NFL free agency starts this afternoon, and the Vikings have a significant shopping list between now and the draft. The top of the list, with more urgency than ever after yesterday’s trade, is wide receiver. But there are other areas to address as well. So here is a wish list of five hopefully realistic free agents the Vikings could go after:
1 Greg Jennings, WR: He wasn’t on the field much last season, but he is a viable top option when healthy. We like Jennings over Mike Wallace because he is better all-around (can play the slot or go deep), and we don’t read too much into his recent quote about how important a QB will be in his decision. Sure, Aaron Rodgers’ has thrown him the ball the last five seasons. But we took his quote to mean he is looking for stability at the position, and the Vikings are at least projecting that with Christian Ponder. It also sounds like he’s looking for a good place for his family, and staying in the Midwest could appeal to him.
2 Danny Amendola, WR: He’s a bigger injury risk, but again when healthy he could bring the Vikings something they need. Jarius Wright should see an increased role, but we still think a possession receiver like Amendola would be valuable for a team that finds itself in a lot of third-and-medium situations.
3 Phil Loadholt, OL: Yeah, this is a re-sign. But it’s important. The offensive line had great continuity last season, with the same starters for all 16 games, and that was a big part of the reason Adrian Peterson had such a massive year (you know, aside from his brilliance, sheer will and determination). Loadholt is only a mediocre pass blocker, but he makes up for it in the run game.
4 Desmond Bryant, DT: He’s not a household name, but he’s relatively young and would add a nice mix to the defensive tackle position. He can get to the QB occasionally and stop the run.
5 Chris Houston, CB: The Vikings need corners who can play the run, and Houston is one of them. He would bolster the depth at corner, where the Vikings can still look pretty thin after an injury or two.
Your thoughts on free agency, please, in the comments.