Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Quarterbacks & Corners Headline 11-20 Group of's Top 101 Potential Free Agents

*The 2018 Free Agency Primer series uses **’s Top 101 Free Agents list** to break down this year's class. We will count down the groups of players until March 14 when free agency is scheduled to open. *

The list was composed by Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling of Career stats are taken from and/or and apply to regular seasons, unless noted.

Note: The list may end up changing prior to free agency opening, but this breakdown is updated as of March 5.


This grouping of potential free agents includes Vikings quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford, who have contracts set to expire on Wednesday.

It also includes a productive group of defensive backs, ranging from Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler to Rams corner Trumaine Johnson and Redskins corner Bashaud Breeland. The only certainty is that Lamarcus Joyner will not be on the market because the Rams opted to use the franchise tag on him.

11. CB Malcolm Butler

59 games; 48 starts; 209 tackles; eight interceptions; 2.0 sacks; 50 passes defensed; four forced fumbles; two fumble recoveries

Butler advanced from UDFA (undrafted free agent) to INT (interception that sealed Super Bowl XLIX against Seattle) to DNP (did not play in Super Bowl LII because of a coach's decision) in four seasons with New England. Butler's best numbers were in 2016 when he had career highs of four interceptions and 16 passes defensed.

12. CB Trumaine Johnson

85 games; 62 starts; 327 tackles; 18 interceptions; 67 passes defensed; two forced fumbles; three fumble recoveries; three defensive touchdowns

Franchise tagged in each of the past two seasons by the Rams, the 2012 third-round pick out of Montana could be heading to his second NFL team and third NFL city (St. Louis, Los Angeles, ?). Johnson totaled seven interceptions in 2015, and he has a pick six in three of the past four seasons.

13. CB Lamarcus Joyner

52 games; 26 starts; 227 tackles; three interceptions; 4.0 sacks; 22 passes defensed; two forced fumbles; one fumble recovery; one defensive touchdown

The Rams again used their franchise tag on a defensive back, this time designating Joyner on March 6 to prevent the 2014 second-round selection from hitting the market.

14. QB Teddy Bridgewater

30 games; 28 starts; 17-11-0 as a starter; 551-of-851 passing (64.7 percent) for 6,150 yards; 28 touchdown passes; 22 interceptions; 86.3 passer rating; four fourth-quarter comebacks; 94 rush attempts for 398 yards and four touchdowns

Bridgewater had an impressive rookie season when an injury to Matt Cassel pressed him into action and went 11-5 as a starter to help Minnesota win the NFC North. A devastating knee injury just before the 2016 season derailed the continued progression of the 2014 first-round pick. Bridgewater worked hard to rehab his knee, but he has only appeared in one game since.

15. QB Sam Bradford

80 games; 80 starts; 34-45-1 as a starter; 1,805-of-2,887 passing (62.5 percent) for 19,049 yards; 101 touchdown passes; 57 interceptions; 85.1 passer rating; seven fourth-quarter comebacks; 144 rush attempts for 333 yards and two touchdowns

Acquired via trade in the days after Bridgewater's injury, Bradford stepped in quickly and won his first four games under center with Minnesota before injuries on the offensive line caught up with the Vikings in 2016. He dazzled in the 2017 season-opener against New Orleans but aggravated a knee injury and only made one other start last season. He was relieved in that game at Chicago and the rest of the season by Case Keenum.

16. CB Bashaud Breeland

60 games; 57 starts; 268 tackles; eight interceptions; 59 passes defensed; 1.0 sack; seven forced fumbles; two fumble recoveries; one defensive touchdown

A fourth-round pick in 2014, Breeland recorded a career-best 19 passes defensed in 2017. His one interception last season was a career-low, but he made it count, returning the ball 96 yards for a touchdown against the Chargers.

17. T Nate Solder

98 games; 95 starts; four Super Bowl appearances

Coming in at 17 on this list, the 17th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft has plenty of regular-season and postseason experience. Solder has played at least 15 games in six of seven seasons. He missed 12 games in 2015 but bounced back to start all 31 games he's played the past two seasons.

18. DT Dontari Poe

94 games; 92 starts; 241 tackles; 15.5 sacks; 14 passes defensed; two forced fumbles; one fumble recovery

Previously a nose tackle for the Chiefs, the 2012 first-round selection shifted to a 4-3 in his first season with the Falcons. He helped Atlanta rank ninth in rushing yards allowed and sixth in rushing touchdowns allowed in 2017. Poe has missed just two games in six pro seasons.

19. G Justin Pugh

63 games; 63 starts

The 19th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, Pugh missed eight games in 2017 and five in 2016. Pugh started all 16 games at right tackle and garnered selection to the NFL All-Rookie Team. He has started games at right tackle, left tackle and guard for the Giants.

20. LB Zach Brown

78 games; 62 starts; 536 tackles; seven interceptions; 19 passes defensed; four forced fumbles; three fumble recoveries; two defensive touchdowns

A second-round pick of Tennessee in 2012, Brown made the Pro Bowl after his 2016 season with Buffalo and then headed to Washington, where he started all 13 games played in 2017.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.