Vikings Wire staff: 1 player the Vikings should sign in free agency
The Minnesota Vikings entered this offseason with 25 free agents. They added a couple of them to futures contracts, lost OG Kyle Hinton to the Atlanta Falcons and re-signed both exclusive rights free agents Blake Brandel and Khyiris Tonga.
As it sits currently, the Vikings have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to free agency. They are nearly $24 million over the salary cap and will need to find ways to save money while also having capital to go and bring in talent.
Two weeks as a staff, we looked at the players that we wanted the Vikings to re-sign, including one from today’s list. Last week, we looked at players we wanted to let walk. Here are four players that we identified that we want the Vikings to sign this offseason.
Managing Editor Tyler Forness-CB Jonathan Jones
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The Vikings need to work on loading up their cornerback room with only three players currently on the roster. The best route to do that for how this team currently sits is by bringing in talent while being cost-effective. That can be hard to do, but with the cornerback class in the draft, that could help out the Vikings. Jones is a talented player that has played in the system that Brian Flores runs for his entire career. At 29 years old, there is still gas in the tank and Jones has the flexibility to play on both the inside and outside.
Columnist Judd Zulgad: CB Byron Murphy Jr.
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Murphy, who turned 25 on Jan. 18, can play both outside and the slot role. He only played in nine games last season because of injury but that could bring his price down and make it possible for the Vikings to sign him. Murphy had four interceptions in 16 games in 2021. Adding a young free agent like Murphy, could make it possible for the Vikings to target another position (wide receiver?) in the first round of the draft.
Columnist Matt Anderson: DL Dre'Mont Jones
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The Vikings need to upgrade their defense, but they also need to get younger. Adding a guy like Jones fills both those needs. It’s imperative that you can get some interior pass rush from the defensive line in Brian Flores’ scheme, and Jones can do just that.
Since entering the league in 2019, Jones has accumulated 138 quarterback pressures, which is tied for 11th in the NFL in that span among interior defensive backs, according to Pro Football Focus. You always hear that it starts and ends in the trenches, and for the Vikings, they should try to secure someone who can make a difference there.
Columnist Kevin Fielder: WR Olamide Zaccheaus
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Outside of Justin Jefferson, the Vikings don’t have many long-term answers at wide receiver. Adam Thielen is 32 years old, and his contract will expire next season. K.J. Osborn will also enter free agency in 2024, opening up plenty of options to improve. Enter Atlanta Falcons UFA Olamide Zaccheaus. Zaccheaus is fresh off a 500-yard season on just 61 targets, marking his first season over 500 yards. He isn’t the biggest name, but he’s a productive wide receiver who can create separation and should come at a solid price.
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