Five Free Agents the Minnesota Vikings Should Re-Sign This Offseason
NFL Free Agency: Five Free Agents the Minnesota Vikings Should Re-Sign
The Minnesota Vikings made a notable splash in free agency last year, signing wide receiver Greg Jennings to a five-year, $45 million contract, and perhaps more importantly taking him away from the rival Green Bay Packers. They also added Matt Cassel to their quarterback mix, and he went 3-3 as a starter in a five-win season for the team.
The story for the Vikings in free agency this year looks likely to center around players that will not be back next season, as defensive end Jared Allen, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and running back Toby Gerhart look sure to be gone due to age or the likelihood of a better opportunity on another team. Cassel could also be elsewhere, since he has the ability to void the second year of the two-year deal he signed last offseason soon after the Super Bowl, but I tentatively expect him to be back with the Vikings.
The Vikings have some clear needs on both sides of the ball, and while a lot of attention will be given to May’s draft and securing a potential quarterback of the future the defense needs a talent infusion as well.
Some of the holes on Minnesota’s roster could be filled with their own impending free agents, and I don’t expect another signing on par with the move to sign Jennings a year ago. Adding depth may be general manager Rick Spielman’s priority in free agency this time around, and even if some names fans don’t recognize are brought in that will be a vital part of the team’s offseason plan.
Here are five free agents I think the Vikings need to re-sign this offseason.
5. LB Desmond Bishop
Bishop never really got an opportunity to play for the Vikings this past season, due in part to going down with a torn ACL after seeing action in just four games. He has now essentially lost two seasons to injuries, which may eliminate a lot of other team’s interest in him and make it easy for the Vikings to give him another shot.
4. DT Fred Evans
Evans is not an All-Pro player, but he has been an important part of the Vikings’ interior defensive line over the last couple seasons and should not be expensive to keep around.
3. QB Josh Freeman
The Vikings surely envisioned things turning out differently when they signed Freeman in October, as he never saw the field again after a disastrous Week 7 start against the New York Giants on national television and was often inactive on game days. But I feel like he was set up to fail in that game, with minimal practice time with his new teammates, and bringing Freeman back with an opportunity to compete for a job after a full offseason looks like a low-risk move with a new coaching staff in place.
2. WR Joe Webb
Webb finally made a full-time transition to wide receiver prior to this season, but he was buried on the depth chart and had just five receptions for 33 yards. I’m interested to see if a new coaching staff can find a way to use him in a variety of ways and maximize his potential.
1. DE Everson Griffen
Griffen has 13.5 sacks over the last two seasons in a part-time role, but with Jared Allen all but certain to be gone he is in line to start next year. The Vikings will certainly have competition for Griffen’s services, but they should be able to make him a substantial contract offer if they want to.