2 Vikings Free Agents Will Be Heavily Sought After

The Minnesota Vikings have anywhere from one to a few playoff games to play, but regardless of outcome, NFL free agency begins in 62 days. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will strut into free agency with the NFL’s eighth-least cap space, familiar territory for the Vikings amid the last half-decade.

And while some players will join the roster — see: Za’Darius Smith and Chandon Sullivan last year — a handful will depart. That’s just the way it goes in the NFL.

2 Vikings Free Agents Will Be
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Take a glance around the internet, and two popular Vikings are coveted around the business, tabbed in lists such as “Top Free Agents of 2023” from various sources. These are those men.

2 Vikings Free Agents Will Be Heavily Sought After

Patrick Peterson

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) celebrates his interception during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Peterson joined the Vikings during 2021’s free agency period — seemingly out of nowhere — and has stabilized Minnesota’s CB room since. Next to a hodgepodge of players like Mackensie Alexander, Cameron Dantzler, Bashaud Breeland, Akayleb Evans, Duke Shelley, etc., Peterson has been the anchor among Vikings corners.

But in 2021 and 2022, the future Hall of Famer signed one-year deals, so the time has arrived yet again to chat about his 2023 whereabouts.

Peterson fired up an incredible 2022 regular season, ranking as the league’s ninth-best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus. The 32-year-old turned back the clock to 2018 or so, grading an impressive 80.7 from PFF. He’s been phenomenal, impacting a defense that needs all the bright spots it can get.

In November, Peterson told the Pioneer Press he wants to remain with the Vikings, “No doubt about it. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’m not trying to go anywhere but Minnesota. I love everything around here. I would love to stay put.”

Peterson also said he desired “at least one more Pro Bowl, one more All-Pro” and that such accomplishments “would be a nice, satisfying way for me to end off my career, for sure.”

Like the next guy on the list, Peterson was mentioned in NFL.com’s Top 2023 free agents list and a similar publication from Bleacher Report.

Dalvin Tomlinson

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (94) pressures Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) causing a fumble during their football game on Sunday, January, 1, 2023 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. © Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK.

No Vikings player on the current roster is more consistent than Tomlinson. It’s not really a debate.

He’s always the same guy — week in and week out — recording a PFF grade in the 70s. He doesn’t play utterly elite, nor does Tomlinson produce “bad games.” He’s just a solid defensive lineman and a pretty damn good human.

In the NFL.com article about top free agents, Gregg Rosenthal mentioned Tomlinson at No. 30, “Sign me up for any 328-pounder who can rush the passer.”

That’s Tomlinson, indeed, as the 28-year-old registered 42 total tackles, 10 QB hits, 3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble in 2022. His only downfall this season was missing four games to injury.

If the Vikings let Tomlinson walk in March, newcomer Khyiris Tonga, who’s quietly performed marvelously in 2022, could slide into his spot.

Other notable Vikings free agents? Garrett Bradbury (C), Jonathan Bullard (DL), Greg Joseph (K), Alexander Mattison (RB), Irv Smith (TE), and Chandon Sullivan (CB).

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,’ and The Doors (the band).