The Vikings' top two defensive interests are cornerback and defensive end, and you can tell which teams are also looking at those positions by the movement of players around the league. The Vikings will be competing with many of the same teams over the next few days for a handful of the top crop at those positions. We take a look at the free agents with Vikings connections, and the teams fighting for those players.
Defensive ends Grant Wistrom
and Eric Hicks
are visiting Arizona, another reason to harbor a grudge against former Vikings coach Dennis Green
. The Vikings' top two priorities in outside free agency are cornerback and defensive end.
Some national NFL observers have said Wistrom is still most likely to re-sign with St. Louis, but the Rams aren't in that great of a salary cap situation. The next most likely place for the best DE on the open market is Kansas City, where he would be reunited with former Rams coach Dick Vermeil.
That is why the domino effect could be in place with Hicks, who played for Kansas City last year. If Wistrom signs with the Chiefs, Hicks might be the next best DE available for the Vikings. Seattle also has an interest in Wistrom.
Denver free-agent linebacker Ian Gold, who has received interest from the Vikings, is also scheduled to visit Arizona and Seattle.
Cornerback Fernando Bryant, who the Vikings have also expressed an interest in, is looking at Cincinnati and Seattle as well.
Bert Berry, one of two emerging defensive ends from the Broncos, is visiting Dallas. While the Vikings haven't expressed an interest in him yet, he is worth mentioning as one of the top emerging free agents at the position.
Cornerback Antoine Winfield, considered one of the best cornerbacks available and a definite target of the Vikings, is visiting the New York Jets and Jacksonville.
The Vikings have also expressed an interest in Philadelphia free-agent cornerback Troy Vincent. He is scheduled to visit Cincinnati, the New York Jets, Denver and Kansas City.
The Vikings visited with defensive tackle Steve Martin, last of the Houston Texans, but he also has visits scheduled with San Francisco and the New York Giants.
Remember the big push Vikings coach Mike Tice made for offensive tackle Orlando Brown last year before he signed with Baltimore and the Vikings settled on Mike Rosenthal at right tackle. Brown is now making a visit to the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Former Vikings linebacker Dwayne Rudd, late of the Cleveland Browns, is scheduled to visit Oakland.