3 Free Agents the Vikings Need to Sign to Win the NFC North Next Year

Adam Taylor McKillop
Three free agents the Minnesota Vikings need to sign to win the NFC North next year.
Three free agents the Minnesota Vikings need to sign to win the NFC North next year. / David Berding/GettyImages

A second straight losing season (8-9) led the Minnesota Vikings to make some notable personnel changes with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah taking over as GM and Kevin O'Connell coming in at head coach.

Minnesota enters the offseason with a tricky cap situation, but there's still clear needs in the secondary and along the offensive line, not to mention deciding on the future of Kirk Cousins at QB.

Here's a look at three free agents the Vikings need to sign to make a run at the NFC North title next year.

Vikings Free Agent Predictions 2022

1. Ben Jones, C, Tennessee Titans

The Vikings O-Line was inconsistent at best, evidenced by their 17th-ranked rushing unit even with Dalvin Cook in the backfield. Center Garrett Bradbury rated worst amongst the five starters, according to PFF. While his contract makes him unlikely to be cut or traded, he hasn't really lived up to his status as a 2019 first-round pick and might not be a total lock to start in 2022, as this regime has no investment in him. Enter veteran Ben Jones, who enjoyed another phenomenal season with the Tennessee Titans. Jones allowed just 1 sack and 5 penalties across 17 games and his age (32) may factor into a shorter, but cheaper deal.

2. Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore Ravens

The Vikings secondary was atrocious last year, allowing the league's fifth-most passing yards per game. Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander both hit free agency this offseason and the cap situation should force Minnesota to go after cheaper, veteran options. Jimmy Smith made only $3.5 million on a one-year contract with the Ravens last year, and his average play may lead to another discount. But, he's an 11-year veteran who can operate as a stopgap until the Vikings improve their cap situation.

3. Casey Hayward, CB, Las Vegas Raiders

Casey Hayward played close to Pro Bowl status during a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders last year. Hayward's age (32) is a factor, but this is an experiment that worked out somewhat with Patrick Peterson. Minnesota will need to understand the importance of short, cheap veteran stopgap deals until the cap situation is resolved.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.