With the latest speculation about a reduced role for Antoine Winfield and the prolific passing offenses elsewhere in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings simply can’t have too much talent in their secondary heading into next season. Injuries to Chris Cook (broken arm) and Winfield (broken hand) last season exposed a real lack of depth at cornerback for Minnesota, and that must be addressed in some way this offseason.
The good news is that the crop of free agent cornerbacks looks deep this year, and of course the trade rumors surrounding New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis won’t be going away anytime soon. It would be a huge surprise if the Vikings make a deal to acquire Revis, but if they want to add a capable veteran corner there should be other good options available.
The Carolina Panthers are currently over the salary cap, and multiple reports have suggested veteran cornerback Chris Gamble will be released with the start of the new league year approaching on March 12. Should the Vikings have him on their radar if he becomes available?
Gamble played just four games last season due to a right shoulder injury, and injuries have become an increasing issue with 18 missed games over the last three seasons. Since he will turn 30 on March 11 and is due to make $7.9 million next season, with cap hit of around $10.9 million, the Panthers may be considering releasing Gamble even if they were not facing some tough decisions in order to get under the salary cap.
Gamble is the Panthers’ all-time leader in interceptions (27), but he has never been selected to a Pro Bowl. The Vikings could certainly use a cornerback with his experience lining up against an opponent’s best wide receiver, but his recent injury woes could lead to his skills eroding quickly. Assuming he does become available and the price is right, I think Gamble is a calculated risk worth taking for Minnesota.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.