This may be the position that the Vikings choose to spend the most on during free agency this offseason. They already have a fantastic No. 2 option in Percy Harvin, but they lack the vertical threat to really be relevant in today's game.
Finding a veteran presence for their receiving corps might be the best move they could make this offseason. Luckily, there are a ton of solid receivers that might hit the open market.
Notable Free Agents
Vincent Jackson, San Diego
The San Diego Chargers were, at one point, one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, but have since been severely reduced because of inconsistency. Both of those qualities might be because of WR Vincent Jackson.
The 29-year-old receiver hasn't necessarily stated that he doesn't want to be a Charger, but he's very opposed to the franchise tag—further proven by his 2010 holdout. Action Jackson is clearly one of the top free agents at his position this offseason, but his inconsistency in 2011 presents some reason for concern. Still, taking a chance on a veteran receiver that specializes in stretching the field and making big plays might be the right answer for a struggling offense.
Brandon Lloyd, St. Louis
The St. Louis Rams, like the Indianapolis Colts, are facing some turmoil as of late. They don't really have to worry much about making critical re-signings, but then again they might want to be active in free agency themselves. St. Louis was able to pick up B-Lloyd off of waivers midway through the season and he's been their only reliable receiver since.
With the second overall pick in the upcoming draft, some serious speculation has them taking top WR Justin Blackmon—which might be a reality check for Lloyd. The main criticism against Lloyd is that he only makes the big plays. While this probably would seem like a compliment to most, his inability to make the routine play with yards after the catch may cost him some money.
Regardless, he could be a nice fit for the Vikings whose receivers can't seem to catch even the simplest of passes. A big-play receiver might become Ponder's best friend.
Stevie Johnson, Buffalo
I contemplated not even including Johnson on this list because it will be very likely that he'll receive the franchise tag from the Buffalo Bills. This cocky young receiver may rack up the fines with his excessive touchdown dances, but his ability to stretch the field and come up with big catches (when he isn't blaming God for his drops, that is) will earn him a fat paycheck somewhere. If for some reason Johnson actually hits the open market, he'd be a nice option for just about any team.
Marques Colston, New Orleans
Like I said on the linemen page, the Saints only have so much cap space to re-sign a pretty long list of important free agents. I don't know how they'll chose to spend their money, but if the Saints decide to invest in their offensive line (after they re-sign Brees, that is), Colston could end up drawing the short straw.
While the Saints could very well use their franchise tag to retain Colston, the reality is that this offense can survive without him. Colston's 6'4" 225-lb frame could have him in line to be pursued by a multitude of NFL teams. Being that he's already said he won't take a hometown discount, his price tag could be a bit steep.
Laurent Robinson, Dallas
Robinson has a pretty decent year with the Cowboys in 2011 and it's hard to imagine Jerry Jones letting him go. They won't have too many guys to re-sign, so they should have plenty of money to retain Robinson if they want to.
Mario Manningham, New York Giants
Though the Giants have two of the statistical top-five WRs on their roster, Mario Manningham isn't one of them. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are clearly the top dogs on that offense, but that's not to say that Manningham couldn't be a top guy somewhere else.
The Giants could retain Manninghan with their franchise tag, but they'll likely oblige his wish to become a No. 1 guy somewhere else. For the right price, that could end up being with the Vikings.
Devin Aromashodu, Minnesota
I think it's worth noting that I believe the Vikings will re-sign Aromashodu—and that's why I included him here. I won't list him as the best fit at the bottom, though.
Aromashodu has grown into a solid receiver for the Vikings. He was pretty consistent down the stretch and though he's not necessarily No. 1 material, he'd be a great No. 2 guy with Percy Harvin in the slot. Speilman likes Aromashodu and I fully expect him to be re-signed.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
Like I said earlier, the Colts will probably have a hard time re-signing all of their key free agents. This could mean a new place of employment for Reggie Wayne who still has a lot left in the tank, despite not producing much without Peyton Manning.
Wayne has been somewhat uprooted by Pierre Garcon as the best WR in Indy. Garcon will likely receive the franchise tag, allowing the veteran Wayne to pursue some different ventures. He could be a great signing for the Vikings.
Alright, I know that I'm getting a little long-winded, so I'll cut to the chase.
Best Fit for the Vikings
Honestly, I'd prefer the likes of Vincent Jackson, Stevie Johnson or Dwayne Bowe (who I didn't list because he'll almost positively be franchise-tagged). Manningham might be the most realistic option, though, because he'll be the easiest to lure from his current team. He'll command a mid-level price tag, but could end up being the No. 1 receiver that the Vikings have been after since they lost Sidney Rice.