Vikings — Finally — Work out Notable Veteran CB

Also Worked Out
Sep 1, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28) looks up at a ball before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Lions win 31-0. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings plan at cornerback this offseason involved offloading Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Cameron Dantzler, Chandon Sullivan, and Kris Boyd while signing free-agent newcomers Byron Murphy and Joejuan Williams and drafting Mekhi Blackmon.

Maybe that’ll work; maybe it won’t.

Vikings — Finally — Work out Notable Veteran CB

If the franchise ‘does nothing’ between now and the start of the regular season, it’ll open the year with one of the most inexperienced CB rooms in team history. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores will be asked to become a miracle worker.

Well, to possibly hedge the bet on inexperience, the Vikings reportedly auditioned a veteran cornerback Thursday — Ronald Darby.

Work out Notable
May 23, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby (23) during OTA workouts at the UC Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling tweeted on the X app, “The Vikings worked out veteran cornerback Ronald Darby today. Darby tore his ACL with the Broncos last October. If he’s healthy, he could be an option to add a veteran presence to the secondary at some point.”

The Vikings also worked out former Denver Broncos offensive guard Dalton Risner earlier this week, but a deal has yet to materialize.

Oct 27, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby (21) celebrates a defensive play against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

Darby, a 29-year-old journeyman, last played for the Broncos and was evidently an odd man out during the team’s shift from Nathaniel Hackett to Sean Payton this offseason. The ex-Bronco remains a free agent and can be signed by any team.

Here’s Darby’s career destination resume to date:

  • Buffalo Bills (2015–2016)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2017–2019)
  • Washington Football Team (2020)
  • Denver Broncos (2021-2022)
Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Ronald Darby (21) breaks up a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

A Super Bowl champion in 2017 — he was a part of the Eagles squad that shellacked the Vikings en route to Super Bowl LII — Darby should be gettable for cheap this late in free agency. He’s just waiting on the call.

This is Darby’s Pro Football Focus history since joining the NFL as a 2nd-Round pick in 2015:

  • 2015: 75.8
  • 2016: 68.3
  • 2017: 79.9
  • 2018: 70.6
  • 2019: 44.8
  • 2020: 76.0
  • 2021: 61.1
  • 2022: 71.1
Nov 27, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory (33) runs for a touchdown as Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28) defends during the first quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports.

The veteran defender has played 89 career games, starting 88, while tabulating 8 interceptions, 373 total tackles, and 8 tackles for loss. He tabulated 286 defensive snaps for the 2022 Broncos, along with an impressive 69.9 passer-rating-against. The man is not a Pro Bowler but a seasoned starter.

If the Vikings do not sign Darby or another free-agent cornerback, they’ll simply hope for the best and wait for Booth, Evans, Williams, or Blackmon to emerge. Minnesota ranked 27th per defensive DVOA last year, 30th in points allowed, 31st in passing yards allowed, and 31st in overall yards allowed.

Free-agent CBs William Jackson, Cameron Dantzler, and Anthony Brown are also available on the open market. But that’s about it, with the preseason heating up next week.

Darby should be attainable for a smallish one-year deal this late in free agency.

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