Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Brandon Carr could be a good option at cornerback for Vikings

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings draft Updated: February 20, 2012 - 4:22 PM

Brandon Carr's days in Kansas City are likely done. The 25-year-old cornerback is set to become a free agent three weeks from now. And with the Chiefs signing Stanford Routt today to bolster their defensive backfield, there's next to no chance now of Carr returning to Kansas City in 2012. Not with the Chiefs already invested so heavily in two corners (Routt and Brandon Flowers).

So what are the chances the Vikings would be interested in luring Carr to Minnesota? It's been well documented that the Vikings have made upgrading their secondary a top priority this offseason. And general manager Rick Spielman has been openly excited about the depth of cornerback talent that will be available both in free agency and in the draft.

With Carr in that mix, the Vikings would be wise to due their due diligence in researching a talented cornerback who could be a good fit in the Twin Cities. 

The quick scouting report on Carr:

  • He's 6 feet tall, 207 pounds and has started every game in his first four NFL seasons.
  • He has eight career interceptions and has 65 passes defended.
  • Carr is said to be at his best in zone coverage, an obvious plus as far as the Vikings are concerned.
  • He's also identified as a defensive back who plays the ball well and is widely regarded as a positive influence in the locker room.

To make a long story short, there's an awful lot for the Vikings to like. But now comes the big question: Just what will Carr's price tag turn out to be?

If there's a criticism of Carr it's that he ultimately may be a standout No. 2 cornerback at best; yet he really wants a No. 1 corner's paycheck. So now comes one of the first major evaluation tests for Spielman in his new role as GM. Will he see Carr's ability and age as major pluses and fight to bring the promising defensive back to Minnesota? Or will he and his staff determine Carr's asking price to be way too high for what his NFL ceiling is projected to be?

Keep in mind, the Vikings have major needs at several positions this offseason. So a heavy investment in a free agent cornerback like Carr would subsequently limit the free agency options to land a major difference maker at receiver as well.

One other ripple effect of Kansas City's signing of Routt: with the exit pushed open for Carr to become a free agent, the Chiefs may likely now use their 2012 franchise tag on receiver Dwayne Bowe, effectively taking him off the shelf for teams like the Vikings who will be courting receivers in free agency as well.

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