Free Agency Preview: What Do the Vikings Do at Defensive Tackle?

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline (USA Today Sports)

Leading up to free agency in mid-March, we will examine a multitude of angles pertaining to the Minnesota Vikings’ free agency approach.

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Do the Vikings Need to Sign Another RB?
A Look at the Backup Tight End Options
Adding Wide Receiver Depth Should Be a Priority
Could the Vikings Splash For an O-Lineman?

With Sheldon Richardson and Tom Johnson entering free agency, the Minnesota Vikings may need to replace two defensive tackles that combined for over 1,000 snaps last season. Jalyn Holmes and Jaleel Johnson remain on the roster, but neither have proven much in the regular season.

If Richardson and Johnson find new suitors, the Vikings will need to restock their 3-technique spot. It’s hard to imagine them letting both get away, but let’s consider who might be brought in to strengthen the position nonetheless.

Level of FA need on a scale of 1 to 10: 6


Ndamukong Suh: Suh hinted on Twitter last week that he was traveling to Minnesota, but it’s hard to imagine where the Vikings would find the money to seal this deal, considering Suh needed $14 million to be wooed into a one-year deal last year with Los Angeles. The former Lion and Dolphin was a top-15 run defender, per PFF, and tied for seventh in hurries with 36, so it’s difficult to picture his value has dropped. While the Vikings could technically clear enough cap space to make this marriage happen, it wouldn’t leave them much room for anything else.


Corey Liuget: The former Chargers 3-tech’s second contract didn’t go quite as well as his rookie deal. After signing a five-year extension in 2015, Liuget’s production dropped, he had a harder time staying on the field, and he sat out with a PED suspension in 2018. That being said, a starter with high-end potential whose value is lower could be appealing to the Vikings, who need to conserve cap space and aim for high-upside veterans.

Shamar Stephen: The former Vikings tackle knows the system already, and while he wouldn’t be a starter, he can sit in at 3-tech or nose tackle if necessary. Had two sacks in 14 starts last year for the Seattle Seahawks.

Muhammad Wilkerson: Has primarily played in a 3-4 scheme with the Packers and Jets, so would have to adjust to a 4-3. Experience as an inside and outside pass rusher. Has 104 career starts and is still just 29, but experienced the first big injury of his career with a fractured ankle in Green Bay last season that ended his season after Week 3.

Timmy Jernigan: Notched 15.5 sacks through his first four seasons with Baltimore and Philadelphia but missed most of 2018 after undergoing surgery on a herniated disc the prior offseason. Could be damaged goods, but if the Vikings were confident in his health, Jernigan might have value.

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