Monday, December 11, 2017

In the post below this one, I opined that a bowling ball back like Mike Tolbert would be a solid addition to this roster, particularly given Adrian Peterson’s current rehab situation.

The Vikings didn’t sign Tolbert, but they did make a similar signing on Sunday by getting former Dolphin Lex Hilliard to agree to a one year deal.

Hilliard was a restricted free agent that Miami decided not to tender.  Hilliard has played in every game for the Dolphins over the last three seasons, but seldom produced big numbers.  At age 27, Hilliard only has 39 carries for 130 yards under his belt, which includes two touchdowns.  In 2009, he showed some solid hands with 20 catches and 158 yards, but the Dolphins went away from using him as a pass catcher the last two seasons.

Listed at 5’ 11” and 240 pounds, Hilliard possesses the versatility that would allow him to play both half back and full back in Bill Musgrave’s offense.

He joins a backfield that already has Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Jordan Todman, Caleb King, Matt Asiata, and Ryan D’Imperio.  He can also be a special teams contributor, but probably not as a return man.

The competition for who makes the roster behind Peterson and Gerhart this year should be a fun one to watch.

Six Days into free agency, we have seemingly entered “wave two” of the annual garage sale.  The Vikings have been, as you all know, very quiet thus far.  The re-signed three of their own:  Sage Rosenfels, Letroy Guion, and Fred Evans.  They also signed Nick Taylor, a former college point guard turned arena football defensive back.

Their biggest signing was tight end John Carlson, who received a five year deal worth up to $25 million.

For the most part, Rick Spielman sat back and watched this year’s top talents fly to new destinations and the Vikings stressed that a patient approach is the right approach to free agency.

Still, there are indications that the Vikings are not yet done with free agency and will now commence with bargain hunting.  Here are the top ten players that are still available and, in this hack blogger’s opinion, should be targeted by the Vikings this week.

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The VT community has spoken once again, and this time you all have decided that cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will join the Bills defense that has also just acquired defensive end Mario Williams.

Now, it is the Kansas City Chiefs that are on the clock.  Please cast a vote and leave your analysis in the comments section.

Leslie Frazier wants fans to know that a slow start to this free agency period does not mean the Vikings plan to bow out all together.  In fact, he specifically identifies some positions that the team is still looking to upgrade at.

“We still want to find a wide receiver that can really threaten the field vertically,” Frazier told Sid Hartman. “We also want to improve our secondary along with our linebackers, also.”

“We’re going to look to do that, we’re going to look to upgrade our team,” he continued.  “We may do it through free agency but we’re definitely going to do it through the draft, as well. But, yeah, we’re still looking at some players in free agency. … It’s not closed, we’re still looking.”

Hartman took Frazier through basically the whole roster and Frazier’s answers didn’t exactly reveal much.  The gist is that they want their young guys to step up, they may re-sign some of their own free agents still, they may look to the outside for added help, and they are looking forward to the Draft.

The conservative approach to free agency, however, does not have Frazier writing off this team in 2012.

“Not in our profession. Somebody else will be sitting in this seat if I look to the future,” Frazier said. “I have to get our guys ready to have a good season next year. We need to have a good year.”

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According to this NFL.com page (scroll way down), the Vikings will be playing host to safety O.J. Atogwe at some point.

Atogwe received interest from the Vikings when he was a free agent last year but said “God told him” that the Washington Redskins was the team to sign with.  Earlier this month, the Redskins cut Atogwe loose after a disappointing season.

In his first six NFL seasons with the Rams, Atogwe became known as one of the league’s best ballhawks.  In 2011, he had injuries to his hamstring and knee and toe that played a part in his lack of production.

Atogwe will also visit the Detroit Lions.

At age 30, signing Atogwe would be a curious choice as the Vikings try to rebuild, but the safety position lacks the most depth on the Vikings roster with Husain Abdullah and Tyrell Johnson currently being free agents.

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