ESPN predicts Geno Atkins lands with Minnesota Vikings in free agency

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Part of the reason Mike Zimmer got the head coaching job with the Vikings was because of his prowess as defensive coordinator for the Bengals.

Zimmer had some stout defenses in Cincinnati and defensive tackle Geno Atkins was part of the reason why. Atkins earned his first All-Pro nod under Zimmer.

Now, the defensive lineman is a free agent. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell tabbed Atkins to sign with the Vikings in free agency. Here’s what Barnwell wrote:

“You may see a theme of players reuniting with their former coaches in this piece. Atkins’ breakout years came when Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and the Vikings head coach could use some pass-rushing help in Minnesota. Atkins was anonymous last year as the Bengals reduced his role in the lineup, but the 33-year-old is only two seasons removed from a 10-sack campaign. Atkins would slot in as an interior rusher on passing downs as part of a rotation with run-stuffer Michael Pierce.”

Comparing Atkins to Dalvin Tomlinson, Atkins might be a better stylistic fit to go with Pierce, but I think the Vikings should be more inclined to look for a defensive end to pair opposite Danielle Hunter at this point. With Melvin Ingram III still a free agent, I think he’d actually be a better fit for the Minnesota defense in 2021.