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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.