good stuff,i think we will retain Dontarrious thomas tho, he is versitile he is our #1 backup for all 3 linebacker spots, and also is a good ST player
Possible Viking free agent acquisitions
1.)Todd Collins UFA Washington Redskins- I think Collins would be a good fit for what we are trying to do here. He has shown the ability to take care of the football this season and he is leading the Redskins back into the playoffs. I just dont know how much he has left in him being 36 years old.
2.)Cleo Lemon UFA Miami Dolphins-Lemon could be a servicable backup for our team. He is definatly better then Holcomb or Bollinger.
3.)Quinn Gray, UFA, Jacksonville Jaguars-I havent really seen him play much but he did pretty well in the last game of the season throwing for 4 td's.
All of these guys would be brought in as backups of course. They would be good insurance just incase TJ gets hurt. All of them would be an upgrade over Bollinger and/or Holcomb.
1)Bernard Berrian, UFA, Chicago Bears-Berrian is still young and I believe his best seasons have yet to come. He still put up decent stats this season tallying 900+ yards and 4 tds, and that was with the Bears quarterback issues. He has big time speed and can strech the field. He has had problems with drops but with some good coaching that could be corrected,also in college he was known to have injury problems so that could be a concern. Hopefully the Vikings quarterback situation doesnt drive him away from signing with us.
2)Bryant Johnson, UFA, Arizona Cardinals-Johnson is a big receiver posession receiver standing at 6'3 and he has good hands and runs great routes. He has shown flashes of being a #1 receiver in this league and has the talent to be one, he has just never gotten the opprotunity to do so with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin ahead of him.
3.)D.J. Hackett UFA Seattle Seahawks-Hackett has shown that he can be a very good player in this league. He has been banged up this season but the three games that he has been fully healthy and played the full 4 quarters he caught a TD in them and has 6+ receptions in each contest. He is also a tall receiver and could be a decent redzone threat with his great jumping ability and hand eye cordination.
4)Andre' Davis UFA Houston Texans-Davis has speed to burn and when he stepped in for a injured Andre Johnson he produced well. Throughout his career he has had a problem with inconsistancy but has shown flashes of being a decent receiver. He would also be a good asset in the return game, this season he was among the league leaders with a 28 yard per kick return average. I believe he would be a servicable #3 receiver for our team.
Justin Gage UFA Tennessee Titans, Drew Carter, UFA, Carolina Panthers, Devery Henderson, UFA, New Orleans Saints.
I live in Chicago and the rumors are Berrian wants BIG money. I dont think he is worth top 10 WR money which he thinks he is worth. All of the others would come pretty cheap and they could be a good upgrade.
1.)Eric Johnson, TE, UFA, New Orleans Saints-Johnson has shown the ability to be a very good pass catching tight end and he also has sucess in the west coast offense in San Francisco. In 2004 he had 82 catches and 825 yards. He could be a good addition if Kleinsasser retires we could just slide Shiancoe to Sauce's spot and make Johnson our primary pass catcher at TE.
2.)L.J. Smith, TE, UFA, Philadelphia Eagles- Smith is another guy that has had some sucess in the west coast offense with Phila. He has been slowed by injuries this season but in previous season's he has shown some promise. He is younger and has more upside then Johnson but would probably command more money so this may not be the way to go.
Maybe we have a good pass catching TE in Mills but we really didnt get a good look at him. One of these guys could be good additions to our passing game and we could just shift Shiancoe over to Sauce's spot if he deciedes to retire.
1.) Jordan Gross, UFA, Carolina Panthers-Right tackle is really the only position on the offensive line that I think could use an upgrade unless of course Matt Birk retires and then center would be an issue but Ryan Cook could be moved over to play his natural position. The Vikings where actually thinking about selecting him in the 2003 draft when the clock expired numerous times. Gross would command alot of money and Carolina will probably do all they can to retain him but he would solidify this offensive line if we where able to get him.
2.)Max Starks, UFA, Pittsburgh Steelers- Starks has shown alot of potential but has been very inconsistant throughout his career. He is still young and is massive standing at 6'7 while weighing 340 pounds. I really dont know if he would be much of an upgrade over Cook considering Starks doesnt even start on his own team.
I really dont know if Gross will hit the market. It has been said that the Panthers are trying really hard to resign him but if he got through we should definatly sign him up.
1.)Jared Allen, UFA, Kansas City Chiefs-Jared Allen is quickly becoming one of the best defensive ends in the league. His pass rush skill are phenomenal and commands alot of double teams. He will definatly get paid and I look for him to become one of the highest paid defensive ends in the league.
2.)Terrell Suggs, UFA, Baltimore Ravens-Suggs is a tweener and is able to play linebacker and defensive end. For our team he would be our primary end. His first two seasons all he played was end and he put up 10+ sacks both seasons. Something that is a bonus is he is a Minnesota native so he might have a soft spot for the Vikings and want to come here. He is only 25 years old so we can lock him up for the long term.
3.)Justin Smith, UFA, Cincinnati Bengals-Smith doesnt have the talent of Allen or Suggs but he is a very solid player and is a 7 year vet. One reason why his production is down this year is the defense around him is horrible, if he decides to come to Minnesota he would be surrounded by great players on the d-line and with Kevin and Pat commanding all of the double teams Smith would be one on one and would be able to get to the QB much easier. His career high in sacks is 8.5 which is a major upgrade over what we have now.
Paul Spicer UFA Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen and Suggs both would be great additions but there is a good chance they get franchised, if either where to slip through we need to snag one up. Smith is no where near as talented but would be a good addition.
1.)Asante Samuel, UFA, New England Patriots-Samuel is going to get paid this offseason and he will probably want a contract similar to Nate Clements. He is quickly becoming known as one of the best corners in the NFL. He in my opinion is the best cover corner in the league and is able to shut down the opposing teams #1 receiver. He also has a knack for the ball leading the league in interceptions last season with 10 and is among the league leaders this season with 6.
2.)Marcus Trufant, UFA, Seattle Seahawks-Trufant is definatly one of the leagues top corners. He is a great tackler much like Winfield but is also very good in coverage. He also tallies alot of interceptions and pass deflections, so I believe if we are able to get him we would have one of the best cornerback combo's in the NFL.
3.)Gibril Wilson UFA New York Giants-Wilson in my opinion is the most underated saftey in the NFL. His speed is unbelievable for a saftey and is everywhere on the field, he is only one of the hardest hitting safteys in the league. In 2005 and 2006 he had over 100 tackles. The only problem with Wilson is he has the habit of getting injured, his rookie year he was on pace to be the defensive rookie of the year but got his season cut short by injury and also he has injury problems this season.
Ken Hamlin, UFA, Dallas Cowboys
Samuel might want to resign with the Patriots but they are know as a stingy organization so there is hope of him hitting the market. Trufant pretty much gone and he is going to get big time money.
Players that might not be back next season
Troy Williamson WR, Dwight Smith S, Mike Doss S, Tank Williams S, Artis Hicks OG, Mewelde Moore RB, Dontarrious Thomas LB, Brooks Bollinger QB, Kelly Holcomb....probably many more
Some of these moves could free up cap space to bring in some new additions. Williamson would free up the most and he could use a change of scenery anyway, it just didnt work in Minnesota. Dwight Smith has had many off the field issues and it has been said that Childress and him have been in some "heated discussions" off of the field. Dont know if they really like eachother. Rest of the players really speak for themselves...just not that valuble to the team.