Defense Dominates First Free Agency Primer

Posted Mar 2, 2016

The 2016 Free Agency Primer series uses’s Top 99 Free Agents list to break down this year’s class and take a look at which players may be fits for the Vikings.

1-9: Tuesday, March 8
10-19: Monday, March 7
20-39: Saturday, March 5 | Click here
40-59: Friday, March 4 | Click here
60-79: Thursday, March 3 | Click here
80-99: Wednesday, March 2 | Click here

The free agents listed in the 80-99 range by are unlikely to be first wave, big-money signings when the new League Year begins next week, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help a team win games in 2016. With Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer known for taking other teams’ trash and making it his treasure, perhaps there’s a name or two below who can make a difference for the Vikings.

80. LB Stephen Tulloch, Detroit Lions
112 games started/147 played in 10 seasons

81. DE Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore Ravens
51 games started/64 played in four seasons

82. RB LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots
For a guy with 31 TDs a 4.6-yard per-carry average in six seasons, he’s played for a lot of teams (3).

83. CB Leon Hall, Cincinnati Bengals
Just as Terence Newman did, Hall could follow Mike Zimmer from Cincinnati to Minnesota.

84. LB Nick Perry, Green Bay Packers
16 games started/46 played in four seasons; 12.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, four passes defensed

85. CB William Gay, Pittsburgh Steelers
Most known in Minnesota for being trucked by Adrian Peterson in 2009, Gay is another veteran option at CB if the Vikings desire one.

86. DT Akiem Hicks, New England Patriots
33 games started/61 played in four seasons; 9.5 sacks

87. OT Joe Barksdale, San Diego Chargers
47 games started/70 played in five seasons

88. LB Tahir Whitehead, Detroit Lions
He’s a 7th-round pick from 2012 who is still in the League and has 150 tackles and 11 passes defensed in 32 games the past two seasons.

89. CB Patrick Robinson, San Diego Chargers
A 1st-round pick (No. 32) from 2010 with 54 passes defensed and 10 INTs in 74 games/43 starts.

90. C Stefen Wisniewski, Jacksonville Jaguars
77 games started/77 played in five seasons

91. RB Bilal Powell, New York Jets
16 games started/58 played in five seasons; 402 carries, 1,609 yards, seven rush TDs

92. CB Nolan Carroll, Philadelphia Eagles
38 games started/85 played in six seasons; seven INTs and one defensive TD

93. CB Jerraud Powers, Arizona Cardinals
82 games started/87 played in seven seasons; 11 INTs and one defensive TD

94. S Michael Griffin, Tennessee Titans
He’d be an interesting idea to pair with Harrison Smith, plus he has experience working with Vikings DBs coach Jerry Gray when they were together in Tennessee.

95. CB DeShawn Shead, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle can’t keep all the good defensive backs.

96. P Marquette King, Oakland Raiders
UPDATE: The Raiders signed King to a five-year contract with $5.125 million fully guaranteed, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports.

97. WR Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams
Injuries have hindered Quick’s development the past two seasons, but his size/speed combination will be intriguing to teams looking to add a pass-catcher to their offense.

98. LB Zach Brown, Tennessee Titans
Some may wonder what Mike Zimmer could do with a LB with this kind of athleticism and skill set.

99. TE Vernon Davis, Denver Broncos
140 games started/148 played in 10 seasons; 461 receptions and 55 TDs in career