Christmas Shopping for The Minnesota Vikings: PFF’s Top 50 Free Agents

Minnesota Vikings Free Agents
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Understandably, Minnesota Vikings fans have been focusing their attention on their team’s unlikely playoff push. While fans are rightly focusing on this season, we can be certain that Minnesota’s front office is already prepping for the offseason. Free agency, of course, is one of the central parts of the NFL offseason, and Pro Football Focus recently published a list of their top-50 impending free agents. PFF offers a brief description of each player before predicting where the player will sign and for how much. PFF doesn’t think any of their top 50 free agents will go to the Vikings. The Vikings have a difficult cap situation, but this doesn’t mean they’ll be disinterested in free agency. As a result, we’ve decided to look at three free agents the Minnesota Vikings may consider.

Free Agents The Minnesota Vikings May Consider

Joe Thuney – G – #19 on PFF’s List

Admittedly, this one is a long shot. PFF predicts that Thuney will go to the Arizona Cardinals on a four-year, $57 million deal. Even if the salary cap is set at $195 million, as Mike Florio recently suggested, a $14.25 million per year average is pretty rich for these Vikings. Nevertheless, the prospect of adding an elite guard must be intriguing to Minnesota. Thuney has great length and he ran a 4.95 forty-yard dash. This athleticism would serve him well in Gary Kubiak’s zone running scheme.

Xavier Woods – C/S – #35 on PFF’s List

Vikings writers have spent a considerable amount of time talking about the depth (or lack thereof) in Minnesota’s secondary. Woods may be able to help. In all likelihood, the Vikings won’t be able to afford Anthony Harris, so their attention will turn to free agency, their young players, and the draft. Woods offers some position flexibility, playing both corner and safety. PFF’s contract estimate – four-year, $25 million – is manageable for a team with a modest amount of cap space.

K.J. Wright – LB – #49 on PFF’s List

Minnesota’s linebacker depth has taken a massive hit this season. They lost Ben Gedeon, Cameron Smith, and Anthony Barr for the year. Eric Kendricks injured himself during warmup before last week’s game, leaving an already thin group without one of the game’s best middle linebackers. The Vikings have always prioritized linebacker depth; they’ve picked a linebacker in every draft over the past decade. He may be getting older, but Wright is still capable of making incredible plays.

As the above video demonstrates, Wright still has tremendous athleticism. His ability in both run defense and pass defense would be a welcome addition to Mike Zimmer’s defense. PFF predicts that he will get a 2-year, $12 million deal. For that price, Rick Spielman would be wise to reach out to Wright’s agent. A Kendricks-Barr-Wright linebacker group may reasonably be the best in the NFL.

If the salary cap ends up being $175 million, then the Minnesota Vikings will have a difficult time bringing in free agents. However, a $195 million salary cap offers Minnesota a lot more cap flexibility. Spielman isn’t shy about making deals, so don’t be shocked if he pulls off some sort of wizardry to make the numbers work. In the meantime, enjoy the playoff push and the Christmas season

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