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Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could step in and give the Vikings pretty solid play for a decent chunk of time. With our safety position still in flux, a guy like Dashon Goldson could shore it up in a heartbeat. Any thoughts on this as free agency draws nearer?
Coon Rapids, MN
Those two players are certainly talented and will make whichever team acquires them better. It’s fair to expect the Vikings to make some additions via free agency this offseason, but it’s not a given that they’ll make a big splash in the first wave of free agency.
Finding success in free agency is not about identifying the best players available at each position and then pursuing them. Rather, it’s about finding the available players who best fit your scheme and who can be obtained at a reasonable salary so that you can then reinvest in your team by re-signing core members of the roster before they hit the market.
Also, teams must keep in mind what they have at other positions to make sure they’re spreading the talent out appropriately across the lineup. For example, look at the Vikings safety position.
With the Chargers recently announcing they are only using a low tender on WR Danario Alexander, would the Vikings be smart to go after this young player who showed a lot of promise in the final 10 games of last season? What kind of deal could we offer which would allow us to steal him from San Diego?
-- Daniel L.
The Chargers haven’t announced what tender they will place on Alexander, but their deadline for making a decision is Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. CT. If the Chargers do in fact place the low tender on him, that means any other team can offer and then sign Alexander to a contract without sending compensation to the Chargers. Teams have the option to place a higher tender on their restricted free agents (RFAs) so that if a RFA is signed away the team will receive draft pick compensation as a result.
Anyway, back to the question. Measuring in at 6-5, 217 pounds and at only 24 years of age, Alexander is an intriguing young player. As Daniel pointed out, he had an impressive closing 10 games of the 2012 season, hauling in 37 receptions for 658 (17.8 yds/rec) and seven touchdowns. In fairness, I should also point out that he has never played in more than 10 games during his three-year career and he went undrafted out of the University of Missouri. Alexander also has some injury history to him, so that is something any interested team would have to research. On the surface level, though, Alexander is an interesting prospect for any team looking to add some sizzle to the passing game.
I saw that Miami did not put franchise tag on left tackle Jake Long. I know he could take more money by staying at left tackle, but if he would play right tackle (with the Vikings), now we are talking about an offensive line. I know you said you wanted
-- Darin D.
I disagree with Darin on this one. I've never seen Loadholt take a play off. In fact, that's the one criticism of him that you can't make - effort. Loadholt is a player who gives A effort on every snap. Given that the Vikings have seen their investment in Loadholt pay off since selecting him with a second-round choice in 2009, perhaps it’s better to have Loadholt back in the mix than spend big money on another free agent such as Long. Another way to go, though, could be to show restraint in spending big money on a right tackle and instead save some cash and cap space by leaning on this year’s draft to replace that position. We’ve seen NFL GMs and head coaches all offseason talk about how offensive line is a strength of this year’s draft class.
I’m not sure how it will shake out with Loadholt. It would be great to have the big guy back providing road-grading run blocking for
Is there any chance the Vikings will play Antoine Winfield at safety with the emergence of cornerback
-- Jamie K.
At this point I don't see the Vikings moving Winfield to safety. He's still a talented nickel cornerback who is good while covering slot receivers and providing support against the run. Also, Winfield has never expressed an interest to me in playing safety, which makes a move to the position even more unlikely.
As for free agency, I wouldn't be surprised to see the team look at a free agent or two at cornerback, just as they did last year with Chris Carr and Zack Bowman. Adding a player via free agency only adds competition to the roster, and competition is good for everyone. I should also note that Asomugha was still a member of the Eagles as of this posting.
I watched the preseason game in which
It’s a virtual certainty that (if healthy of course) he’ll get a chance to compete for a starting/more prominent defensive role this year because Vikings GM Rick Spielman and Head Coach Leslie Frazier value competition in making roster-building decisions. Cole’s chances of earning a starting/more prominent role go even higher if the team doesn’t retain Jasper Brinkley, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent (UFA). Unless the team uses a first- or second-round pick on a middle linebacker, Cole would likely be the early favorite to be the middle linebacker if Brinkley doesn’t return.