If you’re anything like me, no matter how many players like Patrick Peterson or Dalvin Tomlinson the Minnesota Vikings sign, you’re never satisfied. Especially this offseason, because neither of those players are offensive lineman. But it’s not too late! Don’t count out a last-minute deal.
Entering free agency, it looked like the Vikings had no cap room for any notable free agents. Chris Tomasson reported they had just over $9 million before any restructures.
Then, Rob Brzezinski worked his magic to sign a handful of impact and depth players. Not only that, but the team still has room to make a late push for one or maybe two more players before ending free agency.
Having $14 million in cap space can do enough to bolster a needy offensive line, thin defensive line or a top-heavy linebacker group. I mean, $10 million got Minnesota an All-Pro corner for a season.
Minnesota has holes to fill before the draft, and it has some space to sign free agents.
There are good players out there who haven’t settled with a team, and reports that Xavier Woods was willing to wait for restructures before accepting the Vikings’ offer provides hope that players and teams are still working out deals. Hopefully, Minnesota is actively negotiating with free agents.
It felt like the offensive line would be neglected after missing the first and second wave of free agents. But, there is still some talent out there.
Russell Okung (Carolina Panthers) is out there looking for a cryptocurrency payday, Alejandro Villanueva (Pittsburgh Steelers) hasn’t returned to the Steel City and Ricky Wagner (Green Bay Packers) still hasn’t found a home.
And, believe it or not, there are other holes to be filled outside of the offensive line!
Even if Danielle Hunter returns, there is little hope that the pass rush will return to form. Minnesota’s second-best defensive end is either D.J. Wonnum or Stephen Weatherly, and they already upgraded the defensive tackle position with Tomlinson. The Vikings need to pick up someone to complement Hunter, and there are some interesting pass-rushers still available.
Melvin Ingram (Los Angeles Chargers) hasn’t signed with anyone yet. He is one of the best unsigned free agents coming off an injury-plagued season. Ingram only played in seven games last season and failed to post a sack for the first time in his nine-year career.
While the edge defender is 31 years old, he’s not far removed from being an exceptional pass rusher. PFF ranked him in the top 10 for pass rushers from 2014-17, and he was ranked 32nd in 2018 and 30th in 2019. His age is an important factor, but with Hunter on the other side, Ingram can definitely bounce back and become a role player at the very least.
The Vikings should be in the running to pick him up unless his camp is demanding more money than he’s worth at this stage in his career.
Another intriguing pass-rusher is Jadeveon Clowney (Tennessee Titans). He may not have lived up to being the first overall pick in 2014, but he still has pass-rushing talent off the edge. His presence could elevate the entire defensive line, which may be worth doing even if he’s only with the team for one season.
Other options are Ryan Kerrigan (Washington Football Team) or Aldon Smith (Dallas Cowboys). Still, those are only desperation signings if the Vikings enter the draft with no intentions of choosing an edge defender before Day 3.
K.J. Wright (Seattle Seahawks) is an enticing option. He fits Zimmer’s scheme, is a similar player to Anthony Barr, and could fill in when the defense needs to run three linebackers or someone gets injured.
While the linebacker position may not be of the utmost concern, Vikings fans all saw what happened after losing both Barr and Eric Kendricks last season. If they don’t intend on drafting a linebacker who can start right away, the Vikings need to push to get one of those two players signed.
The remaining free agency moves will determine what the Vikings will do in the draft and vice versa. They’re in a good spot considering there are only a few holes in the roster at this stage of the offseason.