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The Minnesota Vikings are hoping to build upon their success from last and are hoping to repeat as NFC North Division Champions. With all the Vikings have done to improve their roster this offseason, there really isn’t much more they can do. Competition and depth have been added at nearly every position.
The Vikings could, however, benefit from some veteran leadership and guidance at the wide receiver position. Outside of adding a punter and a more capable backup quarterback, they aren’t expected to make any more moves, other than cut down to a 53-man roster.
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This year’s free agent wide receiving class was lacking in big name caliber talent, but there are two names still floating around that could make an impact on the Vikings’ roster. Both Roddy White and Anquan Boldin had been linked to Minnesota during some point this offseason. Both are still available and have yet to sign a contract and find a role with a team.
There remains a possibility that one of them could sign with the Vikings and help bolster the team’s receiving corps. Boldin and White are capable, sure-handed receivers with polished route running abilities that could bring a much needed veteran presence and leadership to the Vikings’ locker room.
If either signed, they would find themselves in a supporting role as a number three or four wide receiver, behind Laquon Treadwell and Stefon Diggs, and would be competing with Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson for playing time. Any deal reached would be beneficial and make sense for both sides.
Last year for the Atlanta Falcons, the 34-year old White played more of a complementary role, catching only 43 passes for 506 yards and one touchdown. With the emergence of Julio Jones and years of injuries catching up with him, White has seen his playing time and role steadily decrease in the Falcons’ offense, until he was eventually cut by the team at the end of last season.
Throughout his 11 seasons in the NFL, White is the Falcons’ all-time leader in receptions (808), yards (10,863) and total touchdowns (63). The majority of his career he has been a 1,000 yards a season pass catcher.
Boldin has been the San Francisco 49’ers leading receiving weapon the last three years and still has some miles left in the tank. He is a 13-year veteran that is 12th in league history in receptions with 1,009, 17th in receiving yards with 13,195 and has amassed 74 career touchdowns. Bolding is a sure handed option who is not afraid to go over the middle and make the tough catches, though he has lost a step at 35-years old.
If the Vikings decide to add some veteran leadership to their young wide receiving corps, either White or Boldin could be poised to make an immediate impact. It is just as likely that the team feels confident with their current batch of young wideouts and opts to enter the season with the group they have.
If guidance and leadership alone are not enough of an incentive, the addition of a veteran would give the Vikings some insurance and depth at the receiver position in the event someone gets injured or struggles to produce. Heading into a season where expectations are high, the Vikings could stand to benefit from some experience in the locker room and reduce the risk of their young wideouts finding themselves in over their head early in the season.
– Miles Dittberner, is a Managing Editor at cover32 and covers the Minnesota Vikings.