Will any rumors become reality for Vikings?

The Vikings have been rumored to be interested in more than a dozen free agents, but many of them are fringe starters at best.

Today is the day that NFL teams start being reconstituted. The new NFL year begins today and, despite direct quotes from general manager Rick Spielman that the Vikings don’t intend to make splashy moves in free agency, that doesn’t seem to matter in the hot stove league of free agency rumors.

If all of the rumors are true, the Vikings might be looking at a roster overhaul – even though many of them are unnamed agents dropping names to give the perception of increased interest in their clients. It’s all in the game.

While the Vikings haven’t been linked to any hard signings yet, like so many other teams have, it hasn’t stopped the number of possibilities being thrown out.

The team was rumored to be interested in making a run for New England safety Devin McCourty, according to ESPN … until they heard his asking price. He ended up re-signing with New England on a five-year deal worth a reported $47.5 million. The Vikings have looked for cheaper defensive back alternatives and have made contact with the agents for at least three cornerbacks – Green Bay’s Davon House, Philadelphia’s Bradley Fletcher and Pittsburgh’s Brice McCain – and safeties Sterling Moore of Dallas and Taylor Mays of Cincinnati.

There has been some talk that the Vikings will be interested in San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. He is likely going to be displaced by the expected signing of Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, who is said to be close to reaching an agreement. Given Crabtree’s injury history as he enters his seventh season, the Vikings likely aren’t going to get in any sort of bidding war for him.

After releasing Charlie Johnson, the word is out that the Vikings are in the market for a replacement guard. Cincinnati’s Chris Boling has emerged as a potential candidate. The Vikings were linked with potential interest in San Francisco guard Mike Iupati and Denver’s Orlando Franklin, but Iupati is expected to sign with Arizona and Franklin is reportedly ready to join San Diego.

There has also been contact made with a pair of linebackers – Brooks Reed of Houston and Andrew Gachkar of San Diego, according to the reports flying around the Twin Cities. Neither of those players would break the bank, but they wouldn’t be true game-changers if brought on board. There is also a rumored link between the Vikings and A.J. Hawk.

Apparently the team has also expressed an interest in New England running back Stevan Ridley if things go south with Adrian Peterson returning to the team, but that is a fluid situation that will rectify itself in the near future for better or worse.

With both Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder expected to be gone, the Vikings have been sifting through the thin free agent quarterback market and have reached out to Shaun Hill. There have been other quarterback in the rumor mill, but Hill seems to be the strongest and the one that makes most sense.

In the end, don’t be surprised if the Vikings make a minimal splash Tuesday when free agency begins. After all, the same type of rumors were being thrown against the wall last year at this time and, when the league season began March 10, the Vikings didn’t make a move for two days – announcing the signing of Linval Joseph, Joe Berger and Jasper Brinkley on March 12 and Captain Munnerlyn on March 13. None of them were monster signings but helped fill needs – either in the starting lineup or as a key backup.

Don’t be stunned at the massive numbers that will be announced later today as pen goes to paper on new contracts that will be having moving companies busy as players find new home addresses. And don’t be stunned if the Vikings are minimally involved, if at all. It doesn’t seem to be their M.O. on opening day.

  • Forbes is reporting that the San Francisco 49ers contacted the Vikings to gauge the team’s interest in trading Peterson as well as his contract status. The Niners were looking to re-sign veteran Frank Gore, but he is talking to other teams and seems ready and willing to leave.

  • Pro Football Talk suggested that the Vikings should take a similar approach that Buffalo did with LeSean McCoy – tear up his current deal and give him more money up front than he is already expected to make. The theory makes little sense because it would cause the Vikings to add money to the hefty $13 million Peterson is due this season and add years of guaranteed money to the mix. Buffalo needed to sweeten Shady’s pot because he was traded there and didn’t have any choice in the matter after spending his entire life playing football in Pennsylvania. It makes sense for Buffalo to buy McCoy’s loyalty. The Vikings are already on the books for a hefty paycheck going Peterson’s way.

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    Still to come: Wide receiver |
    OFFENSE: Quarterback | Running back | Tight end |
    Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center
    DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker |
    Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback


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