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.


Sanders release prompts Vikings speculation

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings off the field, Leslie Frazier, Madieu Williams, Tyrell Johnson Updated: February 18, 2011 - 1:12 PM

News that the Indianapolis Colts released safety Bob Sanders prompted many questions and speculation about whether the Vikings will try and sign the former NFL defensive player of the year.

Sanders' career has been plagued by injuries the past few seasons after being recognized as the league's top defensive player in 2007. The hard-hitting safety has played in only nine regular-season games total the past three seasons while dealing with knee and biceps injuries.

Sanders was scheduled to make $5.5 million in 2011, according to the Indy Star, which contributed to his release when combined with his injury history.

The Vikings speculation makes sense because Sanders' history with coach Leslie Frazier, who coached the Colts defensive backs from 2005-06 before joining the Vikings.

The Vikings certainly could upgrade at safety. Madieu Williams and Husain Abdullah are not guaranteed to keep their starting jobs next season, and the Vikings need to find more playmakers on the back end of their defense. Tyrell Johnson tumbled down the depth chart last season and Jamarca Sanford so far has made his biggest contributions on special teams.

But how much does Sanders have left after battling so many injuries? And at what price?

The Vikings front office has taken a wait-and-see approach with their own free agents until the labor situation gets sorted out so it seems unlikely that they would make a move on Sanders before the March 3 deadline.

But Sanders is certainly an intriguing option to consider. What are your thoughts?  

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