The Vikings moved pretty quickly to re-sign the guys they wanted to keep. That group included Erin Henderson, Jamarca Sanford and Jerome Felton. Certain other free agents were clearly not as high on the priority list. The most prominent of these was Jasper Brinkley who, despite starting most of last year, was allowed to hit the market.
Somewhat surprisingly, the mediocre Brinkley had several suitors including the New York Giants at one point. The Arizona Cardinals ended up signing Brinkley, giving the middle linebacker a two year contract.
More power to Brinkley and more power to the Cardinals. But quite frankly, if you watched Brinkley play last year, you know this guy isn’t very good. The stats bear it out. According to PFF, Brinkley had the worst missed tackle ratio in the NFL last year, missing a tackle for every 5.7 times he made an attempt. That ratio sounds about right to me. He whiffed a lot last year. He also blew a lot of coverage assignments. It got so bad that Alan Williams went to Erin Henderson in nickel, and we know how atrocious Henderson is in nickel.
I’m guessing fans in Arizona won’t need much time to realize what a dud they have in Brinkley. But who cares now. He’s no longer our problem. We’ll never have to watch him get turned around in coverage again. Or bite hard inside on a play fake and get torched. Now the Vikes will have to find themselves a new middle linebacker, hopefully someone who knows where he’s supposed to be and can wrap up a ball carrier. Potential options include Brian Urlacher, who has reportedly been in contact with the Vikings, and Manti T’eo who is likely to slide into the late first after his little public relations issue.