There is great news for the Vikings’ secondary regarding last season, it is finally over. Unlike all the other personnel groups that attributed to Minnesota’s terrible year, the secondary actually has a pretty good excuse. They were decimated by injuries throughout the year. Antoine Winfield played only 5 games before having a season ending injury. Asher Allen also missed 4 games due to injury. Chris Cook’s strong start to the season was marred with legal troubles. Cedric Griffin managed to stay healthy but has had surgeries on both knees following past injuries and is not the same player as he used to be. Marcus Sherels was a player that many weren’t sure would make the team coming out of the preseason. He made it as a kick returner but ended up starting a few games as well. This just shows how badly injuries hurt the Vikings. The safety position is in just as bad a shape. Hussain Abdullah has suffered 4 concussions in the past 2 seasons and was just recently cleared to play football again, but he is a free agent and his return is by no means certain. Eric Frampton’s value is on special teams and not much else. Mistral Raymond is a rookie who was done a disservice by being forced into action early. His athleticism is apparent but he still has much to learn. A full training camp and offseason will help him starting next year. Finally, we have Jamarca Sanford. He is probably the best known Viking because you saw his name on the back of his jersey while he was chasing countless receivers he let get behind him on their way to the endzone.

The first step to upgrade next years secondary will be getting healthy. Then we need Chris Cook’s legal issues to be resolved. It is highly possible he could be cut depending on those results. Simply looking at the free agent list and naming players we should get is not a viable option. The Vikings may make 2 to 4 big name signings overall, but that shouldn’t be relied upon. The draft is an option. Thousands of Mock Drafts have been produced and most have Minnesota getting Kalil from USC. We should know by now drafts never go as expected. It would be foolish to rule out a Viking trade to acquire more picks potentially yielding them a player like Morris Claiborne or Dre Kirkpatrick later in the draft. My prediction is that if the Vikings do make a big signing it will come in the secondary. However, Rick Spielman continually preaches building through the draft and now has full say as General Manager. They will probably sign another middle tier free agent after the draft to challenge for the 2nd or 3rd cornerback spot (assuming they don’t use their first round pick on a cornerback). Look forward to next year because things can only get better on defense. Lets hope Alan Williams can prove me right.

Under Contract: Asher Allen (CB), Chris Cook (CB), Cedric Griffin (CB), Marcus Sherels (CB), Antoine Winfield (CB), Eric Frampton (S), Mistral Raymond (S), Jamarca Sanford (S)

Practice Squad Options: Brandon Burton (CB), Reggie Jones (DB), Andrew Sendejo (S)

Vikings Free Agents: Husain Abdullah (S), Tyrell Johnson (S), Jarrad Page (S), Benny Sapp (CB)

Possible NFL Free Agents: 

Top Tier: CORNERBACKS- Brent Grimes (ATL), Carlos Rogers (SF), Cortland Finnegan (TEN), Brandon Carr (KC), Tracy Porter (NO), Terrell Thomas (NYG), Marcus Trufant (SEA), Ronde Barber (TB) SAFETIES- LaRon Landry (WAS), Michael Griffin (TEN), Chris Harris (DET), Tyvon Branch (OAK), Brandon Meriweather (CHI)

Other Cornerbacks: Richard Marshall (ARZ), Kelvin Hayden (ATL), Cletis Gordon (CAR), Zackary Bowman (CHI), Corey Graham (CHI), Tim Jennings (CHI), Kelly Jennings (CIN), Alan Ball (DAL), Eric Wright (DET), Jarrett Bush (GB), Pat Lee (GB), Jason Allen (HOU), Dwight Lowery (JAC), Rashean Mathis (JAC), William Middleton (JAC), Will Allen (MIA), Antwaun Molden (NE), Michael Coe (NYG), Aaron Ross (NYG), Donald Strickland (NYJ), William Gay (PIT), Al Harris (STL), Elbert Mack (TB)

Other Safeties: Hamza Abdullah (ARZ), Thomas DeCoud (ATL), James Sanders (ATL), Tom Zbikowski (BAL), Bryan Scott (BUF), Craig Steltz (CHI), Reggie Nelson (CIN), Gibril Wilson (CIN), Mike Adams (CLE), Abram Elam (DAL), Gerald Sensabaugh (DAL), Erik Coleman (DET), Dominique Barber (HOU), Courtney Greene (JAC), Jon McGraw (KC), Husain Abdullah (MIN), Tyrell Johnson (MIN), Derrick Martin (NYG), Jim Leonhard (NYJ), Brodney Pool (NYJ), Steve Gregory (SD), Paul Oliver (SD), Bob Sanders (SD), Dashon Goldson (SF), Reggie Smith (SF), Madieu Williams (SF), Tanard Jackson (TB), Sean Jones (TB), Corey Lynch (TB), Jordan Babineaux (TEN), Chris Hope (TEN), Anthony Smith (TEN)

Top 10 NFL Draft Options: CORNER- Morris Claiborne (LSU), Dre Kirkpatrick (BAMA), Alfonzo Dennard (NEB), Janoris Jenkins (UNA), Chase Minnifield (UVA), Desmond Trufant (WASH), Stephon Gilmore (SC), Jayron Hosley (VT), Casey Hayward (VANDY), Xavier Rhodes (FSU) SAFETY- Mark Barron (BAMA), Robert Lester (BAMA), Bacarri Rambo (UGA), Markelle Martin (OK ST), Winston Guy Jr. (UK), Trumaine Johnson (MON), Brandon Taylor (LSU), Trenton Robinson (MSU), Neiko Thorpe (AUB), Delano Howell (STAN)

  • Be sure to check out our other installments of Vikings Off-season Outlook: QB/HB – WR/TE – OL – DL – LB – CB/S