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Free Agency Preview: Running Backs and Tight Ends

Posted Mar 10, 2014

Over the next several days leading up to the launch of the 2014 League Year on Tuesday, March 11, vikings.com will unveil its 2014 Free Agency Preview. NFL.com has ranked the top 100 free agents in this year’s class, and our preview will use those rankings to set the stage. As always, we encourage readers to use the space below the story to submit their thoughts.

Our final position previews are dedicated to running backs and tight ends. Toby Gerhart is scheduled to hit the market and the Vikings are likely preparing to replace him should he decide to sign elsewhere. At tight end, the Vikings released John Carlson and have a couple others waiting in the wings to compete for playing time but they could also be in the market to add more competition to the roster this offseason.

NFL.com’s Top 10 Free Agent RBs (overall ranking)

1. Ben Tate (35)
While filling in for Arian Foster, Tate has flashed talent that indicates he can be a team’s bell cow.

Vikings

2. Darren McFadden (47)
3. Darren Sproles (53)
A great threat out of the backfield as a receiver, Sproles can also field punts and will likely find many suitors on the market for his services.

4. Knowshon Moreno (63)
5. LeGarrette Blount (67)
6. Maurice Jones-Drew (70)
MJD may be nearing the end, but don’t be surprised if he has a little left in the tank and some teams gets the most out of it.
7. Rashad Jennings (73)
8. Toby Gerhart (97)
9. Andre Brown
10. Donald Brown
Brown didn’t fulfill expectations early in his career, but flashed a bit last season and may parlay that into  a nice deal and more playing time elsewhere in 2014, particularly with the Colts having traded for Trent Richardson last year.

Other notables: Khalil Bell, Anthony Dixon, Jonathan Dwyer, Felix Jones, Bernard Scott, LaRod Stephens-Howling

Vikings scheduled for free agency
Toby Gerhart

NFL.com’s Top 10 Free Agent TEs (overall ranking)

Vikings

1. Jermichael Finley (23)
Number one on this list with a bullet, teams who are comfortable with Finley’s injury history will likely be willing to pay top dollar for this athletic, field-stretching tight end.

2. Brandon Pettigrew (65)
3. Dustin Keller (91)
4. Garrett Graham (94)
He’s performed well as Owen Daniels’ backup in Houston and NFL.com says he has the highest ceiling of this group.

5. Scott Chandler
6. Jeff Cumberland
(re-signed with the Jets)
7. Brandon Myers
8. Ed Dickson
With Baltimore signing Dennis Pitta to a long-term deal, Dickson may look for a nice deal of his own somewhere else.

9. Andrew Quarless
10. Tony Scheffler

Other notables: Michael Hoomanawanui (re-signed with New England), Kellen Winslow, Anthony McCoy

Vikings scheduled for free agency
None