NFL: Five Free Agents the Minnesota Vikings Could Still Add
NFL: Five Free Agents the Minnesota Vikings Could Still Sign
General manager Rick Spielman has made it a priority to make Minnesota’s roster younger since being given final say on personnel, so the Vikings have generally not been significant players on the free agent market over the last two offseasons.
But with wide receiver being their top need this offseason, the Vikings signed wide receiver Greg Jennings to a five-year, $48 million contract ($18 million guaranteed) near the start of free agency in March. The side benefit to signing Jennings was potentially weakening the rival Packers, who he spent his first seven NFL seasons with.
The playoff loss to Green Bay exposed Minnesota’s need for a backup quarterback, as Christian Ponder missed the game with an arm injury and Joe Webb showed he does not have a future as an NFL signal caller. Signing Matt Cassel, who has 62 starts on his resume, at least gives the Vikings someone who can step in and run their normal offense if Ponder struggles like he did at times in 2012.
Free agent signings don’t garner the attention they did back in March at this stage of the offseason, as any available players clearly carry some concerns that have kept them from finding a new team. So it's really a buyer beware situation, but also means teams don't have to break the bank to sign a player.
Depending on how things shake out during the rest of the offseason, here are five free agents I think could still be worthy of the Vikings’ attention.
5. LB Kirk Morrison
Morrison had essentially a lost season with the Buffalo Bills in 2012, playing just three games as he was inactive early on, waived and then re-signed. At age 31 he should still have something left, and unless he had an unreported injury last year there’s no concrete reason for why he did not see the field. Morrison had a productive run (2006-2009) as a middle linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, with at least 96 total tackles each season, and his overall versatility could put him on the Vikings’ radar.
4. WR Austin Collie
Collie’s history of concussions is surely the top reason he has not been signed, and he also suffered a torn patella tendon in his right knee last season that may prevent him from being ready for the start of the coming season. The Vikings could consider bringing Collie in on an incentive-laden, low-risk deal later this summer, and any notable contribution they get from him would surely be a bonus.
3. WR Brandon Lloyd
Lloyd was released by the New England Patriots in March, and the league-wide lack of interest in him thus far is a bit puzzling. He has at least 70 receptions in each of the last three seasons, but the fact he has played for six teams in 10 NFL seasons and the Patriots had no interest in retaining him could be a red flag for a lot of teams. The Vikings could still look to add a wide receiver to the mix, and Lloyd is the best available option right now.
2. CB Quentin Jammer
Jammer is one of the more accomplished defensive backs available now that Charles Woodson has signed with the Oakland Raiders. The soon-to-be 34-year old may need to move to safety to keep his career going, but no matter what the Vikings could use his veteran presence in the secondary with Antoine Winfield gone
LB Paris Lenon
Lenon started all 16 games in each of the last three seasons for the Arizona Cardinals, but he has shown signs of decline and will turn 36 during the 2013 season. His ability to play multiple positions could appeal to the Vikings in an overall sense though, and if they don’t like what they see from their linebackers during OTAs Spielman could be making a call to Lenon’s agent.