• January 28, 2023

Minnesota Vikings 2021 impending free agents primer

Free agent acquisitions often dominate the NFL’s off-season headlines, but keeping home-grown free agents can be a great way to improve as a team. It may not be that sexy of a strategy, but it was the playbook for general managers Rick Spielman and Co. The Minnesota Vikings chose to land Dalvin Cook on a long-term contract last off-season and Anthony Barr the year before, which was shows that they trust their in-house talent to produce the team and help them win.

Minnesota has to decide which upcoming free agents it wants to return. Eric Wilson and Anthony Harris should command most of the money, so it will be interesting to see how much, if anything, the Vikings prioritize these two. Of course, there are many more decisions to be made beyond Wilson and Harris, and with a lowered wage cap in 2021, Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer will be stressful weeks.

FOX Sports North takes a look at the 14 players who will be free to choose. (Note: Free agent information and salaries via OverTheCap.com; statistics courtesy of pro-football-reference.com).

RB Ameer Abdullah, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 16 games, 352 kickoff return yards; 8 rushes, 42 meters; 8 receptions, 58 yards, 2 touchdowns

Upper limit for 2020: $ 887,500

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Abdullah is a safe option for kickoff returns and a worthy weapon in screen passes. For a likely cheap price, the vanity and sportiness of the Nebraska product could help Minnesota again.

Why wouldn’t they: Abdullah is a pretty one-dimensional rewind and didn’t add much to the traditional running game. If the Vikings have to reduce the RB depth when they lose their salary, Abdullah could be a cap victim. In addition, he packs no explosive blow in the second leg. As of 2017, Abdullah hasn’t had a single kickoff return greater than 38 meters.

WE Chad Beebe, restricted

Statistics for 2020: 14 games, 20 receptions, 201 yards, 2 touchdowns

Upper limit for 2020: $ 750,000

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Beebe had a career year after playing just six games in his first two seasons in the NFL. He finished the Vikings’ third WR at the end of the season and should provide good depth again.

Why wouldn’t they: Beebe had most of the production, but in the end it was 200 meters. It is also not the best option in special teams.

RB Mike Boone, restricted

Statistics for 2020: 16 games, 11 rushes, 59 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 receptions, 10 reception areas

Upper limit for 2020: $ 752,500

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Boone wasn’t as productive as it was in 2019, but it also had fewer chances as Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison’s absences in 2020 didn’t overlap. It’s a capable backup that runs back and shouldn’t be too expensive for the next season.

Why wouldn’t they: Backup running backs are easy to find in the draft, and Boone had very few options in 2020 anyway.

LB Todd Davis, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 11 games, 35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs, 2 passes defended

Upper limit for 2020: $ 661,765 (proportion of $ 910,000)

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Davis started six games in 2020 for the relief of Eric Kendricks and Eric Wilson. He has done decently well in 2020 and is entering his 29-year season. So it seems he has more time in the league.

Why wouldn’t they: He’s a backup linebacker approaching 30. A good player for depth, sure, but far from irreplaceable.

OG Dakota Dozier, unrestricted

Statistics for 2020: 16 starts; 9 penalties, 3.5 bags allowed

Upper limit for 2020: $ 840,000

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: An NFL team can never have enough depth in the offensive line. As a starter, Dozier wasn’t particularly good at the watch, but key depths are always important.

Why wouldn’t they: Dozier had some tough tracks last season and didn’t always look like a starter. If they see him as a starter rather than a backup, he may be gone.

S Anthony Harris, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 16 starts, 104 tackles in total, 7 passes defended, 2 TFLs

Upper limit for 2020: $ 11,441,000

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Although Harris didn’t have six interceptions like he did in 2019, he’s still a good security and should be able to contribute in the future by 29.

Why wouldn’t they: Harris and hasn’t been quite as productive or effective as 2019 and after playing on Franchise Day last season it seems like a logical time for the Vikings to move on.

OT Rashod Hill, unreserved

Statistics for 2020: 16 games, 1 start; 1 penalty, 1 sack allowed

Upper limit for 2020: $ 887,500

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Hill is another down option, and since he’s been playing for Minnesota since 2016, the Viking must be a fan of his.

Why wouldn’t they: He’s a backup tackle, and with the lower salary cap, he might not be a priority for Minnesota.

S George Iloka, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 4 games, 6 tackles, 1 TFL

Upper limit for 2020: $ 379,411 (proportion of $ 910,000)

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Iloka had five tackles in the Vikings’ win against the Houston Texans, proving that he can be used as backup security.

Why wouldn’t they: Iloka played in only four games and only had one impact against Houston. Minnesota barely played it last year, and it will turn 31 next year. Seems unlikely to come back.

DT Jaleel Johnson, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 16 starts, 1.5 sacks, 44 total tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 QB hits

Upper limit for 2020: $ 994,590

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: A year after starting 29 tackles, Johnson increased his 2020 total to 44. It was also his first season to start all 16 games.

Why wouldn’t they: One of the reasons Johnson started is because Michael Pierce signed out. Pierce should be back for 2021, which makes it easy for the Vikings to replace Johnson.

OL Brett Jones, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 15 games, 2 starts; 1 sack allowed

Upper limit for 2020: $ 308,824 (portion of $ 910,000)

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Jones is a smart, versatile lineman and a favorite in locker rooms. It can play inside the line and it won’t cost much.

Why wouldn’t they: He’s a 29-year-old backup offensive lineman, and given the league drop in wages, it wouldn’t be surprising if he were a victim of it.

QB Sean Mannion, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: Did not play

Upper limit for 2020: $ 887,500

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Mannion is a cheap backup and knows the system. He can man the ship in an emergency if Kirk Cousins ​​goes down for a game.

Why wouldn’t they: Mannion is a good support, but Vikings fans can’t be sure the team will have to start him for a significant part of the season. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston were backups last year, so Minnesota can probably do better than Mannion.

LB Hardy Nickerson, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 14 games, 1 start, 14 tackles, 2 forced fiddling, 1 pass defended, 1 interception

Upper limit for 2020: $ 194,118 (proportion of $ 825,000)

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Nickerson does a worthy contribution to specialty teams and forced some sales at the end of the season. He’s also only 27 and wouldn’t order an expensive deal.

Why wouldn’t they: He’s a backup linebacker and Minnesota could probably find a cheaper replacement on the draft.

DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, restricted

Statistics for 2020: 15 games, 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 15 QB hits, 1 security

Upper limit for 2020: $ 812,500

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Odenigbo started all 15 games he was healthy for in 2020, so Mike Zimmer and Co. clearly trust him he’s out there. His contract is team-friendly, and after seven sacks in 2019, it makes sense to return to Minnesota as an RFA.

Why wouldn’t they: If one of the Vikings was missing one thing in 2020, it was the pass rush. The fact that Yannick Ngakoue led Minnesota in sacks (5.0) despite only playing six games with the team doesn’t bode well for Odenigbo’s negotiations.

LB Eric Wilson, unreservedly

Statistics for 2020: 16 games, 15 starts, 122 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 3 sacks, 8 TFLs, 9 QB hits, 1 forced fumble

Upper limit for 2020: $ 3,259,000

Why the Vikings would re-sign it: Wilson was a welcome surprise to the Vikings. He was incredibly productive in his fourth season with the team and showed his versatility by effectively rushing the passerby and playing coverage.

Why wouldn’t they: Wilson could cost a pretty penny. He played well and it’s not just Minnesota that wants his services.

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