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Interior Linemen Highlight Free Agency Primer's Third Group



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

Note: updated its list after several teams made franchise/transition tag designations, which caused some players to move up in the rankings.

The free agents listed in the 40-59 range by include three of the heaviest opponents the Vikings have faced: division rivals Haloti Ngata and B.J. Raji, weighing in at 345 and 337 pounds, respectively, and Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton, topping the charts at 354 pounds. Although they likely won't be splashy signings, players from this group could add roster depth for a team in free agency.

40. S Tashaun Gipson, Cleveland Browns

56 games played/42 games started over four seasons; over his career, Gipson has tallied 240 tackles, 22 pass deflections, 14 interceptions, one forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns. Gipson led the AFC in interceptions for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

41. LB Jerrell Freeman, Indianapolis Colts

Freeman has started all 57 games he's played over a four-season career. Originally signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Freeman spent 2009-2011 playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL before signing with the Colts in Jan. 2012.

42. DT Haloti Ngata, Detroit Lions

149 games played/147 started over 10 seasons; Ngata spent nine seasons with the Ravens before joining the Lions in 2015. Over his career, he has recorded 32 passes defended, five interceptions, six forced fumbles and 28.0 sacks.

43. T Donald Penn, Oakland Raiders

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings in 2006, Penn has played 144 games and started 140 of them over his 10-year career. Penn has not missed a start since the 2007 season.

44. CB Casey Hayward, Green Bay Packers

Hayward spent his first four seasons playing for the Vikings division rival and started 20 of 51 total games. In 2015, Hayward recorded 65 tackles and seven passes defended.

45. LB Aldon Smith, Oakland Raiders

59 games played/37 started over five seasons; Smith received a one-year suspension in 2015 and will first be eligible in mid-November 2016.

46. WR Travis Benjamin, Cleveland Browns

54 games played/21 starts over four seasons; Benjamin had a standout year in 2015, recording 68 receptions for 966 yards and five touchdowns.

47. TE Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

190 games played/176 starts over 13 seasons; Gates is an eight-time Pro Bowler with 844 career receptions for 10,644 yards and 104 touchdowns.

48. TE Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

43 games played/42 starts over four seasons


49. DT B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers

91 games played/78 starts over six seasons

50. CB Adam Jones, Cincinnati Bengals

Over a nine-year career, Jones started 77 of 113 games played. Jones played five seasons under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer when Zimmer served as the Bengals defensive coordinator. In 2015, Jones recorded 63 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble.

51. TE Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts

60 games played/45 starts over four seasons

52. DE Greg Hardy, Dallas Cowboys

Hardy spent five years with the Panthers before joining the Cowboys for 2015, during which he recorded 35 tackles, six sacks and an interception in 12 games played.


53. G Richie Incognito, Buffalo Bills

Incognito's 11-season career includes time with the Dolphins and Rams as well as two separate one-year stints with the Bills. Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano served as the Dolphins head coach from 2008-2011 and coached Incognito for two seasons ('10-11).

54. LB Mark Barron, Los Angeles Rams

62 games played/51 starts in four seasons; over his career, Barron has recorded three interceptions, 25 passes defended, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 6.0 sacks.

55. WR Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers

186 games played/182 starts in 13 seasons; a Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowler, Boldin has 74 career touchdowns and was named the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year.

56. G Ramon Foster, Pittsburgh Steelers

102 games played/87 starts in seven seasons


57. DT Terrance Knighton, Washington Redskins

108 games played/96 starts in seven seasons

58. S Rodney McLeod, Los Angeles Rams

64 games played/48 starts in four seasons; McLeod has five career interceptions and seven forced fumbles. McLeod and Vikings safety Anthony Harris played together at Virginia in 2011.

59. S Rashad Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

100 games played/51 starts in seven seasons; Johnson has 15 interceptions, three interception returns for touchdowns, five fumble recoveries and 1.0 sack over his career.

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