The Vikings can thank their salary-cap stars that they already have Pat Williams and Kevin Williams doing their work on the defensive line. With those two Pro Bowl tackles healthy, the Vikings have little need at that position in free agency … as long as they re-sign two of their own backups scheduled to be free agents.
Ross Kolodziej is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, which isn't anything new to the six-year veteran of the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings. But after getting extremely limited opportunities in 12 games this season and producing eight tackles, it's unclear if the Vikings will attempt to re-sign him.
The Vikings' other free-agent defensive tackle is Spencer Johnson, who ended the season on injured reserve after making 19 tackles in 14 games. Johnson is a restricted free agent and likely will be tendered an offer that will keep him with the team.
If the Vikings do re-sign Johnson and opt not to offer Kolodziej a contract, they'd likely only need to find one more roster-worthy backup, either in free agency or the draft. Free agency offers nearly 30 possibilities in the backup mold and a few solid starters.
Cullen Jenkins, Green Bay Packers (restricted) – In three seasons with the Packers, Jenkins has averaged less than 20 tackles and five sacks per season, but he is considered an up-and-coming tackle.
Hollis Thomas, New Orleans Saints – As an 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, Thomas has proved to be a solid run defender but has never had more than five sacks in a season.
Robaire Smith, Tennessee Titans – The seven-year veteran of the Titans, Texans and Titans again has been a solid run-stuffing tackle, and like many of the available options, hasn't ever had more than five sacks in a season. His best year was in 2005, when he was credited with 43 tackles for the Texans.
OTHER FREE-AGENT DEFENSIVE TACKLES
Anthony Adams, San Francisco 49ers (could opt out)
Kenderick Allen, Green Bay Packers
Tim Anderson, Buffalo Bills (restricted)
Alfonso Boone, Chicago Bears
Ryan Boschetti, Washington Redskins (restricted)
Jordan Carsten, Carolina Panthers (restricted)
Ron Edwards, Kansas City Chiefs
Jason Fisk, St. Louis Rams
Aubrayo Franklin, Baltimore Ravens
Vonnie Holliday, Miami Dolphins
Junior Ioane, New York Giants
Ethan Kelley, Cleveland Browns (restricted)
Tommy Kelly, Oakland Raiders (restricted)
Dan Klecko, Indianapolis Colts
Antwan Lake, New Orleans Saints
Rodney Leisle, New Orleans Saints (restricted)
Rien Long, Tennessee Titans
Rashad Moore, New York Jets (restricted)
Kindal Moorehead, Carolina Panther
Michael Myers, Denver Broncos
James Reed, Kansas City Chiefs
Terdell Sands, Oakland Raiders
Ian Scott, Chicago Bears
Robaire Smith, Tennessee Titans
Shaun Smith, Cincinnati Bengals (restricted)
Randy Starks, Tennessee Titans (restricted)
Craig Terrill, Seattle Seahawks (restricted)
Keith Traylor, Miami Dolphins
Jimmy Wilkerson, Kansas City Chiefs
Tony Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jeff Zgonina, Miami Dolphins
Future Free Agents: Defensive Tackles
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