Minnesota Vikings address biggest needs early in free agency

The Minnesota Vikings addressed their biggest concerns on defense this week signing four players to multi-year deals.

It all began with bolstering up the defensive line. Everson Griffen  resigned with the team for  five years and $42.5 million. Former New York Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph also agreed to terms on a five-year, $31.5 million deal.

Both Joseph and Griffen will get a chance to shine on the defensive line for the Minnesota Vikings. Joseph recorded three sacks and 59 tackles for the Giants last season and Griffen had one of his best seasons as a Viking, notching 5.5 sacks and 27 tackles.

Griffen is eager to replace the departed Jared Allen as the starter for Minnesota and I expect his numbers to be almost twice as good as last season’s. Griffen was awarded with a big contract, but his hard work ethic and dedication to the team bring a huge upside to a Vikings team that had plenty of team chemistry issues on defense last season.

Rick Spielman also knew that the team was in desperate need of secondary help. The signing of Captain Munnerlyn was just what the Vikings needed. Munnerlyn was a bargain for Minnesota signing a three-year $15 million contract. Munnerlyn’s former team was the Carolina Panthers, a team with a very solid defense last season.

Captain Munnerlyn is arguably the biggest signing in free agency thus far for the Vikings.

Captain Munnerlyn is arguably the biggest signing in free agency thus far for the Vikings.

At 25, Munnerlyn will be a fixture in Minnesota for a long time. He’s a hard-nosed, undersized cornerback that reminds me a lot of Antoine Winfield.

Minnesota was eager to find some more help and also signed Derek Cox who played for the San Diego Chargers last season. Cox was benched by San Diego early in the season, but a fresh start with the Vikings just may revive his career. The Vikings options before signing Munnerlyn and Cox were slim, so there’s a chance they see the field a lot next season. I expect Munnerlyn to start right off the bat.

[Matt Cassel will likely be Vikings’ starter next year]

It will be interesting to see if Spielman has more signings up his sleeve or if the Vikings will be done until the draft.

These four free agent signings were great and affordable moves for the Vikings. We just may have a competitive team next season in Minnesota once again.