Last night most Vikings fans were excited to hear that the team was in hot pursuit of Kelechi Osemele, widely considered to be the best offensive lineman in free agency this year.
But multiple sources have said earlier today that the Oakland Raiders won the Osemele sweepstakes, so the Vikings have wasted no time in setting their sights on another position of need, safety. From Albert Breer's Twitter account a short while ago:
Further complicating things, presence of ex-Cincy ass'ts in Minn, DC, Cleveland, Miami. No surprise: Vikes in on Iloka, Browns in on Jones.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 8, 2016
We've seen speculation tying Iloka to the Vikings, and Iloka even mentioned in a a radio interview last week how much he would love to play for Mike Zimmer, but this is the most legitimate source that I've seen tying the team and the player together since the 'legal tampering' period began. George Iloka is the consensus top safety in free agency this year, and personally, I think it would be a bigger signing for the team than Osemele would be.
That is, of course, if they can sign him.
Other than the Bengals trying to retain Iloka, I've seen no other news about other teams that might be interested. I would think Iloka would be garnering a lot of interest from multiple teams, so we'll see how this all unfolds. If there's anything that plays in the Vikings favor, at least when competing against the Bengals, it would be this, which was tweeted right before the above tweet:
My sense is the priority guys for the Bengals are S George Iloka and WR Marvin Jones. I'm told there's about $15M here budgeted for UFAs.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 8, 2016
So it would seem the Vikings have more resources to go get Iloka if they want him, at least compared to the Bengals. But there are teams like Jacksonville and Oakland out there with a lot more cap space, and money burning a hole in their pocket, so until we know all the competitors, we should get a better idea on where the Vikings stand.
Although, based on what Iloka has recently said, a chance to play for Mike Zimmer again is a wildcard that can't be understated.