Vikings Should Explore One Particular Free Agent CB

Nov 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Bradley Roby (21) walks onto the field before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings will set sail on the 2023 regular season with one of the least experienced cornerback rooms in team history.

Vikings Should Explore One Particular Free Agent CB

Here’s the group retained on the initial 53-man roster:

CB1: Byron Murphy
CB2: Akayleb Evans
CB3: Andrew Booth
CB4: Mekhi Blackmon
CB5: NaJee Thompson

That group could blossom and stave off any fan anxiety present throughout the summer. Or the group could perform terribly, especially when an injury or two arises.

The state of play at CB for the Vikings is precisely that inexperienced. The club released veteran cornerback Joejuan Williams amid roster cuts Tuesday and then brought the former New England Patriot back to the practice squad. Jaylin Williams also made the practice squad.

But if the club wants to hedge the bet against injury or poor performance, one cornerback in particular on the free agent market could make a difference Bradley Roby.

Should Explore One
Dec 27, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Bradley Roby (21) reacts to a play against Miami Dolphins during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

The New Orleans Saints said goodbye to Roby this week, and the man is waiting for a free-agent phone call. While the Vikings coaching staff probably loves its CB batch, Roby could enhance the depth.

Roby has played for 3 NFL teams in 9 years, appearing in 126 games and starting 60. He’s snatched 11 interceptions out of the sky since 2014, tabulated 370 tackles and 3 defensive touchdowns.

Oct 25, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Bradley Roby (21) tackles Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Freddie Swain (18) during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

The man is experienced. Here’s the 31-year-old’s Pro Football Focus resume:

2022: 45.4
2021: 64.6
2020: 71.5
2019: 66.8
2018: 59.9
2017: 78.3
2016: 63.6
2015: 73.5
2014: 66.4

Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Bradley Roby (21) tackles Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) in an AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, the Vikings realized CB Duke Shelley was a standout performer for one reason injuries rattled Cameron Dantzler, Akayleb Evans, and Andrew Booth. Who’s to say such injuries won’t occur again in 2023? If they do, Minnesota would stare at a depth chart with rookie Mekhi Blackmon, Joejuan Williams, NaJee Thompson, and Jaylin Williams.

Roby would hedge the bet.

Dec 1, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans cornerback Bradley Roby (21) runs after intercepting a pass from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) (not pictured) pass in the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports.

Roby also fired up a commendable 79.4 passer-rating-against in 2022, his final year with the Saints. He’s been around the sport for about a decade and has seen some things. The Vikings need a defender like that inside their young secondary.

If not Roby, other free-agent CBs are available like William Jackson, the aforementioned Shelley, Greedy Williams, and Sidney Jones IV. The big-name free agent corner, Desmond King, flew off the board after roster cuts to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Roby won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in 2015.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by