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Whenever an NFL labor deal gets completed, what is going to follow could very well end up being the craziest free agency period the NFL has seen since free agency was instituted. With the rules for restricted free agency likely reverting to what they were prior to 2010, there are going to be a ton of players that are eligible for free agency, and not a whole lot of time to sign them all before Training Camps get underway, which means that after months of not having a whole lot to talk about, we're going to be in for what will be nothing short of a total free-for-all.
There are going to be a lot of free agents out there, but I would like to toss out three in particular that I think the Vikings should focus on. . .outside of Sidney Rice, who I think we all know should be the Vikings' top free agent priority.
Names after the jump.
Eric Weddle, safety, San Diego Chargers - We all know that the weakest link on the Minnesota defense the past couple of years, by far, has been the play of the safeties. While Husain Abdullah was okay after he was given the opportunity, he strikes me as more of a strong safety/"in the box" type of safety. Weddle, the former college cornerback that has made a very successful transition to safety, is the best safety available in this year's free agent class, in my opinion, and would be an outstanding free safety for Minnesota. He's 26 years old, and he probably isn't going to come cheap, but he would be a significant upgrade at the position with the greatest need of an upgrade for the Vikings.
Marshal Yanda, guard/tackle, Baltimore Ravens - Yanda was the Ravens' third-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, and has really developed into a very good offensive lineman. He has the ability to play both guard spots or right tackle, and that versatility is going to be worth a lot of money for the 26-year old out of Iowa. He would fit nicely into the current right guard position on the offensive line, and could potentially move over to left guard if/when Steve Hutchinson decides to retire or even to right tackle if the Vikings get frustrated with Phil Loadholt and/or decide to move him to guard instead.
Barry Cofield, defensive tackle, New York Giants - With Kevin Williams' impending suspension and nobody knowing for sure whether or not Pat Williams is going to be back in Minnesota (and if he is, he'll be suspended as well), the Vikings might have to plug some holes in the middle of the defensive line. Cofield would be a very nice pick-up for the Vikings to do just that, not just for the time while Williams is out of the lineup, but to pair up with Kevin Williams when he comes back. Cofield is 27 years old, and is coming off of a year where he had four sacks and 54 total tackles, as well as four passes defensed.
How about you folks? Which free agents do you think the Vikings should be targeting when they have the opportunity to do so?
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