When reports of the Indianapolis Colts releasing 7-year veteran S Bob Sanders came out Friday morning, many wondered if the Vikings would pursue the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
The Vikings personnel staff has been prepping for free agency and the NFL Scouting Combine and is sure to be well aware of Sanders’ release. But will the Vikings indeed pursue the former impactful SS who’s been plagued with injuries for the past 3 seasons?
The biggest question here is if Sanders can recover from knee and biceps injuries to make his presence known in 2011. Since recording a career-year in 2007 with 96 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 2 INTs – garnering the top defensive player award – Sanders has made only 9 starts while missing 39 games.
What makes it easy to link Sanders to the Vikings is the fact that Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frasier was Sanders’ position coach with the Colts. Acquiring Sanders sounds intriguing, but talking with free agents during this uncertain climate of labor negotiations makes it tough to foresee how the Vikings, as well as other teams, will address players such as the former Colts safety.
Prevailing thought prior to the 2010 NFL Draft was that the Vikings needed to selected a CB with their top pick – which they did by drafting Chris Cook as their 1st selection in the 2nd round. As we wait for this year’s draft, popular vote for the Vikings top pick is focused on finding a franchise QB and adding a player to the secondary in a later round. Remember, though, that the Vikings have gone into recent drafts with the mentality of selecting the best available player, so reaching for a player at a certain position is an unlikely move.
But when we consider selecting a CB or a S, it seems practical for the Vikings to find a quality player at said positions during the later rounds of the draft IF they even select a player from the secondary. Reason behind this thought is that 12-year veteran CB Antoine Winfield doesn’t seem to be taking any steps backwards after recording his 3rd consecutive Pro Bowl season, Cedric Griffin will return after a debilitating ACL injury, Chris Cook will also return after suffering knee injuries during his rookie season and S Husain Abdullah has proven, in my eyes, a worthy candidate for a starting position in 2011. Abdullah missed only 1 game in 2010 due to a concussion and tied for a team lead in INTs with 3.
As we look forward to the 2011 season, the Vikings secondary has a solid core of players but adding depth is always something that needs careful consideration when assembling a team, especially in the Vikings case where they are assembling a team under a new coaching staff.
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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