Vikings Free Agency: Top Players Still Available at Positions of Need

The Vikings have the cap space to make a couple more impact signings in free agency this year.
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With the new league year beginning on Wednesday afternoon, the Vikings officially announced the signings of DT Dalvin Tomlinson, LB Nick Vigil, OT Rashod Hill, and WR Chad Beebe. That's a solid start to free agency with a splash signing in Tomlinson, but there's still room for more.

The Vikings have around $8.5 million in salary cap space as of Wednesday. Once they finalize a restructure of Adam Thielen's contract that converts base salary to signing bonus (which isn't a pay cut at all), they'll be up to roughly $16 million in space. That move sounds like it's definitely happening, even if it hasn't been announced just yet. An extension for Harrison Smith is another move that's in the works and would free up additional cap space. 

Update: After signing Patrick Peterson to a one-year, $10 million deal, the Vikings don't have much cap space left.

With that in mind, here are lists of the top free agents still available at each of Minnesota's main positions of need: cornerback, safety, defensive end, offensive line, and wide receiver. Defensive tackle and linebacker are no longer on the list after the Tomlinson and Vigil signings. Quarterback, tight end, and running back are not considered needs. No specialists are included, either. All players in listed in a very rough order of descending quality. There are too many bottom-of-the-barrel players to list at each position, so the cutoff point is roughly where you'd stop talking about potential impact players.

Cornerback

The Vikings could use a veteran to join a position group headlined by second-year players Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney. Mike Hughes can't be relied upon for a starting role with how many injury issues he's had during his NFL career. The Vikings reportedly showed interest in Shaquill Griffin, who signed with the Jaguars. William Jackson III is also off the board. The Vikings have an offer out to Mackensie Alexander, who spent last season with the Bengals after four years in Minnesota.

Update: the Vikings signed Patrick Peterson to a one-year, $10 million deal.

Still available

  • Kyle Fuller
  • Adoree Jackson
  • Richard Sherman
  • Casey Hayward
  • Mackensie Alexander
  • A.J. Bouye
  • Brian Poole
  • Nickell Robey-Coleman
  • Xavier Rhodes
  • Quinton Dunbar
  • K'Waun Williams
  • Gareon Conley
  • Bashaud Breeland
  • Rasul Douglas
  • Desmond Trufant
  • Dre Kirkpatrick
  • Darqueze Dennard
  • Kevin King
  • Ross Cockrell

Safety

The Vikings need a safety to play alongside Harrison Smith. 2020 sixth-rounder Josh Metellus isn't the answer. They've shown interest in bringing Anthony Harris back and have also targeted Keanu Neal. Relying on a rookie to learn Mike Zimmer's defense might not be the best idea.

Still available

  • Anthony Harris
  • Keanu Neal
  • Malik Hooker
  • Kareem Jackson
  • Xavier Woods
  • Duron Harmon
  • Tre Boston
  • Tashaun Gipson
  • Jaquiski Tartt
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • Will Parks
  • Bradley McDougald
  • Damontae Kazee
  • Ricardo Allen
  • Karl Joseph
  • Andrew Sendejo
  • Raven Greene
  • George Iloka

Defensive End/EDGE

The Vikings decided not to tender Ifeadi Odenigbo, and he said his goodbyes on Tuesday. He won't be back. That leaves just Stephen Weatherly and D.J. Wonnum to compete for a starting job opposite Danielle Hunter — for now. The Vikings surely need to add another edge rusher or two, especially considering they'll have two big nose tackles in the middle of their defensive line. The pickings are somewhat slim here after the top few, but there are plenty of interesting EDGE options in the draft.

Still available

  • Carlos Dunlap
  • Jadeveon Clowney
  • Melvin Ingram
  • Aldon Smith
  • Olivier Vernon
  • Ryan Kerrigan
  • Justin Houston
  • Everson Griffen
  • Kerry Hyder
  • Benson Mayowa
  • Ezekiel Ansah
  • Vinny Curry
  • Jabaal Sheard
  • Bruce Irvin
  • Trent Murphy
  • Dion Jordan

Guard

It's no secret that the Vikings need guards. Fans have been clamoring for upgrades at that position for years. At the very least, Minnesota needs a replacement for Dakota Dozier, who somehow started every game last season despite being arguably the worst offensive lineman in the NFL. The Vikings can't be satisfied with mediocrity again. They just can't. And if Ezra Cleveland moves from right guard to left tackle now that Riley Reiff is gone, the Vikings will need *two* new guards. Good guards can be found in the draft, as well.

Still available

  • Trai Turner
  • Lane Taylor
  • Austin Blythe
  • James Carpenter
  • Nick Easton
  • Zach Fulton
  • Brian Winters
  • Forrest Lamp
  • Senio Kelemete
  • Kelechi Osemele
  • John Miller
  • Oday Aboushi
  • J.R. Sweezy
  • Joe Haeg
  • Chris Reed
  • Alex Redmond

Wide receiver

Bringing Beebe back should not be the answer at No. 3 receiver. Same goes for free agents in the Tajae Sharpe/Kendall Wright tier or late Day 3 picks like K.J. Osborn or Bisi Johnson. The Vikings could do a lot for their offensive by targeting a legitimately dangerous third receiver in FA or the draft. They're not going to splurge on a top option like Kenny Golladay, Juju Smith-Schuster, Will Fuller, Curtis Samuel, or even Antonio Brown, but they don't have to.

Still available (non-No. 1 options)

  • T.Y. Hilton
  • Sammy Watkins
  • Danny Amendola
  • Golden Tate
  • DeSean Jackson
  • Adam Humphries
  • Marquise Goodwin
  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Chris Conley
  • Alshon Jeffery
  • Demarcus Robinson
  • Dede Westbrook
  • Willie Snead
  • Kenny Stills
  • Damiere Byrd

Offensive tackle

I'm not entirely sure the Vikings would sign a tackle in free agency since they have Brian O'Neill, Ezra Cleveland, and Rashod Hill on the roster, but who knows? If Cleveland stays at guard and Hill remains the swing tackle, there's room for another option. The draft might be the place to do it, but there are some interesting tackles still out there.

  • Alejandro Villanueva
  • Mitchell Schwartz
  • Russell Okung
  • Eric Fisher
  • Riley Reiff
  • Rick Wagner
  • Bobby Massie
  • Dennis Kelly
  • Jason Peters
  • Ty Sambrailo
  • Cedric Ogbuehi
  • Cameron Fleming
  • Roderick Johnson

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