Thursday, February 26, 2009

Killing Time: Free Agency Eve

As you've probably heard a hundred times already, teams are able to sign free agents starting at 11pm tonight. And we all hope (and think) that the Vikings will be active in the free agency market. After some of their top targets re-signed with their current teams, its not clear who they're likely to target in the market. They have needs at offensive line, cornerback, wide receiver and kick and punt returner. While there doesn't seem to be many corners worth signing (and they re-signed Charles Gordon to play nickel back and possibly return punts), there are still some intriguing linemen and wide receivers available.

One of the best lineman is Jason Brown, who started at center for the Ravens. He'll only be 26 during this upcoming season, and he was a dominant run blocker in the middle. While the Ravens' running backs were constantly injured, they still had a very good running game, ranking 9th in DVOA. And they were the most successful when they ran up the middle, averaging 4.40 yards per carry, the 10th best in the NFL (and better than the Vikings, who were 19th with 4.15 yards). He can also play guard, which allows the Vikings to play John Sullivan at center if he earns it, upgrading two positions at once.

Another possibility for the Purple is Laveranues Coles. The Jets cut him loose yesterday in order to get under the cap, and acquiring him would add another quality target for Tarvaris (or Sage). Last year, he caught 70 passes for 836 yards and 8 touchdowns. He caught 61% of the passes thrown his way, and was 24th and 36th in DYAR and DVOA (which would have put him well ahead of Bobby Wade for second in both categories on the Vikings). He's not much of a deep threat (he only caught 2 passes over 40 yards), but he'd be a quality possession receiver and would complement Bernard Berrian well. He might end up back with the Jets, however, so I wouldn't get your hopes up about seeing him in Purple.

If you're looking for more players worth targeting, Yahoo has a list of the top 100 free agents (h/t Football Outsiders). Don't be suprised to see the Vikings try and bring in Khalif Barnes, Mark Tauscher or Jon Stinchcom to play right tackle. Niners Nation has a good breakdown of those three, and the other available free agent tackles if you want to know more. And don't forget the twelve Vikings who are unrestricted free agents this year.

Quarterbacks:
  • Jason Winter compares Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels at Defensive Indifference.
  • Kevin Seifert puts Tarvaris in context. It's not pretty.
Combine:
  • Football Outsiders on the one part of the Combine that may actually be predictive. (And gives us a reason to be happy the Vikings' don't need a running back)
The Williams Wall:
  • Their court date is set for June 15th. The schedule hasn't been released yet, but if the Vikings have to play four games without the Williams Wall, they're going to be starting out the season yet another hole.


3 comments:

Jason said...

That Seifert piece is pretty simplistic. I preferred my take on comparing T-Jack to similar passers last summer.

DUI_Guy said...

There's no way Sullivan should get the nod over Jason Brown (assuming he was signed) at center. Not after Brown limited the pressure on Joe Flacco and helped the Ravens rush for over 2,200 yards for the season despite injuries plaguing the O-line and inconsistency at RB.



Ref:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-faceoff1217,0,5814057.column

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