Recently, rumors have been running wild about the Vikings interest in signing free agent Linebacker Brian Urlacher. The 34 year old former All-Pro Linebacker has also been linked to the Denver Broncos, but that report has been refuted by KCNC-TV’s Gary Miller. This leaves the Vikings as the only known suitor out there for Urlacher.
If the Vikings signed him, it’s questionable as to what his role would be with the team. His veteran leadership would be huge in helping develop their young Middle Linebackers. The team recently moved Erin Henderson from Outside Linebacker to the inside and penciled him in as the starter. Then, they drafted Michael Mauti in the seventh round of the draft this year to compete with Henderson. They also feel good about the young Audie Cole to develop into a solid player. Urlacher’s experience could be a major factor in why the Vikings would be interested.
But would the Vikings use Urlacher as a starter if they did sign him? The team seems confident that Henderson is more than capable of filling the void left by Jasper Brinkley in the middle. They also see a leader in Michael Mauti if he can heal in time to compete for the position. Urlacher’s age, speed and injury history raise a lot of questions as to his ability going forward. The team would most likely put him in the competition with Henderson and Mauti for the job.
Another major factor will be the Urlacher’s pay. The Vikings are already strapped for cash after other big free agent signing like Greg Jennings, Phil Loadholt, and Jerome Felton. The team also has yet to sign their 3 first round draft picks this year.
Do you think Urlacher is worth picking up? If so, is he an immediate starter, or should he compete for the job? And at this point of his career, is he still an effective player?