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So Who Are We Looking At?

The process of shaping the 2010 Vikings roster begins today for the franchise’s front office, and they have plenty of tough decisions on the horizon.

The first step of the offseason is to decide who stays and who doesn’t.

Here is a list of which Vikings are available for free agency and restricted free agency:

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Jimmy Kennedy, DT, Age 30:  A pleasant surprise for the Vikings this year.  Kennedy got into the best shape of his NFL career in the 2009 offseason and it showed on the field.  He played 13 games, starting one, and was a regular rotational guy in passing situations.  He managed three sacks this year.

Benny Sapp, CB, Age 29:  Another over achiever this season, particularly in the end of the season when he was tasked with filling the shoes of Antoine Winfield.  Sapp may be retained if nothing else just to help the Vikings with depth given the injuries to Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield.  Sapp played in every game this year, starting seven, and 40 tackles, 6 defended passes, and 2 forced fumbles.

Greg Lewis, WR, Age 29:  The hero of the Niners game had minimal impact otherwise over the course of the season.  Lewis played in 13 games, starting 1, and proved to be a reliable but seldom-used option.  He had 8 catches all season for 96 yards.  His game winning touchdown was his only one for the year.

Artis Hicks, OT, Age 31:  Active for every game, and starting three, Hicks has been a great utility backup for the Vikings.  He is versatile as he can essentially play four spots along the offensive line.  At age 31 and on a team looking to add competition to the starting lineup on the line, I would not be surprised if Hicks is allowed to walk.

Chester Taylor, RB, Age 30:  Considered a “Westbrook” in the backfield, Taylor has provided the Vikings with many good years.  In 2009, however, Taylor had the fewest carries of his career since 2003.  His average on the ground was the lowest of his career at 3.6 yards.  Taylor also had the same amount of fumbles as touchdowns with two each.  He still made 44 grabs for 389 yards, however, and Taylor’s status will be very well monitored over the offseason.

 

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

(A * denotes that the player will be unrestricted if the NFL and Player’s Union come to an agreement prior to free agency.)

Eric Frampton, S, Age 25:  A backup who has played in every game over the last two years.  Special teams has been where he has made his impact.

Ryan Cook*, OT, Age 26:  Cook has been active every game of the last three years.  In 2008, he lost his starting job after struggling greatly.  With the Vikings hoping to get better O-Line play, Cook may be allowed to walk with hopes that his roster spot can be filled by a starting caliber tackle.

Ray Edwards*, DE, Age 25:  Edwards is easily coming off of his best season to date, with career highs of 43 tackles and 8.5 sacks.  He was also came up with big plays in both of the Vikings playoff contests.  A player with that production at such a young age is very rare and valuable, and I have a hard time seeing the Vikings letting him go.

Fred Evans*, DT, Age 26:  Seeing a decreased role in 2009, Evans six tackles in 13 games are the highlights of his stat line.  Evans may be retained with a low tender just to provide depth, but he should not be considered anything other than a backup in the NFL.

Tarvaris Jackson*, QB, Age 26:  A quarterback rating of 113.4 this year (on only 21 attempts) will not hurt Jackson’s chances of re-joining the Vikings.  In fact, if Brett Favre retires, there are so few options in free agency and the draft this year that the Vikings may have to be content to go with Jackson and Sage Rosenfels to start the 2010 season.

Nafu Tahi*, FB, Age 28:  Tahi is not a threat with the football but few fullbacks are, so that is acceptable.  What gets me about Tahi is that he isn’t even that great of a blocker.  The Vikings can take a risk by letting Tahi leave and try to find a less expensive and more reliable blocker to clear the way for Adrian Peterson.

Karl Paymah*, CB, Age 27:  A decent season turned into a miserable season for the Vikings only real free agent from last year.  After having minimal impact, the Vikings kept him inactive at the end of the year, and I suspect they’ll continue to search for an upgrade.


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11 Responses to “So Who Are We Looking At?”

  1. Fragile Freds says:

    Keepers:
    Kennedy
    Sapp
    Hicks – if the price is right
    Taylor – if the price is right
    Edwards
    Tjax – back up money only
    Frampton – special teams money only

    The rest…bye bye

  2. Lost Viking says:

    Breaking News:

    Griffin has torn ACL. However, MCL appears intact. Possibly good news for recovery?

    http://www.profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/01/25/report-griffin-has-torn-acl/

    Sean Jeansen went over to Chicago Sun Times?

  3. […] Vikings Gab lists both Sapp and Paymah as unrestricted and restricted free agents, respectively. Even if […]

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