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Report: Vikings Expected to Have Strong Interest in Christian Wilkins

Wilkins would be a big, splashy addition for the Vikings in free agency.
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The Vikings are one of several teams expected to have strong, mutual interest in free agent defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, according to Aaron Wilson. The former Dolphin is expected to have an "extremely rich market," with the Texans, Browns, and Lions among the other teams rumored to be in the mix.

The fit makes a lot of sense if the Vikings want to make a big splash in free agency. Wilkins, who is the clear top DT on the market after Chris Jones and Justin Madubuike signed contract extensions, spent the first three years of his career playing under Minnesota defensive coordinator Brian Flores in Miami. He'd be a huge addition as a do-it-all disruptor in the middle of the Vikings' aggressive defense.

If the Vikings want Wilkins, they're going to have to pay up. The 28-year-old figures to command a minimum of $25 million per year, given that he's one of the best defensive players on the market this spring (and that the salary cap just went up for every team). Wilkins could end up pushing closer to $30 million per year on a new multi-year deal.

The Vikings can afford that price if they want to, especially if they lose Danielle Hunter in free agency. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah just has to decide how high he's willing to go if this turns into a bidding war for Wilkins' services.

Wilkins, the 13th overall pick out of Clemson in 2019, has 20.5 sacks in five seasons with the Dolphins, including a career-high nine of them last year. He has 43 total tackles for loss, 19 passes defended, an interception, four forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries. He's played in all 17 games in each of the last three seasons. Wilkins is a dynamic all-around player who is excellent against the run and as an interior pressure creator in the passing game.

Outside of bringing back Hunter or Kirk Cousins, signing Wilkins is the biggest splash the Vikings could make in free agency this year. We'll see if it happens.

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