Free Agency

Free Agency: Vikings Active on Day One

The new NFL league year began at 4:00 PM eastern yesterday afternoon, allowing all teams to officially sign free-agents to their roster. At 4:01 PM, a mind boggling amount of contract signings had already been agreed upon throughout the entire league.

The Minnesota Vikings were certainly not shy about wanting to improve their roster yesterday. Spots were filled and depth was added as the Vikings are hoping their new players will help the team repeat as NFC North division champions in 2016.

Alex Boone, Guard

Boone figures to be an immediate starter for the Vikings in 2016 and most likely as their left guard. Formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, where he started 59 games in the past four seasons, Boone will provide some much needed tenacity Minnesota has been lacking on their offensive line in recent years.

Pro Football Focus ranked him as their 38th best guard in 2015, which was six spots better than Vikings left guard Brandon Fusco (44). Add the familiarity Boone has with new Minnesota offensive line coach Tony Sparano (held same position with 49ers in 2015), and an improvement seems to have been made on one of the team’s weakest units.

Travis Lewis, Linebacker

This signing seems to be strictly based on adding depth to a thin linebacking unit and providing more help for the Vikings special teams. Lewis is familiar to the NFC North, where he played for the Detroit Lions for the past three seasons.

Mike Harris, Guard

The Vikings are familiar with Harris since he was the team’s starting right guard last season. Reportedly, he had been looking for a two year contract from Minnesota but settled for a one year deal after the Vikings signed Boone.

Speaking of Boone, his signing should force Fusco to move back to his original position at right guard for 2016. It is looking like Harris and Fusco will have to battle it out this offseason to determine who becomes the starter for next season.

Emmanuel Lamur, Linebacker

After reportedly being in talks with various free-agents who formerly played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota only signed one on the first day of free agency. Lamur, like Lewis, will provide some much needed depth to the Vikings linebacker unit.

Unlike Lewis however, Lamur has a chance to start for Minnesota next season. In 2014, he started 13 games and recorded 97 total tackles. The Vikings have yet to re-sign linebacker Chad Greenway but Minnesota may have already replaced him with Lamur.

Kenrick Ellis, Defensive Tackle

After adding depth to the front line of their offense, the Vikings switched to the other side of the ball and re-signed Ellis. In his first season with Minnesota in 2015, Ellis provided relief the team’s interior defensive lineman when needed and will likely continue to do so again next season.

Michael Griffin, Safety

In what may have been the most surprising signing of the day to come out of Winter Park on Wednesday, the Vikings signed Griffin to a one year deal. The former Tennessee Titans safety will have to prove this offseason that he can become the team’s starting strong safety for 2016.

As the Titans starter for all nine of his seasons in the NFL, it would come as a surprise if Griffin was not Minnesota’s opening day starting strong safety for next season. His experience in the league could also prove to be very valuable to a young Vikings secondary that is slowly turning into one of the NFL’s best.

Be sure to follow our live blog all day long again today to keep up with everything the Vikings do on the second day of NFL free agency.

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Adam Patrick

Adam has been rooting for the Vikings ever since he saw Randall Cunningham win NFC Special Teams Player of the week in 1997. Since his career sports highlights include 3rd place at 5th Grade Golf Camp and catching a ball during a soccer game (he was not playing goalie), Adam turned to writing. He considers himself a 'Vikings Realist' as he does not shy away from criticizing the purple and gold if necessary. He will not always write about the popular topics, but his goal is to provide readers with content they cannot find anywhere else. Follow him on Twitter @Str8_Cash_Homey

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  1. Titans fans seem to think Griffin will be most successful here if limited snaps. Dude is a little long in the tooth, not convinced he will be starter.

    1. Griffin is an upgrade over what we have,and I trust Zimmer on this one.
      Vikes will be drafting a safety early (2nd/3rd) so have faith holdsteady76.

      1. I don’t hate it, team friendly deal. Will be good in our system for a year. I have no doubt we will draft a safety.

        What keeps me awake is the OL, even with Boone it still seems like a major overhaul is needed, and we have a super bowl to win next year so hopefully they continue to make the OL a priority for the next several off seasons.

  2. This team needed an infusion of attitude, love the Boone signing, Griffin too, looks to be steady force that could set Harry the Hit man free, free at last. Both are sensible and economical, Osomele and Iloka contracts amount to $18 million, give or take a million, Boone and Griffin are inked for half that at $9ish. However, at 31 Griffin is a bandaid, but he does gives Vikes the luxury of grooming one of the usual suspects mocked to us. Nice work Rick

    1. Just watched Alex Boone’s interview with Wobscall on Vikings official site.I love this guy already! Looking forward to him sitting Clay Mathews on his keister! 😉

      1. Also like his attitude, but people make way too much of the Clay Matthews thing. He said they actually talked afterwrd and it’s all good off the field. But on the field, dude is 110% which I love. Just cross my fingers a switch in scheme will allow him better results at LG than he displayed last year.

        1. I’m not so sure about the clay thing. if he came out and said he was still gonna punch clay in the face and then did it, he’d get an even worse fine and suspension

  3. I definitely would have preferred Reggie Nelson over Griffin, even if it would have cost a million or two more per season. Nelson is equally experienced and much closer to the prime of his career than Griffin.

  4. I think the lemur will turn out to be a sneaky good signing. He loves Zimmer, and I think Zim knows exactly what he is, how to utilize him. Low risk deal, I think it’s perfect fit for lemur and pay dividends.

  5. I really hope the Vikes resign Newman. They need his leadership and experience in the secondary. Still plays at a pretty high level.