This post was written by Dan Zinski of The Viking Age.
Free agency starts this week in the NFL. There was a time when this meant big excitement for Viking fans. But then Rick Spielman took over as GM and implemented a frugal approach. Now…not so much excitement.
What can we look forward to this year? My suspicion is that the Vikes won’t make any big deals. Fans want Greg Jennings but unless his price goes way down from the $10-plus million he’s seeking I don’t see the Vikes making a run. Forget about Mike Wallace too.
If the Vikes do go into free agency at all, it will likely be on the bargain bin side of things. That’s just how Rick Spielman rolls. As for the positions he might target? Defensive tackle, cornerback, defensive end, linebacker, #2 QB and wide receiver could all be on the agenda. And there might be surprises. Let’s quickly run down some names we might see in play for Minnesota. Or just names I think should be in play.
Nick Roach, LB
I like Roach as a short-term solution at middle linebacker. The Vikings need to move on from Jasper Brinkley. Roach could at least hold down the spot for one year. And if he plays well maybe you give him a few more years. The best approach for me is to re-sign Erin Henderson as the weak-side backer. Roach could also play the weak side if you decide to move on from Henderson.
Drew Stanton, QB
He would be no threat to Christian Ponder.
Brandon Gibson, WR
The Rams may not think this guy is worth paying. Might fit in as a #3 receiver. It’s time to move on from Michael Jenkins at any rate.
Steve Breaston, WR
Dumped by Kansas City for obscure reasons. May be a guy waiting to emerge. Vikes will have to pick up at least three receivers between free agency and the draft.
Matt Cassel, QB
Might be too much of a threat to Christian Ponder. But the media are throwing his name out there quite a bit so it’s something you have to watch. If they do bring in Cassel, it could be a sign they’re trying to placate Percy Harvin.
Andy Levitre, OG
This name is getting thrown out there a lot on message boards. Is it a legit rumor or just some crap? Who knows. Buffalo seems ready to dump him. PFF has him as the #2 free agent guard. He’d be an upgrade over Charlie Johnson probably. But he might be too pricey for Rick Spielman’s blood.
Ramses Barden, WR
While we’re on the subject of message board speculation, might as well throw Barden out there too. The Giants are ready to dump him.
Do any of those names get your heart pumping? Not really. Hopefully this year there won’t be any John Carlson-like debacles.