice. In 2006, Burress signed a six-year, $25 million contract with the New York Giants. Burress would go on to produce two more 1,000 yard seasons over the next four years. In 2007 Burress caught the Super Bowl game winning touchdown to defeat the New England Patriots. The following year, Burress signed a new five-year contract extension worth $35 million; however, later in the season Burress was involved in a shooting at a night club (when he shot his own leg). In September of 2009, Burress was sentenced to a two years in jail. In June of 2011, Burress was released from prison.
Adrian Peterson recently endorsed the idea of Minnesota going after Burress, who will be a free agent once the lockout is lifted.
"Of course, I would love him to be a part of my team," Peterson said. "He's a guy before he left the game for two years, he was one of the top receivers in the league. ... I'm sure (Burress is) going to come out, he's going to be on fire and he'll be ready to contribute to whichever team picks him up."
(ESPN2 via Startribune)
If the Vikings lose Rice, Burress could be an option. He is 34 years old, but he did have a couple years off (while sitting in prison) to rest his body. Burress will get a shot at redemption with some NFL team in need of a quality wide receiver.
- Malcolm Floyd - San Diego Chargers
Floyd is a big receiver with adequate downfield speed and foot quickness, but is athletic and shows good ball skills. He builds to speed more than being immediate and needs to work on his release in order to avoid the jam, but has enough size and strength to generally overpower cornerbacks. He can read coverages and does a good job of converting his routes to get open versus zone coverage and is not timid about going over the middle and catching the ball in traffic.
Floyd is another player who came into the league as an undrafted free agent (2004 - Chargers). Standing 6' 5" and weighting 225 pounds, Floyd has great size and speed (4.44 in the 40 yard dash). He did not get to see much of the field until the 2006 season, but finished the year with only 210 yards on 15 receptions and 3 touchdowns. From 2009-2010, Floyd 1,493 yards on 82 receptions, and seven touchdowns. He also boasts a 17.3 yards per reception throughout his career. Floyd is a tremendous athlete, but has had problems staying healthy. Any team in need of a good red zone target that can also be effective running deep routes might be interested in Floyd's services.
Drafted by the Packers in the 3rd round of the 2007 NFL draft, Jones has totaled 2,069 yards, 149 receptions, and 13 touchdowns throughout his four year career.
Jones has become one of the deep threats in the Packers' air attack. Jones has good size, strength and athleticism. He has improved his overall route-running ability. He runs well but has to build to his top-end speed and isn't explosive off the line of scrimmage. He shows good strength and natural run skills after the catch. Jones has courage and concentration in traffic, and can make the tough grab extending away form his body. He has improved his ability and is more comfortable being physical in this area. Jones has become a solid contributor and a reliable receiver as a complementary role player.
Jones, who will be an unrestricted free agent, is a big strong receiver comparable to a player like Anquan Boldin. According to Rotoworld.com, ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde believes free agent James Jones will re-sign with the Packers only if there's no market for his services. Jones may not be a true number one receiver, but he has good experience as well as all the physical tools to be a serious threat.
- Terrence Tolliver - Undrafted Free Agent (LSU)
Tolliver is a nice sized receiver, standing 6' 4" and weighing 212 pounds. He ran a 4.52 forty yard dash at the 2011 NFL combine. He played college football for the LSU Tigers. Many analysts believed he was going to be drafted anywhere from the late second round to somewhere in the fifth round, but Toliver ended up going undrafted. His fall from the draft was most likely due to his 2010 season. He only played five games while dealing with a leg strain, hamstring pull, and another lower leg injury.
Toliver is blessed with exceptional height and good speed. Extends long arms and catches the ball away from his body. Can win jump ball battles. Builds speed, is a long-strider and can be a vertical threat. Excels running deeper routes but also crosses where he can gradually gain separation. Durable.
Toliver finished his career with 1,820 yards on 126 receptions and 12 touchdowns. Although he didn't put up gaudy numbers, Toliver has the skill set to be effective in the NFL. While at LSU, Toliver not only lacked the presence of an elite college quarterback, but was also competing against some of the best defenses in college football (SEC). To his credit, Toliver had his best game in a 33-29 win over Florida, when he recorded 111 yards on 6 receptions with 2 touchdowns (one of the touchdowns was the game winner).
- DeAndre Brown - Undrafted Free Agent (Southern Miss)
Brown decided to forgo his senior season with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to enter the 2011 NFL draft, only to go undrafted. Standing 6' 6" and weighing 233 pounds, Brown has been clocked as fast as 4.43 in the forty but ran a disappointing 4.59 at the 2011 NFL Combine.
Brown possesses rare height and bulk for a receiver coupled with enough speed to get deep. Can haul in the over-the-shoulder catch in stride and adjust to the poorly thrown ball. Flashes the ability to box-out defenders for the jump ball. Can be a load in the open field after the catch.
Over his three year career at Southern Miss, Brown reeled in 134 receptions, totaling 2,207 yards, and 24 touchdowns. His first year in college he was named Conference USA freshman of the year after recording 1,117 yards on 67 receptions with 12 touchdowns. At the end of the year he broke his leg during a bowl game against Troy and never quite regained his dominant form. His junior year (last year in college) was very disappointing. Battling a leg strain, Brown only played six games totaling 284 yards on 19 receptions with 3 touchdowns. Although Brown's college career started off with a bang and ended poorly, he could still become a great red zone target as well as a deep threat in the NFL. Some think he could be converted to tight end, but I think there will be several NFL teams intrigued by his size-speed combination and let him try his hand at wide receiver.
It should be noted that I purposely left off a few of the big name free agent receivers. I think that Vincent Jackson (SD), Steve Smith (NYG) and Santonio Holmes (NYJ) will all be back with their respective teams. Another name I left out was Braylon Edwards; I just don't like the guy. I would rather pick up one of the other free agents mentioned above. As far as undrafted free agents, there are many, so if there is a player you like that I missed, make sure to tell us about it in the comments.
So there you have it. A look as some of the possible options that the Vikings have in front of them. I didn't include quarterback of cornerback as a major team need. I figure that the Vikings want Christian Ponder or Joe Webb to start a majority of the games this season, so any veteran that might be added would most likely have to accept the role of a backup. As for cornerback, I really like the young talent we have behind Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin (Chris Cook, Brandon Burton and Asher Allen). I just hope they can stay healthy.
Please vote and share in the comments section who you would like to see the Vikings target in free agency.
(You can follow me on twitter @KellyMangin and I will follow you back)
Which position should be the Vikings first priority in free agency?
Defensive backfield (107 votes)
Linebacker (4 votes)
Defensive line (14 votes)
Offensive line (154 votes)
Wide receiver (43 votes)
Quarterback (37 votes)
359 total votes