Free Agency

Vikings “Express Interest” in A.J. Hawk, Other Free Agents

Today marks the beginning of a three-day window in which agents and teams may have discussions to gauge free agent interest — a warm-up to the official start of the free agency period on Tuesday at 3 pm.

So far, the Vikings have quietly “expressed interest” in a handful of players. Take that information with a grain of salt, though — the tampering period is key to measuring the value of certain free agents and testing the interest of competing teams.

Below, we take a look at each potential free agent’s fit with the Vikings:

Adrian Clayborn, DE — Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In our preview of free agent defensive ends last week, we listed Adrian Clayborn as a high-profile player with the potential to contribute on Mike Zimmer’s defense. Clayborn is just 26 years old, but has missed substantial time with injuries — he missed 13 games in 2012 and another 15 in 2014. The Vikings’ current left defensive end, Brian Robison, saw a dip in his production last year, and addressing the rotation at the position is a critical need this offseason.

When healthy, Clayborn made an impact with the Buccaneers — in 2013, he finished the season with 5.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Unlike other available players, Clayborn will be relatively cheap, devalued because of a troubling injury history.

The former first-round draft pick has the talent to provide needed depth behind Robison, and could replace the aging defensive end in coming years.

Shaun Hill, QB — St. Louis Rams

Per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, a Vikings official reached out to one of Hill’s representatives early Saturday morning — the Vikings need to sign a backup to Teddy Bridgewater.

After trading Matt Cassel to the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, the Vikings were left with one quarterback behind Bridgewater, the incomparable Christian Ponder. The team is not expected to re-sign their 2011 first-round draft pick, and Hill would be a competent backup to Teddy Bridgewater.

Hill played with the Vikings from 2002 to 2005 and has limited experience with current offensive coordinator Norv Turner, as the two worked together in San Francisco in 2006. At 35 years old, Hill is nothing more than an inexpensive security blanket to Bridgewater and a clear improvement over Ponder. In his final season with the Rams, Hill completed 145 passes for 1,657 yards and eight touchdowns.

Hill’s 2014 cap number was a mere $1.75 million, and he would be a much cheaper option than the soon-to-be departed Matt Cassel.

George Selvie, DE — Dallas Cowboys

Like Clayborn, George Selvie was listed as a Vikings free agent target in our defensive end preview. In 2014, Selvie finished the season with 3 sacks and started 29 of 32 games for the Cowboys. Selvie started 13 games last season, and may be heading into free agency seeking a full-time role elsewhere.

Both Brian Robison and Everson Griffen played more than 900 snaps last season, and would be better served with a solid rotation and periods of rest during games. Who do the Vikings trust more to fill that role? Last year’s 3rd-round draft pick, Scott Crichton, failed to make an impact when inserted into games, and will need to do more in 2015 to call that backup role his own.

For now, Selvie is a young, cheap free agent option who can spell either Griffen or Robison during the 2015 season.

A.J. Hawk, LB — Green Bay Packers (?!)

We kid you not — reports are flying out that the Vikings and Rick Spielman have “expressed interest” in former Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk.

It’s hard to explain this surprising turn of events, as the Vikings currently have an aging linebacker on the roster in Chad Greenway. Hawk was released by the Packers on February 25th, and suffered a major regression in his on-field performance last season.

I’d love to call this report “smoke and mirrors” on Rick Spielman’s part, but the Vikings have a history of signing former Packers — Greg Jennings and Brett Favre, to name a few.

We’ll wait and see what happens, but I’m hopeful that nothing will come of this “expressed interest”.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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4 Comments

  1. We might as well sign all the Packers free agents
    Unrestricted:
    Matt Flynn, quarterback
    Scott Tolzien, quarterback
    John Kuhn, fullback
    Bryan Bulaga, tackle
    B.J. Raji, defensive tackle
    Letroy Guion, defensive tackle-x vik= maybe not, ha, ha,…ha…
    Jamari Lattimore, linebacker
    Tramon Williams, cornerback
    Jarrett Bush, cornerback
    Davon House, cornerback

    Restricted:
    Jarrett Boykin, receiver
    Don Barclay, guard/tackle
    Sean Richardson, safety

    Too bad..! Randall Cobb re-sign with Packers…!! The Packers fans are laughing at the vikings… HA..ha..ha..ha……ha……..
    Spielman, if you are going to sign A.J. Hawk, LB — Green Bay Packers – Than you should just pay Chad Greenway all his money and keep him ! I’m all for that than to sign A.J. Hawk, LB — Green Bay Packers

    That’s right ! might go to the NFC Championship Game , if we sign all the Packers free agents , because those free agents were on the packers ROSTER & DEPTH CHART last year when they went to the NFC Championship Game & almost won, due to the Packers TE who Vikings just recently sign..! And we will try to copy and see if ? we can do the same thing, to go down in history ..! This is nothing against TE Brandon Bostick…
    I believe TE Brandon Bostick, will become a better player of what happened ! He will shine ! I believe in you Brandon Bostick ! So believe in yourself..! Brother..!! Hopefully we play Green Bay in the playoff Championship Game in Green Bay at Lambeau Field…and Teddy to Brandon Bostick….Touchdown !!! …again..Touchdown..!!! and again.. Touchdown !!!! That’s 3 Touchdown for Brandon Bostick…. The score Vikings – 35 Packers – 34 1 point difference and Brandon Bostick had the last touchdown..! You know the story…

  2. poor robison, played team D as zim preached and now everyone thinks he’s on his way down. maybe he is

    let hawk fly south. he and the chokers on decline

  3. Paul A doesn’t think the Vikes have any interest in 49’s S
    Arif does

    Paul is supposed to be “connected”
    I am going to so love it if Paul A is proved WRONG.
    I don’t think Paul A is as connected as he thinks.
    He and Wobby are just Vikings mouthpieces.

    Arif is a reporter.

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