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Free Agent Targets

I was going to do a position by position rank of all the free agents and as I looked at the list i figured there were alot of people that didn’t fit for the Vikings during a rebuilding year. So I’ve broken down some free agents by tiers that I think the Vikings should look at.


Top Tier – These are the clear cut #1 type players at their position. Elite or close to it and more than likely come with a high price tag.

WR Vincent Jackson (29) – VJax is everything the Vikings are looking for. A tall receiver who is a threat in the red zone but can also stretch the field vertically. His age is getting up there but should be able to produce at a very high level for at least 3 more years minimum. He will get top dollar on the market since he’s the #1 wideout in this years free agent market. Rumored to want 10-12 mil per year but my guess is Vikes will have to go well over that number to get him to sign here.

CB Cortland Finnegan (28) – Finnegan is heading towards 30 but he is still one of the top corners in the game. Sure tackler, physical at the line, sounds like someone who will fit in real good for the Vikings cover 2 defense.

CB Brandon Carr (26) – What’s not to like about a CB who allowed less than 50% of the balls thrown his way to be completed and also who is only 26 years old? Carr is going to get top dollar so if Vikings want him, they will need to open the checkbook.

MLB Stephen Tulloch (27) – Coming off a phenomonal year with the Lions, Tulloch should be one of the top free agent LBs targeted. Lions would be smart to sign him back but how about the thought of stealing him away from a division rival? A 3 down MLB who is Solid in both coverage and run support.

MLB Curtis Lofton (26) – Falcons decided to franchise CB Brent Grimes, leaving 26 year old Lofton as a free agent. Vikings likely to address LB through draft but with only one returning starter signed, free agency could be an option.

MLB David Hawthorne (27) – Hawthorne has experience both inside and outside as a linebacker and as of right now were in need at both. Solid all around player.


2nd Tier – These players are not elite but are still very good players at their positions.

WR Pierre Garcon (27) – I think Garcon proved he’s not just a product of a system this year almost nabbing 1,000 yards with back ups throwing him the ball. Has #1 WR potential but still drops too many balls thrown his way. It’s been rumored that Garcon turned down a 5 year, 35 million dollar contract from the Colts so he might be looking for top dollar. I still would hesitate to give him big time money but at the right price he could be a bargain.

WR Mario Manningham (26) – A talented and young player, Manningham might of made himself some more money with the catch in the superbowl this year. Had a down year in 2011 dealing with injuries and the emergance of  Cruz but almost notched 1,000 yards in 2010.

WR Robert Meachem (27) – I think the Vikes would be wise to look into Meachem even though he might not be the #1 wideout everyone wants. Has consistant enough hands and he has speed to stretch the field and open things underneath for Harvin. Should come at a decent price also.

CB Tracy Porter (26) – Porter could become a bargain in free agency this year. Alot of teams will be all in on Finnegan and Carr which means Porter could come at a decent price. Not a #1 corner but real solid #2.

NT Paul Soliai (28) – Soliai has plugged up the middle for the Dolphins for past few years. His play dipped a bit in 2011 but was still solid as usual. We could use a NT that demands double teams to open up things for the LB’s and also Kevin Williams.

DT Brodrick Bunkley (28) – Ranked at the top of PFF’s grading against the run last year. Remi Ayodele signing was a failure in 2011 and Bunkley could provide a nice upgrade in the middle next to Kevin Williams.


3rd Tier – These players can be solid but aren’t likely starting material. Provide good depth for your team.

CB Richard Marshall (27) – Didn’t nab a start last year until after mid-season but According to PFF, he was only thrown at last year 54 times and only allowed 28 receptions. Marshall is still reletively young and an upgrade over most in our secondary.

CB Tim Jennings (28) – A player who works well in the cover 2 scheme. Plays the run well, is physical at the line and keeps things in front of him. Since he probably only fits the cover 2 scheme, should come at a reletively low price tag.

TE Martellus Bennett (25) – An athletic freak who has excelled at blocking in Dallas and has upside as a receiver. Vikings will be without Jimmy Kleinsasser this year and could use some help in the blocking department this year and Bennett is only 25.


