The Minnesota Vikings had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2013, and they were particularly bad against the pass, allowing 37 touchdowns through the air (most in the league) and finishing 31st in yardage allowed (287.2 per game). A lack of depth at cornerback and a turf toe issue that caused safety Harrison Smith to miss eight games were the biggest culprits for that ineptitude, and adding talent to both areas of the secondary has to be on the offseason checklist of general manager Rick Spielman.
We have already started to see some notable names released by teams in the couple weeks since the Super Bowl, but is one particular defensive back a fit for the Vikings?
The Detroit Lions, in a fairly surprising move, released safety Louis Delmas last Thursday. They will now reportedly save $6 million in salary cap space this year, so it’s understandable from that perspective, but he played all 16 games for the first time in his career this past season and was the team’s third leading tackler (64 total tackles) along with three interceptions and two sacks. Knee issues hampered Delmas earlier in his career, which adds some risk to signing him, but multiple teams should still have interest in him.
At first glance Delmas doesn’t look like a great fit for the Vikings, since he has been a free safety to this point in his career and Smith is established at that spot. But the team should be looking to improve their situation at strong safety, with Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo currently under contract, and Delmas has the skill set to make the transition fairly easily even if it can be argued durability concerns prevent him from being a clear-cut upgrade.
Delmas’ market value will be determined by any lingering concern over the condition of his knees, as well as how many teams show genuine interest, but the Vikings need to consider signing him if the price is right and he checks out medically. Head coach Mike Zimmer, along with new defensive coordinator George Edwards, will surely have a say if Delmas is a good fit as the Vikings move away from the Cover-2 defensive scheme they’ve employed in recent years.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.