While none of these players will likely end up on the Vikings, there is talent still available at a bargain price for those teams looking to fill roster spots with veteran talent with a pedigree of success. It may be thinking outside the box, but here are six players who could be had on the cheap that could play critical roles in filling out the Vikings 2015 roster.
Quarterback – Michael Vick still has something to offer and, if he is willing to take an incentive-driven contract, he could be the Randall Cunningham of the 2015 Vikings. However, given his off-field legal woes concerning dog fighting, it’s unlikely the Vikings would look at this option. But it could be a sign to Adrian Peterson that the team is willing to give second chances and welcome those players into the fold.
Running Back – Pierre Thomas is a player I’ve always liked, and he shredded the Vikings on occasion. He has always been a role player, so whether Adrian Peterson is back or not, he could contribute as a rusher and receiver. If A.P. is shipped out, he becomes even more valuable – but his asking price goes up. Stevan Ridley is still on the market, too.
Guard – It’s tough to play the “he played under him” card when it comes to anyone with a career connection to Mike Zimmer or Norv Turner, but former Bengal Mike Pollak is still on the open market. While the team would prefer David Yankey to step up and be heard from, a Zim reunion with Pollak wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to the 2015 Vikings.
Middle Linebacker – Kicking the tires on Brandon Spikes wouldn’t be out of the question as the Vikings look for a replacement for Jasper Brinkley at middle linebacker. He’s only 27 and has earned his NFL pedigree with the Patriots and Bills. He likely wouldn’t come with too big a price tag, seeing as he didn’t get signed during the first flurry of free agency, but it’s looking like a reunion with the Bills is coming soon and the Vikings probably aren’t interested in a bidding war.
Safety – Brandon Meriweather is a strong safety known for being a big hitter and being strong in run support. Nobody thrived by being allowed to play all over the field more than Harrison Smith, and signing Merriweather could create some legitimate competition at strong safety between him, Robert Blanton and recently signed Taylor Mays.
The Vikings may be done with the minimal splash into free agency, but if they’re looking to address need prior to the draft, any of these five players could make an impact and help the Vikings hone in on specific players to select in the draft – even if it means moving up or down to get them.
SCOUT.COM FREE AGENT RANKINGS
Position: QB RB FB WR TE OT OG C DT DE OLB MLB S CB K P LS