Risk-Reward Tier – These players are coming off of injury or have had injury problems. Could be solid value and/or potential steals if they can stay healthy.

SS LaRon Landry (27) – former 6th overall pick in the 2007 draft who’s last few years have been injury plagued. Landry isn’t the greatest in coverage but he is real solid in run support. I’m not sure anyone will be willing to give him a long term deal so he might have to prove his worth in a one year deal. I think he’s worth taking a shot at.

WR Marques Colston (29) – I like Colston, i really do but how much do you pay a 29 year old who has had multiple knee surgeries? If the Vikes can get him for a low price I would go for it but my guess is he’ll get a pretty good pay day. Colston is a versitile receiver who can play the slot and on the outside, can run underneath routes and also stretch the field.

CB Terrell Thomas (27) – Vikings might be releasing Cedric Griffin who is coming off of 2 ACL injuries and just hasn’t looked the same since. Would they take a chance on Thomas who is coming off of an ACL injury? If, a big IF, he returns to form, could provide some nice depth in the secondary.


Let me know in the comments if you think anyone should be included or who you think the Vikings should target in free agency this year.

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11 Responses to “Free Agent Targets”

  1. Brett says:

    Good list. I would add Carl Nicks, Guard, to that list. First tier.

    • Randy Perrin says:

      I love Carl Nicks, only reason I didn’t include is because he wants to be paid as highest G in the league so will prob be between 8-10 mil a year…that’s hard to swallow for a guard and especially for a team with many needs elsewhere.

  2. Mike says:

    Good article I liked all your points. I would also be a little concerned about signing Pierre garçon.
    If he just turned down 7 million a year I would much rather have Vincent Jackson for 10-12 million a year than Garçon for 4-5 million less a year, or Carl Nicks for around the same price. I would also be interested in offensive tackle Anthony Collins for the right price considering it’s Loadholt’s last year on his contract. I also think it would be worth thinking about Eddie Royal for depth.

    • Jay says:

      I think Garcon will get a deal similar deal to what the Vikings gave Berrian in 2008. I believe that was a 5-year, $42 million deal.

      • Jay says:

        Garcon’s receiving stats last year were almost identical to Percy Harvin’s. I also like that he would likely stick on the roster for the entire length of the contract. I don’t think that can be said for Vincent Jackson.

  3. borderrivals says:

    Love the post. With this new stadium in the works, will we see a commitment to landing a few of the big name free agents listed above?? Maybe Peyton Manning? To read more, check out BorderRivals:

  4. Vikadan11 says:

    Great list of players ~ JMHO here I dont see the Vikings signing any big name FA though I want be upset if I’m wrong ~ I believe Rick is telling the truth when he says he wants to sign FA coming off their rookie contract so I could see (big name FA) Nicks before V. Jackson based on what he said ~ The Packer have set a model of building through the draft while being able to work the cap ~

    I believe the Vikings will wait for the second wave of FA before getting their feet wet ~

    • Randy Perrin says:

      I do think the Vikes will be in play for one big FA this year but could very well bow out if price gets too high. We honestly might be better off carrying money over until next off season and making a splash next year when were in better position to make a playofff run. I haven’t seen a list of 2013 FA yet tho.

  5. Purple Faithful says:

    Why didn’t you include the tackles?

    Bell, Gaithers, Collins
    also, Levi Brown is likely to get cut.

    Are you a Kalil @3 guy & it never entered into the thought process?

    • Randy Perrin says:

      I do think the Vikes will go Kalil at 3 but i’d be ok with adding Bell and Gaithers to the risk-reward tier. Bell showed some flashes but doesn’t have body of work to show he’s a franchise LT and Gaithers worries me a bit with his back problems but did play brilliantly for the Chargers for the brief time with them.

  6. daniel0227 says:

    I like Reggie nelson as a top tier guy. Raymond could learn alot from him, and drafting a SS like smith from ND would be a good pair.

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