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Lunchbreak: Mike Zimmer Talks Emotions of Free Agency

Although there are still plenty of NFL players looking for new homes, the frenzy of free agency has faded.

The Vikings have been on both sides of free agency as they have signed a handful of players but also saw some leave for other teams.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer chatted with Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune about the emotions of adding and losing players.

Hartman wrote:

Still after an 8-8 finish, Zimmer said that getting too caught up in who the team has lost might not be the most important takeaway. 

"We're going to miss those players. You get attached to all those guys," Zimmer said. "But I do think in order to improve at some point, you have to move on and try to kind of change things a little bit. We're going to miss some of those guys, probably all of them, but I know [General Manager] Rick [Spielman] has done a good job of adding guys.

"Two tackles, Riley Reiff has done a really nice job in Detroit. Mike Remmers. They're both tough guys who are going to fight you all game long. Datone Jones, an inside defensive player, who has the ability to swing to a defensive end. Then Latavius Murray, he is a guy who has been a Pro Bowl running back, big, physical guy, and a great kid. We're looking forward to it, to get going in the season. A lot of new faces, and exciting times."

Minnesota's defense will have some new faces in 2017. Linebacker Chad Greenway retired, but cornerback Terence Newman will return for his third season in Purple.

With Greenway gone, Zimmer told Hartman that he's excited to see how a pair of young linebackers step up and fill the leadership void.

Newman's leadership will be all the more important with Greenway's retirement, but Zimmer also believes that linebacking group is ready to have Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks emerge as young team leaders.

"Those two guys I'm really happy with, and obviously there's always things they have to work on but they're two very talented guys," Zimmer said. "They're two guys that care an awful lot about the club, not only the Vikings but the team, the organization and the fans as well. That's a good starting point, to have those two guys.

"Kendricks played outstanding, I thought, this year in his second year. And so you know we're going to have to find another guy. We're also going to have to find another nickel back [to replace Captain Munnerlyn]. In the one position that Greenway played he kind of split time with the nickel back, so those two spots we're going to have to shore up."

Coller: Pre-draft goals for the Vikings

NFL teams are always looking to improve their roster, especially during the offseason between free agency and the draft.

The 2017 NFL Draft is in exactly one month, and Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com offered a few suggestions for how the Vikings can improve between now and then.

Coller listed off five pre-draft goals for Minnesota, including adding another wide receiver to the group.

It seems pretty likely the Vikings could draft a receiver, but that still leaves them with an opening. There are only a few proven options left in free agency … so the Vikings will have to sign one player before the draft to make sure they add a competent receiver to the mix.

Coller also wrote the Vikings should add depth at the nickel cornerback spot.

Another proven player in the secondary would provide insurance in case Alexander isn't ready to start or Terence Newman's game slips at age 39 or there are any significant injuries. If the Vikings don't sign another veteran, they should draft one corner to add competition to the mix.

Coller's other three suggestions included picking up the fifth-year options on Barr and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, signing another quarterback and adding depth at the linebacker position.

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