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5 players who could follow new OC John DeFilippo to Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings’ offseason can officially kick off now that they have named an offensive coordinator. Former Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo will take over the offense in 2018. The Eagles have several players who are either free agents or potential cap casualties who would fill needs for the Vikings. Let’s have a look…

RB, Darren Sproles 

The veteran running back missed all but three games this season, but he’s been an effective rotational back into his 30s. In 2016, the former Chargers and Saints star ran for 438 yards at 4.7 yards per carry and caught 52 passes for the Eagles. With Jerick McKinnon likely to depart, the Vikings will be looking for an affordable pass catcher out of the backfield.

TE, Trey Burton

One of the heroes of the Super Bowl, Burton has proven that he can be a valuable role player. In 15 games as Philadelphia’s No. 2 tight end, he caught 23 passes on 31 targets for 248 yards and five touchdowns. The Vikings have two quality tight ends in Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan, but haven’t found a speedy tight end despite drafting two in the last three years. Burton ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at the Combine in 2014.

WR, Torrey Smith

The Vikings signed Michael Floyd in search of a deep threat receiver and did not get much from him. Smith led the NFL in yards per reception in 2015. He only grabbed 36 passes this year, but caught 13  in the playoffs for 157 yards. Right now the Vikings have Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Jarius Wright locked into roles, but the outlook for Laquon Treadwell and Stacy Coley is unclear. They could use another veteran. Smith is still under contract, but can be released with zero penalty.

TE, Brent Celek

At one time, Celek was one of the premier tight ends in the NFL, but he’s fallen down the depth chart, catching only 27 passes over the last two years. Even into his 30s, he’s been incredibly durable, playing 16 games every season of his 11-year career. Celek wouldn’t bring the Vikings speed from the position, but he would add another weapon to use in sets with three tight ends. Celek could also be a cap casualty.

RB, LeGarrette Blount 

We all keep getting older, but Blount plays like he doesn’t age. While many running backs fade into their late 20s, Blount keeps trucking. In 2016 he scored 18 touchdowns for the Patriots and this year he gained 4.4 yards per rush and gave the Eagles 766 yards as part of a rotation. With Dalvin Cook returning, it wouldn’t appear the Vikings need a ground-and-pound back, but one of the lessons the Eagles taught us is that contending teams can never have enough good players rotating in.

  • Viking6

    Blount would bring some smash to the RB position. With Dalvin Cook fully recovered, Latavius Murray as a primary backup who brings some speed and some power, Blount is a pure battering ram. I would sign him for a veteran minimum contract.

    • Peter H.

      Blount = Leroy Hoard!

  • Yobama

    What’s the matter, don’t they have any free agents in their 40’s or 50’s?

    • linus

      Smith just turned 29 a couple weeks ago, and Burton won’t be 27 until the end of October.

  • Jeeves

    Yawn… no thanks.

  • linus

    Burton would make some sense, but that’s about it.

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  • MC

    Except that the Vikings only real need at this point is possibly tight end, and lineman.

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  • Florian Bast

    Are you sure Foles shouldn’t be on that list?

    • Tom Schultz

      Foles is not starting quality. Better off with kenum or getting cousins. We always get shit qb’s from Philly…let them keep this piece. If the vikings (god forbid) did want Foles they would probably have to give up players/picks for him…again…not worth it!

      • Florian Bast

        I agree, if for no other reason than the picks/players it would cost. My comment was more aimed towards what the Vikings brass might want, especially since they did say the new OC would get input into the QB decision. And he did just turn Foles into the reigning Super Bowl MVP…

      • Rod Morgan

        you think Keenum is a better QB than Foles????????????????????????????????????????????????????… why?

        • Florian Bast

          I don’t think so, but I’d rather have Keenum and the second round pick (plus maybe a player), you would have to give up for Foles than just Foles.

  • cka2nd

    I wasn’t really interested in a free agent TE of Burton’s quality until I read somewhere that Rudolph had played almost all of the Vikes’ offensive snaps in 2017. I wouldn’t mind seeing that load lifted a bit, and Burton would be an ideal option to do it. He also fits Spielman’s general preference for young but experienced free agents.

    Sproles does not fit the usual Spielman FA type, but he intrigues me as a quality receiver out of the backfield who wouldn’t expect lots of carries in the running game but won’t be a liability if he does have to mix in some runs with the catches. I wouldn’t mind a one-year contract with him along with a mid-round draft pick. If he doesn’t make the team out of training camp, c’est la vie.

    I’d rather re-sign Floyd – lots of veterans have bounced back from shaky first years with the Vikings – than sign Smith. Celek wouldn’t have a place here, and I’d just as soon keep Murray as sign Blount, who I don’t think could be had for only the league minimum.

  • Topgunn

    Running back is a young man’s position. After the Vikings sign Cousins, just draft a RB somewhere between rounds 4-7 to be a 3rd down change of pace guy and pay rookie $$$. With Cook’s diversified skill set, a backup RB doesn’t need to have a specific skill set (like pass catching) he just needs to be proficient at SOMETHING (running or receiving). Burton is the only guy who intrigues me, but I would still love to draft Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagali.

  • Andre Esters

    TE T.Burton and anyone along the O-line is my vote. Maybe Blount…

  • Llaarryy

    Sproles would be potentially useful only at the vet min. I’m more interested in the intel Flip has on Beatty. Anything left in the tank? Probably not, but besides the QB question, the OL is really our weak link.

    Would rather bring in a Celek-like blocker than pass catcher. Flip should know the value of protecting the QB, not only by helping slow down edge rushers but also a strong run game. Celek actually played more snaps than the small guy.

  • Justin Fuchs

    Is Matthew Coller drunk?

    • Drediock

      Is he ever not?
      All in all though cant fault him much on this one. Kind of a throw it up against a wall and see what sticks kinda thing.
      He’s just listing what might be available and want to go where the coach goes.
      Either of the RBs might make some sense if we cant Retain McKinnon and they would likely come on the cheap.

  • Gordon Guffey

    No~No~No~No and No ~

    But thats just me ~

  • badzeitgeist

    Most of those are of minimal interest (Smith perhaps if we cut Treadwell and Floyd, Sproles on a really cheap contract), but Burton I was interested in even before we hired Flip. We could use another weapon there, and he is a better all-around than current #3, Bell.


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