NFL Minnesota Vikings

Five Overrated NFL Free Agents the Minnesota Vikings Should Avoid At All Costs

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Minnesota Vikings: Five Free Agents They Should Avoid This Offseason

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The Minnesota Vikings are likely to make some significant changes to their roster this offseason, with multiple areas of need, a top-10 pick in May’s draft right now and some salary cap space available to sign free agents.

Spending big in free agency has not been part of Rick Spielman’s plan since he was given the official title of general manager a couple years ago, and last offseason’s signing of wide receiver Greg Jennings to a five-year, $45 million contract stands out as the exception that largely proves the rule.

The Vikings are not likely to bring back defensive lineman Jared Allen and Kevin Williams for 2014, as they have both showed serious signs of decline in recent years, and finding some younger replacements currently on the roster, on the open market or among their own free agents (Everson Griffen) is likely to be a priority. Still, most of the biggest names available at any position of need for the Vikings are likely to sign elsewhere by this time next month.

But spending wisely in free agency can be beneficial to the Vikings as they look to add depth and talent to the roster, particularly on the defensive side of the ball after a dismal showing by that unit last season. Of course a lot of fans would like to see the quarterback position addressed in free agency, but this year’s class is not particularly exciting and making an effort to re-sign Matt Cassel as a veteran stopgap may be the best course of action.

Here are five free agents I think the Vikings need to avoid at all costs this offseason, for a wide variety of reasons.

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5. OG Richie Incognito

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Based on talent Incognito would be an upgrade for the Vikings at a position that is the weakest spot on their offensive line, but it goes without saying the potential for issues in what has been a harmonious locker room outweighs that.

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4. DE Jared Allen

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Vikings’ fans would surely love to see the team bring Allen back, assuming the financial numbers would be a fit for both sides, but other than fairly gaudy sack totals (11.5 in 2013) he does not offer much else.

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3. WR Hakeem Nicks

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Nicks’ talent level has never quite been equaled by his production, which continued in 2013 (56 receptions for 896 yards and zero touchdowns) despite the fact he was relatively healthy and played 15 games. Add in reports he was fined multiple times for being late to meetings and missing treatment sessions last season with the New York Giants, and Nicks is not worth the trouble.

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2. CB Asante Samuel

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Samuel was released by the Atlanta Falcons earlier this month after a thigh issue hampered him this past season and he eventually lost his starting job to rookie Robert Alford. The 33-year old is still capable when healthy, but I don’t think the Vikings should have anything more than casual interest and they may not be willing to meet his asking price.

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1. QB Michael Vick

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Vick may be able to form an exciting backfield pairing with Adrian Peterson, but his injury history and age (34 on June 26) means the Vikings should allow another team to take the risk here.