The free agent signing period in the National Football League kicked off ten days ago, and a lot of players have changed teams thus far. The Minnesota Vikings lost eight of their in-house free agents, but did manage to bring in two new offensive tackles, a versatile defensive lineman, and a new running back.
There really isn’t a whole lot left in free agency at this point, but are there players out there that can still help the Minnesota Vikings? The answer to that is a definite. . .maybe. I’m going down the list of some of the available free agents courtesy of the folks at Walter Football, and there are a few players out there that could potentially bolster the Vikings. Let’s check out a few of them.
Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets
Mangold battled an ankle injury for most of the second half of 2016, and the Jets felt it best to let him go this offseason. He’s 33 years old, and if the Vikings felt confident in putting him at the pivot on their offensive line (likely moving Joe Berger to guard), he could potentially be a huge asset to Minnesota. He’s probably the biggest-name free agent left at this point in the proceedings, but you’d have to wonder how much he’s got left.
Johnathan Hankins, DT, New York Giants
If the word going around about Hankins is accurate. . .that he’s apparently seeking a multi-year contract worth north of $10 million a season. . .then not only is there no chance that he’s going to sign with Minnesota, there’s no real chance that he’s going to be signing with anyone at this point. With the signing of Datone Jones, there probably isn’t much room left on the roster for another veteran interior defensive lineman. If Hankins lowers his demands at some point, someone is going to get a steal.
Gerald Hodges, LB, San Francisco 49ers
Hey, remember this guy? He’s still floating around out there in free agency, and has actually been pretty decent for San Francisco since the Vikings traded him there. I’m not sure which linebacker spot the Vikings would put him in if he were to return to the team, but the possibility is there.
Zac Brown, LB, Buffalo Bills
A lot of people seem to be surprised that Brown is still out there. He was very good for Buffalo last season, and if the Vikings were interested in moving Eric Kendricks to the outside, Brown would be a heck of a player to put between Kendricks and Anthony Barr.
LaDarius Webb, S, Baltimore Ravens
I’m not sure if the Vikings are still in the market for another safety, given the improvements that Andrew Sendejo made last season and having Jayron Kearse potentially waiting in the wings. Still, Webb was still getting the job done for the Ravens last season and could potentially make the Vikings’ defense better.
Those are just a few of the free agents who are still looking for a team for 2017. Are there players that you’re keeping an eye on that you think could potentially help the purple?