The Best Of The Rest

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.

10.  Tracy Porter, CB, Age 26

Porter has had his struggles with consistency, but he has proven to be a capable starter that could surely help out a Vikings defense in terms of both talent and depth.  One big question, however, is whether or not he will face suspension from the NFL due to the “bountygate” scandal.

9.  Tony Fiammetta, FB, Age 26

It’d be nice if the Vikings could finally get themselves a decent fullback even though Bill Musgrave’s offense doesn’t place a ton of value in the position.  Fiammetta led the way for DeMarco Murray’s breakout season but the Cowboys have decided to move on after some minor injuries caused him to miss some games.

8.  Geoff Schwartz, OT, Age 26

A young versatile offensive lineman that missed 2011 due to injury.  The Vikings have a visit lined up with Schwartz which is an indication that they are willing to make Phil Loadholt earn his starting job this offseason.  Anthony Collins could be another option if Schwartz’s medical doesn’t check out.

7.  Mike Tolbert, RB, Age 26

I love this guy.  He’s like Darren Sproles, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Kirby Puckett all rolled into one.  He would not only be a great addition as a situational back, but Tolbert would really help the team out if Adrian Peterson can’t return right away.

6.  William Middleton, CB, Age 26

I am surprised Middleton hasn’t generated more interest.  He is young, and stepped into the starting lineup at various points throughout the season due to injured veterans in Jacksonville.  He played quite well and seems like a solid, young, cheap addition to a roster that needs all three of those qualities.

5.  Erin Henderson, OLB, Age 26

The Vikings are taking a risk with their approach to Henderson-the-Younger’s situation.  He is a decent player that has recently become over-hyped for some reason.  Still, he is young and on the rise and sounds like he wants to return.  No point in creating another need by letting him go elsewhere.

4.  David Hawthorne, MLB, Age 27

Are you noticing a trend?  Lots of linebacker talent is still available.  Hawthorne is still in his prime and while injuries have plagued him, his toughness has been displayed, however, as he played through those injuries and played really well.  Option #3 for replacing E.J.

3.  LaRon Landry, SS, Age 27

I don’t care what anyone says… it is insane that a talent like Landry is still available, despite his injury concerns.  If the Vikings choose the injury-prone Husain Abdullah over the injury-prone LaRon Landry then we have problems, folks.

2.  Curtis Lofton, MLB, Age 26

Lofton is a great middle linebacker that is on the verge of being a household name.  Losing him will be a huge blow the Falcons, and a huge gain for some lucky team.  Option #2 for replacing E.J.

1.  Stephen Tulloch, MLB, Age 27

I wanted the Vikings to grab Tulloch last year, but instead they ignored him and the Lions signed him to a one year, ultra-cheap deal.  Predictably, Tulloch played very well and helped get the Lions defense into good enough shape to make them a playoff contender.  Option #1 for replacing E.J.