5 Players Minnesota Vikings Must Target In 2016 NFL Free Agency

By Brad Berreman

The Minnesota Vikings will enter the offseason with very few glaring holes and most of their key players in line to return. Free agency will provide an opportunity to add proven talent to the mix in some areas before looking toward the future during the draft. Here are five free agents the Vikings should target this offseason.

5 Players Minnesota Vikings Must Target In 2016 NFL Free Agency
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5. CB Leon Hall

CB Leon Hall Credit: Mark Zerof USA TODAY Sports
Hall has been hampered a bit by injuries in recent years, and at 31 years old durability concerns are not going away. But the Vikings could lose a couple secondary starters from this season to retirement (Terence Newman) or free agency (Andrew Sendejo), so depth could become a concern. Head coach Mike Zimmer has some familiarity with Hall from his time as Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator, so the corner could become a free agent target for the Vikings if his former coordinator endorses him.

5. CB Leon Hall

Hall has been hampered a bit by injuries in recent years, and at 31 years old durability concerns are not going away. But the Vikings could lose a couple secondary starters from this season to retirement (Terence Newman) or free agency (Andrew Sendejo), so depth could become a concern. Head coach Mike Zimmer has some familiarity with Hall from his time as Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator, so the corner could become a free agent target for the Vikings if his former coordinator endorses him.

4. OG Evan Mathis

OG Evan Mathis Credit: Orlando Jorge Ramirez USA TODAY Sports
Guard play was an issue for the Vikings all season, due in part to having Brandon Fusco switch to left guard and Mike Harris moving inside despite being a tackle by-trade. Mathis eventually landed with the Denver Broncos prior to this season after being cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, and he's not that far removed from being graded as one of the best guards in the league by Pro Football Focus. A one-year deal for Mathis is entirely reasonable, and the Vikings should consider it.

4. OG Evan Mathis

Guard play was an issue for the Vikings all season, due in part to having Brandon Fusco switch to left guard and Mike Harris moving inside despite being a tackle by-trade. Mathis eventually landed with the Denver Broncos prior to this season after being cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, and he's not that far removed from being graded as one of the best guards in the league by Pro Football Focus. A one-year deal for Mathis is entirely reasonable, and the Vikings should consider it.

3. WR Anquan Boldin

WR Anquan Boldin Credit: Kelley L. Cox USA TODAY Sports
There won't be many big-name free agent wide receivers this offseason, and the Vikings are unlikely to go after someone like Alshon Jeffery. Boldin is the kind of veteran presence that can mentor a young group of wide receivers, as well as be a reliable target for Teddy Bridgewater. And at 35 years old, he should come cheaply on a short-term deal.

3. WR Anquan Boldin

There won't be many big-name free agent wide receivers this offseason, and the Vikings are unlikely to go after someone like Alshon Jeffery. Boldin is the kind of veteran presence that can mentor a young group of wide receivers, as well as be a reliable target for Teddy Bridgewater. And at 35 years old, he should come cheaply on a short-term deal.

2. OT Andre Smith

OT Andre Smith Credit: Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports
Smith has never quite lived up to being a top-10 pick (No. 6 overall in 2009), and he has missed nine games over the last two seasons. But right tackle Phil Loadholt could be an offseason cut after missing the entire 2015 season (Achilles) and the final five games of 2014 (pectoral), and Smith could either step in at right tackle or give the Vikings another option at guard.

2. OT Andre Smith

Smith has never quite lived up to being a top-10 pick (No. 6 overall in 2009), and he has missed nine games over the last two seasons. But right tackle Phil Loadholt could be an offseason cut after missing the entire 2015 season (Achilles) and the final five games of 2014 (pectoral), and Smith could either step in at right tackle or give the Vikings another option at guard.

1. S Eric Weddle

S Eric Weddle Credit: Jim Steve USA TODAY Sports
Weddle is surely looking forward to free agency, as his relationship with the San Diego Chargers deteriorated over the last year or so. The Vikings need to add a safety, so the possibility of signing the 31-year-old Weddle to a two or three-year deal should be on their radar.

1. S Eric Weddle

Weddle is surely looking forward to free agency, as his relationship with the San Diego Chargers deteriorated over the last year or so. The Vikings need to add a safety, so the possibility of signing the 31-year-old Weddle to a two or three-year deal should be on their radar.

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