Veteran linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was cut Wednesday by the Browns in a cap-related move, but the free agent doesn’t figure to be on the street for long. Already seven NFL teams have reached out to Jackson and the linebacker is currently scheduling visits.
Which seven teams contacted Jackson? That we don’t know. But there’s a fair chance one of them was the Vikings.
It’s no secret the Vikings are in need of veteran help in their linebacker corps. Chad Greenway is the one established vet on the roster, and behind him are a bunch of untested young players who mostly were taken late in the draft, and may or may not fit into Mike Zimmer’s plans.
Erin Henderson had one year left on his contract but was cut after a pair of DUI arrests. Desmond Bishop could be brought back but injury questions will continue to plague him until he can stay healthy for longer than a quarter-and-a-half (which is all he played last year after being brought in on a bargain basement deal).
Jackson is just the kind of steady, productive veteran player the Vikings could have used last year to solidify their defense. He’s not a top-tier defender by any stretch, but he’s a good, consistent player, and he brings loads of intangibles. The Vikes seemed rudderless on defense last year and definitely could have used Jackson’s leadership.
Mike Zimmer is known for developing young players, and the Vikes definitely have plenty of those to choose from at linebacker. But there’s nothing wrong with bringing in a veteran like Jackson who won’t cost a ton, still has something left in the tank physically and is a proven commodity as a positive locker room presence and fan favorite.
My guess is that the Vikes will at least have visit with Jackson. They have nothing to lose by doing so. They could come out of it with a proven veteran option at MLB, one who won’t eat up a lot of precious cap space.