Another Intriguing Free Agent Enters Fold for Vikings

Tennessee Titans cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting Is interviewed during the after the season locker clean-outs at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

In addition to Minnesota Vikings fans wondering about Kirk Cousins’ impending free agency, Danielle Hunter’s 2024 plans, and Harrison Smith’s possible retirement, the club could use a little help at cornerback if it doesn’t trust its current group.

Another Intriguing Free Agent Enters Fold for Vikings

Free agency kicks off in 17 days, and the Vikings will have about $25 million in cap space, according to Overall, the franchise needs a QB1 and some defensive linemen in free agency and from the draft, but many argue a veteran presence at corner could help Brian Flores’ defense.

Another Intriguing Free
Tennessee Titans cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (0) exits the field after the Titans lost in overtime to the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Well, per ESPN, look no further: Sean Murphy-Bunting could do the trick. The 26-year-old last played for the Tennessee Titans and is slated to hit the open market in March.

ESPN noted Murphy-Bunting on its Top 50 free agents list, and at No. 38, Matt Bowen explained his would-be fit in Minnesota, “I originally had Murphy-Bunting to Arizona here, but I believe the Vikings will be seeking some corners for Brian Flores’ aggressive system, and he’d work well in Minnesota. With his long frame and fluid hips, Murphy-Bunting can challenge on the outside or match in blitz coverage. He has eight interceptions and 22 pass breakups over five pro seasons, with two picks in 2023 in Tennessee.”

Tennessee Titans cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (0) heads to the field as the team gets ready to face the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland, Ohio, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Tampa Bay Buccanneers selected Murphy-Bunting from the 2nd Round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He remained in Tampa Bay for four seasons before exploring free agency in 2023, ultimately landing with the Titans for a one-year pit stop.

The veteran corner should be gettable in free agency by the Vikings or another team for $4-6 million per season. Here’s Murphy-Bunting’s Pro Football Focus resume to date:

  • 2019 = 66.2
  • 2020 = 55.9
  • 2021 = 61.7
  • 2022 = 76.6
  • 2023 = 57.6

And the passer-rating-against in the last five seasons;

  • 2019 = 84.3
  • 2020 = 121.3
  • 2021 = 101.5
  • 2022 = 59.6
  • 2023 = 91.8

The 2022 campaign was very vividly Murphy-Bunting’s best, and whichever team signs him this offseason will hope he returns to that form. Murphy-Bunting is frequently utilized as a slot corner but can play on the outside, too.

Flores Flourish
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

These are the Vikings cornerbacks under contract in 2024, one of the team’s deepest positions, per quantity, entering free agency in less than three weeks:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andrew Booth
  • NaJee Thompson
  • Joejuan Williams
  • Jaylin Williams
  • A.J. Green III
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota’s defense ranked 32nd in the NFL per completion percentage allowed in 2023, so the secondary either needs personnel repair or hope that existing players will mature and develop on the fly.

Murphy-Bunting will turn 27 in June.

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