The Minnesota Vikings fielded one of the worst secondaries in the National Football League in 2011, a group that set an NFL record by going nine games without intercepting a pass despite playing behind a front seven that tied for the NFL lead in sacks. The group will undoubtedly be a part of the focus for the team during this off-season.
To that end, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings have reached out to former Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt, who was released by the Silver and Black yesterday.
As Fowler points out, Routt's statistics from last season show both reasons to consider him and reasons he should be avoided. On the upside, he allowed only 47.4% of the passes thrown his direction to be completed, and he had four interceptions and 15 passes defended in 2011. . .on the downside, he also allowed eight touchdown passes last year and was the most penalized DB in the league, getting flagged 17 times.
Routt has decent size (6'1", 195 according to the numbers from NFL.com), but isn't really considered a "Cover 2" sort of player. Then again, new defensive coordinator Alan Williams, while a Tampa-2 disciple of sorts, might be more interested in something more aggressive. . .man, I hope so. . .that Routt could do well in.
The cornerback market is going to be pretty loaded in free agency, however. Some of the names that will be available are Cortland Finnegan, Brandon Carr (my personal choice), Brent Grimes, Tracy Porter, and Carlos Rogers, among others. But at least we know that the Vikings are at least attempting to do something at a spot we know they need to do something at.