Picking up where we left off yesterday, here are grades for the Vikings’ 2017 free agent signings on defense and special teams.
DT Datone Jones: F
In the grand scheme of things, this signing ended up being fairly harmless. But Jones signed a one-year, $3.75 million deal in the offseason after the Packers released him, so presumably the goal was for him to compete for a starting defensive tackle spot. Alas, that plane never got off the ground, as Jones went on injured reserve at the end of preseason. A week later, the Vikings released him. Jones was minimally productive with Dallas and San Francisco, while Tom Johnson had a career year in Jones’ stead.
CB Terence Newman: B+
Newman earned a one-year contract for his age-39 season largely to serve as a mentor to young corners Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. But he also proved that he still had some quality football in him this season. He started seven games but played in all 16, primarily at nickel corner. Though he posted career-lows in pass defenses and tackles, much of that was due to the improved play of Alexander, meaning Newman could stay on the sideline for longer stretches. From time-to-time, Newman looked his age, particularly against Martavis Bryant in week two. For the most part, however, the veteran corner proved that age is only a number.
CB Terrell Sinkfield: N/A
A Minnetonka native, Sinkfield earned a training camp invite for the second consecutive year. However, once again, he failed to make the 53-man roster and was never part of any long-term plans. Therefore, Sinkfield’s signing does not earn a grade.
P Ryan Quigley: B
Quigley’s averages, both punt length and net average, were among the worst in the league in 2017. However, he led the league in punts fair caught by a comfortable margin and was the only punter in the league with at least 50 kicks to not have a single touchback. In other words, Quigley’s leg is not particularly strong, but he has the hang time and accuracy to make up for it.
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