There Are 3 Free Agents the Vikings Should Seriously Consider

Dalton Risner of the Denver Broncos walks the red carpet before the NFL Honors awards special at the Phoenix Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. © Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings have about $18 million in cap space available as of July 9th — the eighth-most among NFL teams.

The franchise can use it on open-market free agents, a Danielle Hunter extension, or save it for a rainy day in 2023 or 2024. There are options.

There Are 3 Free Agents the Vikings Should Seriously Consider

But if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah chooses Option 1, these are the three free agents the Vikings should seriously consider. They’re listed in alphabetical order.

1. Marcus Peters (CB)

There Are 3 Free
Oct 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) enters the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Peters is a four-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler whose resume boasts 32 interceptions in 7 seasons as a pro.

The Vikings lack experience at cornerback — to a rather spooky degree. On the depth chart at the moment, it’s Byron Murphy and a bunch of maybes, including Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Joejuan Williams, and the rookie Mekhi Blackmon.

Because Minnesota opted not to re-sign Duke Shelley for cheap, cornerback is the weakest — and most uncertain — spot on the depth chart. With the stroke of a pen, Peters would fix that. Perhaps the Vikings will get to training camp and realize onboarding a 30-year-old corner with a prolific resume makes sense.

2. Dalton Risner (OG)

Other Free Agents
Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos offensive guard Dalton Risner (66) in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Risner is an offensive guard commodity that Vikings fans aren’t used to — he protects against the pass better than the run. For years, Vikings football has showcased the inverse.

Kevin O’Connell seems committed to last year’s rookie Ed Ingram, but Risner is more productive now. Some team will scoop Risner as soon as an injury besets one of its starting guards.

Moreover, whether the Vikings will re-sign Ezra Cleveland next March is unclear. So, in theory, Adofo-Mensah could sign Risner now for two or three years and let Cleveland walk — meaning Risner would start in 2024 and 2025.

Risner would be more affordable now than Cleveland later.

Here’s his Pro Football Focus resume since turning pro four years ago:

  • 2019 = 64.4
  • 2020 = 61.3
  • 2021 = 68.5
  • 2022 = 61.1

And the pass blocking versus run-blocking splits (red = pass | blue = run):

  • 2019 = 69.8 (P) | 60.3 (R)
  • 2020 = 61.3 (P) | 53.7 (R)
  • 2021 = 68.5 (P) | 63.2 (R)
  • 2022 = 61.1 (P) | 53.4 (R)

3. Kyle Van Noy (LB)

November 13, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyle Van Noy (8) after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

This is a ‘Brian Flores guy.’ The two were coworkers in New England and Miami.

‘Ties’ from coaches to former players are vital and widespread in the NFL. Van Noy would offer a steady veteran presence in the Vikings locker room. Why do the Vikings need that? Well, Brian Asamoah is on tap to start, but what if he gets hurt? Flores would pivot to Troy Dye or Troy Reeder. Van Noy might be a smarter play in the situation.

He’s old — 32 — and has played in 128 games throughout his career. But we already know he’s a scheme fit for Flores.

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