The Minnesota Vikings have started to address their need for a talent upgrade at wide receiver by signing Greg Jennings, and the draft later this month should bring at least one more addition to the mix.
The group of available free agent wide receivers is fairly limited at this point, but Adam Caplan of the The Sideline View is reporting that a few teams have interest in restricted free agent Danario Alexander. Alexander’s current team, the San Diego Chargers, can match any offer sheet he receives and other teams have until April 19 to make offers to restricted free agents.
Alexander was tendered by the Chargers at an original-pick level, which makes them vulnerable to losing him since he was not drafted and no compensation would have to go back to San Diego if they choose not to match an offer sheet he receives. It’s unclear if the Vikings are among the teams currently showing the most interest in Alexander, but could he be a good fit?
Alexander had 37 receptions for 658 yards (17.8 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns in 10 games for the Chargers last season after being signed in October. Over a five-game stretch in November and December he had 30 catches for 494 yards and five touchdowns, with at least five receptions in all five games and two 100-yard games in that span.
Alexander started his career with the St. Louis Rams in 2010, but knee and hamstring issues limited him to 18 games over his first two seasons and a hamstring injury led to his release during training camp last year.
Alexander has the size (6’5″, 221 lbs.) that NFL teams covet, and the production he had when healthy last season makes him an intriguing player that is still young enough (24) to become a difference maker. The Vikings obviously need wide receivers, but the need for a big receiver on the outside is an even more specific and urgent need if they hope to maximize quarterback Christian Ponder’s potential.
The lack of interest in Alexander around the league to this point is fairly puzzling, but lingering durability concerns that go back to his college career are surely in play. With no draft pick compensation required to secure his services, assuming the Chargers choose not to match an offer sheet, the Vikings need to be at least looking into making an offer.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.