8 Players We Think the Vikings Should Sign in Free Agency

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The NFL’s fast and furious “legal tampering” period kicks off in nine days, also known as the unofficial start to free agency.

8 Players We Think the Vikings Should Sign in Free Agency

The Minnesota Vikings have over 25 free agents on deck to hit the open market and about $36 million in the piggybank. VikingsTerritory writers were asked to recommend one free agent signing a piece, taking into account realism, the budget, and the Vikings’ roster needs. These are their responses.

Note: We obviously know Minnesota won’t sign all these players; these are recommendations per individual writer.

1. Xavien Howard (CB)
Miami Dolphins

8 Players We Think
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker: Ali Siddiqui

He should not cost too much, given he is 30, but he would still be a great addition to this defense and knows Brian Flores’ defense well from their time together in Miami.

2. Bryce Huff (OLB)
New York Jets

Agent Target
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Janik Eckardt

The Vikings must add some pass-rush talent because Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport, and D.J. Wonnum are in the final days of their contracts. Former Jets defender Bryce Huff posted a remarkable pass-rush win rate last season and tabulated ten sacks despite only playing a partial role.

3. Maurice Hurst (DT)
Cleveland Browns

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Dustin Baker

This defender won’t cost much. He played 39% of the Browns’ defensive snaps in 2023.

He should be looking for a starter’s gig, and the Vikings have a DT job available. Hurst is an adept pass rusher and run-stopper, and his Pro Football Focus grades tell the story:

  • 2023 = 81.0
  • 2022 = DNP
  • 2021 = 71.0
  • 2020 = 77.9
  • 2019 = 73.1
  • 2018 = 71.4

His pass-rush score in 2023 was 75.9, with a 76.5 run-stopping mark. Yes, please. Hurt should be gettable for about $2 million per season. He’ll turn 29 in May.

4. Christian Wilkins (DT)
Miami Dolphins

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) tries to elude the pressure of Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Dec. 17, 2023. © Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Prediction Maker: Cole Smith

Wilkins is familiar with Brian Flores and fills a positional need that will be tough to fill in a weaker interior defensive line draft. I don’t believe the Vikings’ secondary is quite as bad as some have been led to believe, and I think that has a lot to do with the lack of pressure on the quarterback.

5. D’Andre Swift (RB)
Philadelphia Eagles

Playmaker from Imploded
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker: Ted Schwerzler

The running back position has been mediocre since Kevin O’Connell joined the Vikings. He’s a solid complement to Ty Chandler and allows Minnesota to use draft picks elsewhere.

6. Josh Jacobs (RB)
Las Vegas Raiders

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Cody Spears

Josh Jacobs to Minnesota would alleviate the pressure to draft a running back with a day-two pick. O’Connell values backs he can trust, illustrated by his continued deployment of Alexander Mattison over Ty Chandler. It’s a saturated, depressed running back market. Jacobs, who was rounding back into all-pro form at the end of last year, signing a two-year deal with an out after year one isn’t unreasonable.

7. Saquon Barkley (RB)
New York Giants

for Vikings WR3 in
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Kyle Joudry

Every part of Minnesota’s football team improves with a sturdy run game. Bringing in a player with Barkley’s abilities makes quite a bit of sense.

8. Laken Tomlinson (OG)
New York Jets

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Josh Frey

Tomlinson’s tenure with the New York Jets didn’t exactly go as planned, but there should be a question as to how much of that blame lies with him compared to the rest of New York’s putrid offensive line. Tomlinson was a plus-starter for years in San Francisco, offers terrific durability, and can immediately plug into Minnesota’s hole at left guard.

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 OverTheCap.com.