How can the Vikings improve the roster even more?

Jonathan Daniel

Now that the draft is over and free agency is picked apart pretty good, it looks like the Vikings could be set heading into the off season activities. I wonder if they have any wiggle room to try and add additional players? There are some players that I would not mind seeing them add. But it would not fit the profile or mold of the team that Spielman is building. When has that ever stopped me?

First off the bat is how much money the Vikings have under the cap? Here is a site that has some information but it is definitely not complete. Here is another site that gives a summary at the end.

The spotrac one says they could use about 10 mil if they want. They are going to have to use a good amount for the rookies. This site thinks it will be 6.85 mil. That would leave only 3.15 mil or thereabouts to use.

So what can the Vikings do if they wanted to add more players which presumably would be free agents? The first order of business should be to extend Jared Allen. The two sides should be able to work out a deal. If Allen is a true team player then he could accept a little less than what he thinks he is worth if it is going to help the team. At the same time, the Vikings could be asking him to take a lot less. No one knows if they are even talking though.

This post draft plan is going to assume the two sides figure it out. Whatever they give him they should be able to lower the cap hit this year by at least 8 to 10 mil.

So now who should the Vikings look at bringing in to take the roster over the top?

I am going for older seasoned vets on one year deals.

First I would talk to Richard Seymour DT 6'6" 317. He is 33 years old now and turns 34 in October. He missed 8 games last year with hamstring problems but is still good. If I could get him for a few mil per year then it probably would mean Guion gets traded or released.

Next I would talk to Charles Woodson CB/ S 6'1" 202. He is 36 years old and turns 37 in October. He only played 7 games last year. Perhaps he can bring something extar to the safety group with his experience. But maybe Sanford is ready to take the next step?

I thought about Kerry Rhodes right here but I think he may want a longer deal.

Next I would talk to Brian Urlacher LB 6'4" 258. He is 34 years old now and turns 35 in May. He was not quite 100% last year and still did pretty well in pass defense. I think he would be a great mentor to some of the younger LBs like Hodges, Mauti, and Cole.

I thought about Daryl Smith too but I think he could want a longer deal as well.

I think that at this point that is about all I can think of besides maybe adding Brandon Moore OG 6'3 305. But I think Spielman likes his guards young.

Next I would talk to Brandon Lloyd WR 6'0" 200. He is 31 and truns 32 in July. He caught 74 passes last year for 911 yards and 4 TDs. I think that is better than Simpson. Even if they keep Simpson, Lloyd would be a nice 4th or 5th WR. But maybe that is overkill huh?

I think that there also could be some surprise cuts that the team should be ready to pounce if the player is good.

So what does this really accomplish?

You get a starting defensive line of Robison, KWill, Seymour, and Allen.
The backups will be Griffen, Floyd, Evans, Ballard, Jackson, and Reed.
Probably one of the backups is gone.

You get Smith and Woodson as your starting safeties.
The backups will be Sanford, Raymond, and Blanton.
Sendejo will likely be the odd man out.

You get a starting LB group of Greenway, Urlacher, and Erin H.
The backups will be Cole, Hodges, and Mauti.
Dean, McKenzie, and Mitchell will have a tough time making the team perhaps?

And you could have a WR group of Jennings, Patterson, Simpson, Lloyd, and Wright. Not bad at all. Some youts and old vets.

Now how much of this do I see happening. I would put my money on none. I do think Urlacher makes a lot of sense.

I also would like to see them trade some players (of course) that they do not think they will resign after next year.

There are still a couple of players I like on other teams rosters that maybe can be had for the right price.
I doubt the Vikings go for it but I would think about it.

I would ask the Giants about Marvin Austin DT 6'2" 309. He has been banged up a bit and has yet to make an impression. They just drafted Linval Joseph in 2010 and Johnathan Hankins this year. They have Cullen Jenkins and Shaun Rogers too. They signed Mike Patterson as a free agent as well. Perhaps Austin can be had for cheap?

I would ask the Saints about Martez Wilson LB 6'3.6" 250. I like him for some reason. I think that this is more of a pipe dream though. But again, for the right price, maybe he can be acquired?

I think that is about all for now.

I like the additions of some veterans on defense. Of course, what about Winfield? Well, his salary was 7.2 mil so they probably did not want him to take too much of a cut. I suppose this is true since they did not even offer a pay cut.

I am hoping the veterans I mentioned could be had for relative small deals (3 mil max) and for only one year. You get a starting safety duo of Smith and Woodson.

Now this sure smells like an "all-in" plan, no? It is to a small extent but all the players I like as free agents have only one year or two left. I am only advocating a one year deal for all. I think the veteran experience is good and if the contracts are reasonable it may help all the youngsters on the team. I am not giving up draft picks unless I could get an Austin or Wilson which I doubt. Probably best to see if they are released or if a late round pick will get it done.

Well there you have it. I managed to do something besides complain about a stinking punter!

I have not forgot though. :)

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