A Big Vikings Splash in Free Agency? Don't Count on It

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20:  Chester Taylor #29 of the Minnesota Vikings against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 20, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The sting of New Orleans and the NFC Championship Game is still there, there is no doubt about it.

New Orleans convincing 31-17 win over Quarterback Peyton Manning and the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV probably does not help Vikings fans one bit either.

And so it seems that fans have been looking for a way out of this depression, a positive vibe to forget what happened that night on the Bayou and look forward to the future.

Well I do not have the best news if you are one of those who think all of this negativity will turn around next month during the NFL's free agency period.

If you are a fan of the purple, do not expect the team to land any big name free agents in the field as you will most likely be let down.

First, with no new CBA in place between the owners and the players union, the Vikings would have to lose a free agent before they sign one.

Now, with free agents such as CB Karl Paymah and C Ryan Cook being unrestricted, it is not a far fetched idea that the team will indeed lose somebody that has not been as productive as the coaches and front office would have liked them to be.

However, look for the team to come to some agreement with RB Chester Taylor before he hits the market. Taylor was arguably the league's best third down back and was one of the Vikings' best threats through the air (44 receptions for 389 yards and a touchdown).

He has also proved to be a player who is always aware of the chains and has not had many problems with turnovers (only two fumbles lost in the last two seasons).

Besides the fact that the front office will want to lock up Taylor, the team has few holes, if any, that would require the team to go out and spend top dollar on a free agent.

Some fans have not been happy with the offensive line play or the safeties on the back end of the defense this season but I have one piece of advice: give it time.

With the offensive line including center John Sullivan starting his first season in 2009 and rookie RT Phil Loadholt learning the professional game this season, this unit looks to flourish in the future.

Throw in the fact that they are learning from Pro Bowlers Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie and this offensive line could be one of the best in the 2010 season.

While the Vikings' safeties consisting of Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams did not thrive in the turnover category during the 2009 season, they showed me they also will not give up many big plays.

Johnson had the lone interception of the two in week five at the St. Louis Rams, but thrived in run support this season, especially in the playoffs. 

Like Sullivan, he was also a second-year full-time starter and after getting this season under his belt, look for him to emerge as a playmaker in the next couple of years.

Madieu Williams seemed to be out of position at times this season, but fans hardly saw him get beat over the top. While coaches and fans will look for Williams to be more productive in 2010, he seems to be one of the many leaders on the entire defensive unit and a good fit in defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier's cover-2 scheme.

As far as players that are projected to hit the market, do not expect the team to lose DT Jimmy Kennedy after his solid play in the playoffs. I would also be a little surprised to see FB Naufahu Tahi leave Minnesota after two solid years of lead blocking for Adrian Peterson and Taylor.

Vikings fans, next month do not be disappointed if the purple does not hand out paychecks like they have in March's past. This is a team that just needs experience, not addition.

And with that, look for an addition in next year's win column.


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