The Minnesota Vikings have been unable to get everything figured out at the same time in recent seasons. Knowing they needed to make a change, they cleaned house this offseason when it came to the front office and coaching staff.
Rick Speilman was relieved of his duties as general manager along with head coach, Mike Zimmer. Taking their places are Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in the front office and Kevin O’Connell on the sidelines as head coach.
They are hoping to help get this franchise back on track as there are some pieces in place to win some football games. The offense has taken off in recent seasons, but unfortunately, it has been coupled with the defense taking a step back.
Better health and some new additions on that side of the ball, such as Za’Darius Smith, will hopefully help that unit return to form. If they can, the Vikings will be dangerous as their offense is one of the top units in the league with Kirk Cousins at quarterback being surrounded by running back Dalvin Cook and wide receivers Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn.
Despite not having a ton of cap space coming into the offseason, the Vikings should try and clear some more money to make a few more additions. Here are two players that Minnesota should still try signing.
The Minnesota Vikings’ secondary needs an overhaul. It will likely take more than one offseason to fix everything, but they need to start. Last season, their pass defense was truly abysmal.
Minnesota surrendered the third-most yards in the league on the perimeter in 2021 while tying for the third-fewest plays on the ball by cornerbacks. There wasn’t much to get excited about, as Bashaud Breeland and Mackensie Alexander both struggled mightily. Breeland was released before the season ended and Alexander remains a free agent now.
Patrick Peterson was re-signed, which will help. No longer the ace, lockdown cornerback that he was with the Arizona Cardinals when he was named to the All-Decade team, he is still a solid option at corner because of his veteran savvy.
Minnesota would benefit from Peterson not being the No. 1 cornerback on the roster. One player who is still available that can fill that role is Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore was one of the best players in free agency this offseason, yet still remains unsigned.
Age could be a factor in that, but there is no doubt that Gilmore can still get the job done. He would be a sizable upgrade for a Vikings secondary that is in desperate need of some help. Gilmore played well last season for the Carolina Panthers, but injuries are becoming an issue.
Another need for the Vikings as we head toward the 2022 NFL Draft is on the interior of the offensive line. Mason Cole, who played 41.4 percent of the snaps last season for the Vikings, left in free agency, signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It is pretty slim pickings on free agency at this stage as all of the top options, such as Ryan Jensen, Brian Allen and Ben Jones all re-signed with their teams. There are a few veterans available right now that could be helpful to the Vikings, however.
One of them is Matt Paradis. Paradis is coming off of a major injury, suffering an ACL tear in Week 9. He was in the midst of his seventh consecutive season with a grade of at least 60, but his performance has waned in recent seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
You know what you are getting from Paradis at this point in his career, which makes him a relatively safe option. He won’t break the bank and provides Minnesota with a solid option on the interior of their offensive line for the 2022 season.