Minnesota Vikings: 2010 Free Agents
The 2009 season came to a disappointing end for the Minnesota Vikings, as they lost in overtime in the NFC Championship Game to eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans.
If there is no collective bargaining agreement in place when free agency starts, that changes free agency some in what will become an uncapped year.
Teams that made the final eight in the playoffs, as the Vikings did, have to lose an unrestricted free agent to be able to sign one. So Minnesota is unlikely to be major players on the free agent market this offseason.
Here is the list of free agents the Vikings currently have on their roster, separated by designation.
Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs): RB Chester Taylor, QB Tarvaris Jackson, DE Ray Edwards, FB Naufahu Tahi, OG/OT Artis Hicks, CB Benny Sapp, DT Fred Evans, DT Jimmy Kennedy, OL Ryan Cook, CB Karl Paymah, WR Greg Lewis
Restricted Free Agents (RFAs): S Eric Frampton
Most notably, there are three key players on this list: Taylor, Jackson and Edwards.
Taylor may look to move to a team where he could get more opportunity to play, but since he will turn 31 in September he may have a hard time finding such an opportunity. The Vikings may make an effort to bring him back, and there could be some mutual interest in making that happen.
Jackson spent the 2009 season serving as Brett Favre’s backup after having the opportunity to secure the starting job over his previous three NFL seasons and failing to do so. He has stated his desire to return to the Vikings, and that seems like a likely scenario. Jackson is unlikely to get a lot of interest on the open market, but a more definitive role may be appealing to him if that is available with another team. If he returns to the Vikings, his role may not be defined until late in the summer if Favre takes that long to make a decision to return (or not).
Edwards had 8.5 sacks during the 2009 regular season, and followed that up with three sacks against Dallas in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. He has 21.5 sacks in his four NFL seasons, and could get some interest from other teams on the free agent market. But despite his issues with consistency, the Vikings should make an effort to bring him back.
Outside of those three the other free agents, who mainly provide depth, could be brought back. Lewis may find himself the odd man out in what is a fairly deep WR group and Hicks may be gone if his asking price is too high.