As free agency opens up, it looks like the Minnesota Vikings are going to need to look at Plan B, C or D if they want to add another defensive end. Michael Bennett re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Monday and Michael Johnson appears to be on his way to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It does mean however that the team could look into filling holes in other places. Every Vikings fan is going to want them to go after the biggest names like Jairus Byrd and LaMarr Houston but there has been no indication that the team is looking at either one of them. Houston has already been signed by the Chicago Bears.
It means that the team will be looking for lower-priced players that can turn the team’s fortunes around coming off their 5-10-1 season in 2013. The name Daryl Smith may be worth thinking about. He will be 32 years old to begin next season but had 123 tackles for the Baltimore Ravens last season. He could be looking for one more big money deal but the team may have enough there to get the talented inside linebacker.
Another name that could slip under the radar but may be helpful is cornerback Tarell Brown. He is 29 years old and while he is just 5-10, which is undersized for the tall receivers in the division, he did play in a great system with the San Francisco 49ers and could bring a solid starting corner to the team. There is also one name that got a lot of attention last season that may be worth considering.
Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely by the NFL and is likely going to be out to begin the 2014 season. However, he is a 6-4 cornerback who could cover Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson when he is on the field. That’s just a name to think about. The Vikings will likely never consider the idea of going after Browner but it may be something to think about especially if the team can get him for a reasonable price.
The free agent frenzy has just begun. What names will the Vikings have on their roster before all is said and done? The next few days will tell a lot about what happens during the 2014 season in Minnesota.