The 2018 NFL Free Agency season is nearly upon us, and with that the folks from Over the Cap have taken a look back at the 30 worst free agent signings of the previous free agency frenzy.
From OTC’s perspective, the Minnesota Vikings only made one of the 30 worst signings, as they tabbed the acquisition of running back Latavius Murray as the 29th-worst move of last year’s free agency period.
Just about everything the Vikings did this year turned to gold, but they reached on Murray and it was never worth the investment. While Murray salvaged a completely wasted contract when injury got him back into the lineup he is still a low tier back making upper tier money.
Well, I don’t know if I’d call him a “low tier” back or anything. He did a pretty fine job when he was given the opportunity, I think. I believe that the Vikings signed him last March with the full intent of making them their #1 back. Of course, they obviously had no idea then that they’d have the opportunity to select a dynamic playmaker like Dalvin Cook despite not having a first-round pick in last year’s draft, either.
Now, if Cook hadn’t gotten injured, then there would be more support for this. After all, in the Vikings’ first four games of the season, Murray carried the ball just 14 times for 38 yards (while Cook had 74 carries for 354 yards prior to his injury), and seven of those carries came in the game where Cook got injured against the Detroit Lions. But after Cook’s injury, Murray did a solid enough job as part of a tandem with Jerick McKinnon to lift the Vikings’ rush offense to a respectable level.
The Vikings’ signing of defensive tackle Datone Jones also made the list at #22. Jones was initially projected to be a potential starter on the defensive line, but didn’t even survive the final cuts of Training Camp.
Two players that left the Vikings made the list as well, as cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and running back Adrian Peterson were on the list at #23 and #21, respectively. While I don’t think anyone. . .at least anyone that was being honest with themselves. . .expected big things out of Peterson following his departure, Munnerlyn is a bit of a surprise.
Sometimes it’s best not to go looking to the past and bringing someone back after a few years away, which is what the Panthers did when they re-signed Munnerlyn after his three year stint in Minnesota. Munnerlyn struggled, never started a game, and finished with under 40% playtime for the year. The way his contract is structured he is in line to get another opportunity this year.
Surprisingly, offensive tackle Matt Kalil did not make this list, despite just about everything I’ve seen from Carolina folks reinforcing the fact that he continued the level of awful play that he showed near the end of his tenure in Minnesota.
Hopefully when the list of the worst free agent signings of 2018 is released at around this time next year, we won’t see the Vikings pop up on it too many times.