Chart: Five free agents the Vikings should pursue

  • Updated: March 6, 2014 - 8:06 AM

Here are five free agents the Vikings should pursue:

ø Michael Johnson, DE, Bengals

This is the no-brainer. Johnson is 27 and a rising star. He’s 6-7, 260, knocks down quarterbacks, stops the run and played for Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, Cincinnati’s former defensive coordinator. Is there room for Johnson and Everson Griffen, the No. 1 priority among the Vikings’ own free agents? Yes. This league starts with passers and pass rushers.

 

 

Linval Joseph NT, Giants

The Vikings’ defense began to crumble when it couldn’t stop the run. It couldn’t stop the run effectively when Big Pat Williams became Over-the-Hill Pat Williams. At a powerful, agile and big-gutted 6-4, 323 pounds, Joseph could fill the hole at nose tackle. And he’s only 25.

 

 

 

Alterraun Verner CB, Titans

The league might start with passers and pass rushers, but cover corners are battling left tackles for a close No. 3 in the pecking order. At 25, Verner — like most young, quality corners — will cash in big-time. New Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray coached Verner in Tennessee.

 

 

T.J. Ward SS, Browns

Pairing future star Harrison Smith with another top-shelf safety could be the solution to a lot of the Vikings’ defensive weaknesses.

 

 

Josh Freeman QB, Vikings

Look, if Matt Cassel wanted to come back, he wouldn’t have opted out of his contract. That’s No. 1. Also, remember when Freeman’s age (26), upside and elite arm strength were widely considered exciting complements for an offense built around Adrian Peterson? Considering Christian Ponder is the only QB currently on the roster, what’s the harm in signing Freeman and seeing if some good can finally come from last year’s disaster?

MARK CRAIG





 

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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