CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: Erin Henderson #50 of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble by Tyler Clutts #44 of the Chicago Bears after he caught the ball as Husain Abdullah #39 follows the play, at Soldier Field on October 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Most of us have identified linebacker Erin Henderson as the one in-house free agent that the Minnesota Vikings really need to make an effort to hold on to, and it appears that they're taking steps to do just that.
According to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN, the Vikings are attempting to keep Henderson from hitting the open free agent market on March 13 by signing him to a deal. Henderson played very well in limited duty last season, only getting in on 53.8% of the snaps, but you would have to figure that number would go up if he were to return to Minnesota based on a combination of his performance and the expectation that his brother, E.J. Henderson, is not likely to return to the team. Most of Henderson the Younger's snaps last year came in the base defense, but he would likely jump into a nickel role if he were to come back to Minnesota.
The Vikings still have to finalize things with some other free agents, notably cornerback Cedric Griffin and guards Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera. Between the three of them, they're scheduled to make just a shade under $15 million in 2012, and none of them seem to fit into the Vikings' long-term plans. That money could go a long way towards helping the team with its youth movement.
Fortunately, free agency is just six days away. . .we'll have all the coverage of everything relating to the Vikings in free agency right here for you.