The Vikings had a major need heading into the offseason that they couldn’t afford to not address. In all of my years watching the Vikings, I do not remember watching an offensive line get manhandled week in and week out like the one they put on the field last season. Rick Spielman certainly is giving his best efforts at fixing the anemic line two days into free agency.
On Thursday, it was reported that Riley Reiff had agreed to terms with the Vikings and yesterday those terms were released. He signed a 5 year deal worth up to 58 million dollars. 26 million of that is guaranteed. Reiff will be penciled in at Left Tackle for the foreseeable future. I wrote an article last week saying that Reiff should be a name we look at. I was a little bit surprised by the amount of money they spent on him. I predicted he would land a deal in the range of 5-7 million dollars per season, but Offensive Lineman got PAID this offseason. When comparing his deal to others like Matt Kalil and Russell Okung, it does not seem all that bad. While he is only slightly above average when he is at Left Tackle, it is a tremendous upgrade over the atrocious T.J. Clemmings.
Rick was not done spending on the line though, as they signed former super bowl 50 starting Right Tackle for the Carolina Panthers, Mike Remmers. He was signed to a 5 year deal worth 30 million dollars. He should take over at Right Tackle here, after spending most of last season in Carolina playing Left Tackle. A lot of people will look at the amount of sacks he gave up last season and say that it is an awful pickup. I don’t put a whole lot of stock into that though because he was playing out of position. He is a Right tackle that has no business playing on the left side. When he is in his natural position, he is once again fairly average. After what we saw last season though, I think we will all take average play at those spots. Another thing not many people are looking at with these two pickups is that they have stayed healthy during their careers. That had to play a role in the pursuit of these two players. Others like Okung, Kalil, and Clady have too much of a checkered past with missing games to count on them going forward.
Most of the bigger names have signed new deals by now, but there are still free agents out there that the Vikings have interest in. Eddie Lacy will reportedly be in town tonight. I think the interest in him means that they do not intend on bringing Adrian Peterson back. They also have interest in Wide receiver and Minnesota native, Michael Floyd. Personally, if we are looking at adding another receiver, I think we should just bring Cordarrelle Patterson back. Mo Claiborne is another guy that some people at Winter Park like.
This would be an intriguing name to me. He was having a career year last season before injuries derailed him. Claiborne is also a heck of a talent. He was the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft and I think a coach like Mike Zimmer could get the most out of that talent. These are a couple of names to pay attention to in the next few days. We are still looking at just over 26 million dollars in salary cap space, so we may not be done quite yet.