One of the biggest offensive dominoes to fall in NFL free agency was ex-Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Vikings checked into making the splash, a league source confirmed.
As first reported by NFL Media, the Vikings entered into contract negotiations and even offered a multi-year deal to acquire Jeffery, who was a free agent after five seasons in Chicago. However, Jeffery chose to agree to terms with the Eagles on a one-year, $14 million contract.
The interest in Jeffery comes as the Vikings’ 28th-ranked offense now has two receivers, Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson, free to sign with other teams as of Thursday afternoon. The Vikings did not tender an offer to Johnson, who was a restricted free agent.
Looking into signing Jeffery accelerates speculation regarding how the Vikings feel about Laquon Treadwell, the 23rd-overall pick just 10 months ago. Treadwell disappointed with one catch for 15 yards as a rookie and is one of seven receivers currently on the roster for next season, including Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, Isaac Fruechte, Cayleb Jones and Moritz Bohringer.
“Laquon came in and had some durability issues through OTAs and had some things on and off in camp. I know he is maybe the hardest working kid I’ve seen,” General Manager Rick Spielman said last month. “He is so determined to be a good player and he has the skill set to do it. … He has to do some things. It’s a point of emphasis to get him going this year, but we could never get him on track.”
The Vikings would’ve known as well as any non-Bears team about what they’d get in Jeffery, who caught seven touchdowns in nine career games against Minnesota. Head coach Mike Zimmer thought highly enough of Jeffery to have his No. 1 corner, Xavier Rhodes, shadow him throughout games.
The offense instead will need to find production elsewhere during an offseason makeover that is expected to prioritize the offensive line and include the additions of new running backs and receivers.
In other news, running back Eddie Lacy will visit the Vikings within the next few days, according to his agency SportsTrust Advisors. Lacy, 26, also has visits set up with the Seahawks and Packers.