With free agency off and running this year, let's a look at the best free agent signings in franchise history. Here's a list of my top five (year signed) free agent signings in Vikings history, with honorable mentions at the bottom.
Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section and the poll at the bottom of the article...
1. Antoine Winfield (2004)
An easy selection at #1, Winfield is the rare a blue-chip signing who outperforms expectations. He played in 119 games over nine seasons with the Vikings and in 2010 was named to the 50 Greatest Vikings team. Twice he recorded a single-season team record for tackles by a cornerback (110), and he now holds the Vikings record for most fumble recoveries by a defensive back with 11 and ranks tied for second in team history with 12 forced fumbles by a defensive back. Winfield has also scored all five of his career touchdowns (2 FRs, 2 INTs, 1 blocked FG) as a Viking.
2. Brett Favre (2009)
After torturing the Vikings for 16 seasons as a member of the Packers, Favre joined the Purple in 2009 and had arguably his best season with 33 touchdowns and a passer rating of 107.2 while leading the Vikings to the NFC title game. Favre was the difference between a team that went 10-6/one-and-done in the playoffs following the 2008 season and a team that went 12-4 and was on the brink of a Super Bowl appearance in '09.
3. Steve Hutchinson (2006)Another member of the 50 Greatest Vikings team, Hutchinson was a dominant road-grading run blocker and sure-fire pass protector during his six seasons with the Vikings. Hutchinson earned four of his seven career Pro Bowls with the Vikings, and he was an invaluable part of Vikings offenses that featured a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his seasons in Minnesota.
4. Ryan Longwell (2006)As steady as the day is long, Longwell was a key part of two division winning teams during his six years with the Vikings and finished his career in Purple ranked third in all-time scoring. Blair Walsh began to rewrite the Vikings record book for kickers, and much of what he's rewritten only validates how productive Longwell was for the Vikings. Longwell ranks first in Vikings history with nine game-winning field goals.
5. Randall Cunningham (1997)Out of football for a year in 1996, Cunningham joined the Vikings in '97 and displayed no signs of rust. He enjoyed the greatest season of his career as a Viking in 1998, guiding the Vikings to a 15-1 regular season record with 34 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Among quarterbacks with 20 starts, Cunningham has the second-best winning percentage (.696) and his 34-touchdown campaign in '98 still ranks second all-time in club history.
Pat Williams (2005) Jeff Christy (1993) Gary Anderson (1998)