With the 2021 NFL Draft firmly in the rearview mirror, the Minnesota Vikings still need to add a few more pieces to get their roster to 90 players before Training Camp. To that end, they have been linked with a couple of veteran free agents that could help shore up both sides of the football.
The first player is defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, who the Vikings have expressed an interest in according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP in the Twin Cities. Kerrigan was the 16th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the artists currently known as the Washington Football Team. He’s currently fifth among active players in career sacks with 95.5, a figure that makes him the all-time leader for the Red. . .er, Football Team. . .in that category. He’s spent his entire NFL career in DC and is still available in free agency after a 2020 season that saw him put up 5.5 sacks.
The other player is wide receiver Dede Westbrook, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Vikings have had “preliminary discussions” with Westbrook. His case is a bit trickier, as he suffered an ACL tear in October of this past season. His best season came in 2018, a season that saw him catch 63 passes for 707 yards and five touchdowns. However, he had slowly fallen out of favor in Jacksonville and was the fourth receiver on the depth chart for the Jaguars when he suffered the ACL tear that ended his season.
Kerrigan and Westbook would both fill some immediate needs for the Vikings if both are healthy. I don’t think there’s any reason to believe Kerrigan isn’t 100%, but we’re not sure about how Westbrook’s rehab is going so far. However, Kerrigan would likely slot in immediately at defensive end across from Danielle Hunter on defense, and Westbrook. . .again, if he’s healthy. . .would likely be the favorite to capture the #3 wide receiver spot going into Training Camp.
Salary cap space would likely not be a concern if the Vikings wanted to sign either or both of these players. As things stand right now, they have about $7.6 million in cap space remaining, and are set to receive nearly $8 million more after 1 June as they designated tight end Kyle Rudolph as a post-1 June cut.
What do you think of the prospect of the Minnesota Vikings adding Ryan Kerrigan and/or Dede Westbrook to the roster, folks?