The Minnesota Vikings will look to retool and reload for another run at that elusive Lombardi trophy when the new league year begins in March. As with every team, the Vikings will have a sorted list of impending free agents to address. In all, the Vikings have 15 unrestricted free agents.
For part one, FPC Vikings writers will focus on those on the offensive side of the ball, providing brief feedback on each player’s value and chances of returning to the team in 2019.
Trevor Siemian, Quarterback
Clayton Brooks: Siemian didn’t take a single snap in 2018. During the preseason, he didn’t look much better than third-stringer Kyle Sloter. However, he does provide experience as he’s been a starter in the NFL. If the price is right, it’s possible he comes back, but will he make it through camp?
Sam Smith: Sloter has been groomed to be the backup for two years and Siemian has given no indication that he is a more reliable number two. And he costs more. While it is possible the Vikings try to bring him back on a minuscule one-year deal, I don’t think he makes it out of camp.
Latavius Murray, Running Back
Clayton: Murray has been an excellent fill-in starter with Dalvin Cook missing 17 games over the two years he’s been with the Vikings. However, he’s made clear he wants a chance to be a starter. That won’t happen in Minnesota. Money will also be a deciding factor. They’ll be more likely to draft someone similar than to bring Murray back at a greater salary.
Chances: less than 10%
Sam: Fortunately for him and unfortunately for the Vikings, Murray has proven the last two years he can be a number one back. He does not have the versatility of Cook, but put him in a situation like the Bears have with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and he could flourish. He will be too costly for the Vikings, so I expect them to move on.
Chances: Less than 10%
Ameer Abdullah, Running Back
Clayton: Late season pick-up after he was cut by the Detroit Lions. Had virtually no impact in the return game and didn’t get any significant offensive snaps.
Sam: This is a tough one. Abdullah is not going to garner big offers, and the Vikings are likely saying goodbye to Murray. They probably see Mike Boone and Roc Thomas as contributors moving forward, but I would be wary of trusting either as full-time number two guys. That said, there are also plenty of solid free agent backs, so I would lean towards Abdullah not returning. However, I would not be shocked if he makes it to camp.
Aldrick Robinson, Wide Receiver
Clayton: Provided a deep threat for Kirk Cousins but was largely inconsistent. Best suited to a number four or five role. Could be brought back for the right price as he does have rapport with Cousins.
Sam: Robinson is the best option the Vikings have right now as a number three receiver. He will likely be cheap and has home run hitting ability.
Nick Easton, Guard
Clayton: Missed all of 2018 with a neck injury. If he’s cleared to play, he could be brought back on a one-year deal. More than likely will have to compete for his job though.
Sam: Easton has emerged as perhaps the Vikings’ most reliable interior lineman in his absence. But neck injuries are no joke, especially one like Easton’s that seemed to sneak up on him and the team. The Vikings cannot really afford to invest money in a will-he-won’t-he situation on the line, so I’m leaning toward him being gone.
Tom Compton, Guard
Clayton: Could be brought back for depth purposes. However, with how dreadful his and his two interior line mates’ play were, I’m not betting on that happening.
Sam: I like Compton as a sixth lineman, someone who can fill virtually any position. However, we saw this year how unreliable he is as a full-time starter. If they can get him cheap, he is a valuable enough piece, but he may be looking for starter money with a full season of starts under his belt.
Brett Jones, Center/Guard
Clayton: After Pat Elflein returned, we never heard from Jones again. He was decent in the few games he played. The asking price will determine whether he stays or goes. They’re going to need to keep some guys for depth. Given the choice between Jones and Compton, I’ll take Jones.
Sam: Jones is the better pass blocker and is younger. He was not great in three starts this year, but he was a solid starter in New York in 2017. As a third guard or second center, he is a good piece to have, but I expect the Vikings to be higher on Danny Isidora in that role, while also looking to make moves in free agency. Jones is a toss-up to me.
– Clayton Brooks writes for Full Press Coverage and covers the Vikings. Follow him @ClaytonRBrooks2.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.
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