Free Agent All-Pro Defender Could Be Vikings CB Solution

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The Minnesota Vikings have one startable and two possibly ascending cornerbacks on the roster at the moment — Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, and Akayleb Evans.

And then that’s it.

Cornerback isn’t a position to gloss over in the modern pass-happy NFL, so CB help must arrive for the Vikings in free agency, trade, or the NFL draft. It’s not really optional.

Free Agent All-Pro Defender Could Be Vikings CB Solution

The NFL is amid its second wave of free agency, meaning the high-profile cornerbacks have already signed elsewhere. Still needing CB help, though, the Vikings could peel back the free-agent curtain and find veteran Marcus Peters.

Pro Defender Could
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Peters, 30, last played for the Baltimore Ravens and is likely looking for one more team to finish out a wonderful career. The four-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler fired up a 67.7 Pro Football Focus grade in 13 games last year and remains on free agency’s open market.

Of course, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed the aforementioned Murphy for CB1 duty in 2023, but that can’t be the end-all fix when “the other two” options are rookies riddled by injury in 2022. Booth hardly played (and wasn’t good when he did), and Evans suffered back-to-back concussions. If the Vikings want to contend for the playoffs, they need about one or two more trustworthy CBs.

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That is probably why The Athletic‘s Mike Jones called the Vikings a ‘team with a need’ regarding the Peters sweepstakes last week.

Jones said about Peters’ free agency, “Hampered by injuries last season, Peters recorded just one interception and six pass breakups in 13 games for Baltimore. But if healthy, Peters, 30, gives a team a highly competitive, aggressive cornerback who was an All-Pro in 2019,” and named the Philadelphia Eagles and Vikings as possible landing spots.

The glory days for Peters are in the rearview, but much like Patrick Peterson in Minnesota last year, he could have some heroism left in the tank. He played 736 defensive snaps in 2022, making his case for a relationship with the Vikings or another team as more than just a CB4 type.

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Moreover, the 1st-Round commodity from the 2015 NFL Draft could serve as a team leader after Peterson’s exodus. The Vikings lost Peterson, linebacker Eric Kendricks, wide receiver Adam Thielen, and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson this offseason — all players with pronounced roles in the locker room. Peters could bridge the gap from 2022 to 2023 in that vein.

If Peters is not on Adofo-Mensah’s radar, other free-agent CBs like William Jackson, Shaquill Griffin, Eli Apple, and Rock Ya-Sin are signable, too. But the clock is ticking.

The Vikings could require a CB draft party in five weeks if they don’t bolster the depth chart 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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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