The Vikings want an “all-encompassing” wide receiver added to the roster this year, if possible, but whether or not they can find that guy (whoever that might be) they should still be looking at others for overall improvement to the passing game’s arsenal.
After showing to be a capable receiver when starting across from Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, Breaston jumped ship to Kansas City where poor quarterback play and other factors essentially caused him to fall off the face of the earth. According to the reports, the Vikings will meet with Breaston this week along with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions. He has already met with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It is a bit surprising to see the 29 year old generating this much interest. He is five seasons removed from his career best totals of 77 catches, 1,006 yards, and three touchdowns. Last season in Kansas City he was completely cut out of the Chiefs offense (if you want to call it that) and only managed seven catches for 74 yards.
On the surface, Breaston doesn’t really fit the mold of what the Vikings should be looking for, as he isn’t exactly a beacon of youth and doesn’t necessarily “do it all.” At 6′ 0″ and 189 pounds he isn’t going to command a ton of red zone respect, and his speed doesn’t represent the dangerous type coveted to open things up for Adrian Peterson.
If the price is right, however, signing Breaston could make some sense when you think about Rick Spielman’s stated goals. First, because Breaston is not a natural free agent (the Chiefs cut him) he would not count against the Vikings if they are hoping to get 2014 compensatory picks. Only natural unrestricted free agents count against that formula, and Spielman has stated he wants to have 10 draft picks going into any Draft.
Second, the presence of a veteran receiver at this point in the offseason could relieve some pressure that is currently on Spielman to make some big moves at the position. Breaston’s presence isn’t going to solve the Percy Harvin situation, and it won’t give the Vikings any added leverage in free agency, and it won’t squelch the need to draft some young wide outs… but, it will provide some decent insurance in case one of the above doesn’t go quite as planned.
I don’t know that Breaston is the type of guy that would ignite a fanbase, or cause a spike in season ticket sales, but it is nice to know that the Vikings haven’t totally turned out the lights on free agency before it has even started.