Free AgencyRumors

2014 NFL Free Agency: Minnesota Vikings Looking At Nolan Carroll, Want Letroy Guion To Take Pay Cut

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports that the Vikings are taking a “strong look” at Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll, who they drafted in 2010:

A source said Wednesday the Vikings are expected to take a strong look in free agency at Miami Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll when he becomes a free agent Tuesday.

Carroll should be a cheap option in a free agency period that looks like it will be full of cornerbacks who may be worth less than their market value. Defensive Coordinator George Edwards has worked with Carroll the past two years as the linebackers coach.

The current defensive coordinator for Miami, Kevin Coyle, worked with Cincinnati under Mike Zimmer as the defensive backs coach from 2003-2011 and wants to sign Carroll as well, allowing him to test the market. Carroll might be seen as an average CB, which would be a big upgrade for the Vikings.

His first few years at Miami weren’t great, but the last few years have been solid. Pro Football Focus ranks him 52 out of 110 cornerbacks and ranks 35th of 81 qualifying cornerbacks in receptions given up per snap in coverage. A few Miami-specific draft evaluators have had good things to say about him, including Oscar Hazell:

In other news, Letroy Guion might reportedly be asked to take a pay cut:

Guion has been fairly poor in his time with the Vikings, and hasn’t been particularly great at being a nose tackle. While his true position in college was more of an under tackle, it’s fair to say he’s disappointed far more than he’s impressed. The Vikings are known to need help at nose tackle, and freeing up space to do that might be part of resolving that issue.

It might be better to cut Guion outright, however. Backup Fred Evans has outperformed him, as have the majority of nose tackles in the league. Even signing Guion for cheap seems like a waste of a roster spot.

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  1. I’m not sure why. From what I’ve read, and looking at the comments section of an article, Dolphins fans don’t seem to think much of him. . The Dolphin I’d like would be Paul Soliai as a run stuffing DT, and resign Kevin Williams, to be rotated in on passing downs. Cut Guion and apply that money to Soliai and Williams.
    If the Vikings were to sign a cheap outside starter, I’d like to see Josh Robinson moved back to the outside. I’d prefer signing someone like Captain Munnerlyn or Corey Graham. The reason being they both have experience playing inside and outside corner. The slot position should be addressed in free agency. I’d prefer them over Verner (who also has some slot experience), just from a money stand point. An alternative to Verner, would be Sam Shields. He should be cheaper (because he’s not as good, but he’s not much worse, except in run defense maybe). Shields also has played in the North, so he has experience with Lions and Bears receivers. Lastly it could potentially weaken the Packers secondary. Then in the draft focus on a young DB in rounds 2-4. Like maybe a Jean-Baptiste or Pierre Desir.

    1. It’s interesting, because a number of fans don’t seem to like Carroll, but talent evaluators seem to think he was OK this year, even if he was wanting in other years.

      Otherwise (aside from Stanley Jean-Baptiste), I agree with what you’ve said. From what I hear, Sam Shields might go for a bit too much, though.

  2. I couldn’t agree more on Guion. He’s never shown much and is a total waste of time and money. I wanted him cut 2 years ago but better late than never I guess.

    1. Hey Johnny, They just released Guion. You think the Vikes front office is listening to us or reading our posts at VT?

      1. That’s great news Norse:) What do you know they wised up and started reading our posts. How much more cap does that free up?

  3. We have cap space, so why go cheap? Get Verner if possible.
    Agree with Tom that we need a big run stuffer. Maybe Soliai…what about Earl Mitchell from Houston?
    Given the choice, I’d put the big money on a big dude in the middle. We haven’t been the same since we lost Fat Pat.

    1. The reason I say go cheap is because the Vikes have multiple holes to fill. We need a starting DE, two starting LB’s, and a starting slot CB; at least. Maybe we can address some of those through the draft, or maybe Mauti and/or Hodges are ready, I don’t think so, but maybe. I don’t think Cole is a full time starter yet either. But the reason to go cheaper is because I’d like multiple quality free agents, rather than a splashy one. Although Shields would probably be expensive.
      I agree with a big run stopper. I feel we’ve neglected it to way too long. Each year I keep thinking we’ll draft a big body later in the draft (RD. 4 or later), but it’s not happening. I don’t understand the thinking. Guion is bad. Evans is serviceable, but certainly could be upgraded. Another DE I like (especially if we lose Griffen, I think Allen is already gone) is Arthur Jones. He plays DE, but has experience playing DT (That’s where he played at Syracuse). The Vikings have been rotating DE’s to the DT position on passing downs and I think Jones would be able to continue that trend. Still if we did that we’d need a DE to replace him on third down (and a big bodied DT on the first 2 downs) and I don’t think we have that on the roster. We could if we drafted a DE early. Someone like EALY, or later on a Trevor Reilly (who I like a lot) or Jackson Jeffcoat (especially if he will only be a situational player, some serious injuries in the past) There’s some many needs, without knowing what way the Vikings want to go, there are numerous directions they could take to fill their needs.
      I think we need at least 1 DE, and a slot corner addressed in free agency. We don’t have that player on the roster currently. I almost listed a LB, but they may be on the roster, and I don’t realize it. There are just so many needs I can’t even think which to fill first; QB, DT, DE, LB, DB, LG, TE, RB

      1. Don’t really see RB or TE as a big area of need, but the rest…yeah. I really think a big run stopper as well as a MLB are huge needs. I don’t know if Mauti or Cole are good enough, as I don’t want average.

  4. One issue I have with Spielman is that he doesn’t seem to want to move on from some players. Letroy is becoming one of those guys. I’ll give Guion a bit of a break though because he’s not a NT, he’s always been best suited to play the 3-tech and I have no idea what guy on the previous coaching staff thought he should play nose. I don’t really have a problem with them giving a guy like Carrol a contract, but this isn’t the type of player you sign in the first week of free agency. If you grab him early you are going to overpay. As far as the nickel position, I agree with everyone who is saying Robinson needs to be put back outside (I’m actually getting irritated with the previous coaching staff as I’m writing this trying to figure out why Guion became a NT and Robinson got put at the nickel). I don’t think you need to go to free agency to fill that though, there are a lot of really good nickel corners in this draft.

    1. Don’t forget Erin Henderson moving from weak to middle linebacker, or the Everson Griffen at linebacker experiment from a couple of years ago. It seems like at every level of the defense someone was playing out of position. And not for a game or two, but that was the plan for the entire season. It’s like plan B or even plan C was the norm all over the defense. I guess that’s how you end up with the 31st ranked defense (I think that’s what we were ranked).
      The reason I think slot corner should be dealt with in free agency is we don’t have a competent one on the roster at all right now. If we draft one, and we should draft a corner, that would put a rookie in the slot, and Robinson, a developing player on the outside. ( Unless you prefer Prater. Who is OK; not good, but OK.) I’d like to only have one inexperienced player in the secondary at a time if possible. I’d prefer a solid inside corner, obtained through free agency, and draft a developmental corner to push Robinson.

  5. Guion looked like he was going to turn into a good player early, but he is getting over paid at this point. I would agree cutting him might make sense. Carroll sounds like a guy who’s going to get matched by Miami. That’s alright though, if the market is full of talent, somebody is going to get underpaid. Although Miami did already resign grimes, maybe we pry him away.