Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams (93) looks on prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

4 Former Vikings Defensive Starters Still Unemployed

With the huge turnaround on this Minnesota Vikings team, it is easy to overlook what is going on with some of the major pieces of the team’s former defense.  The lack of success on defense over the last couple years has been a major issue that contributed to the Vikings failures lately.

Many folks blamed the scheme.  Some pointed their finger at the lack of talent at some positions.  But it is hard to look at what is going on in free agency with some of Minnesota’s former starters and think that talent isn’t an issue.

Here are 4 former starters from the Minnesota Vikings defense that still haven’t found a new team:

Desmond Bishop, linebacker

  • Bishop may have only landed one start prior to his injury, but the Vikings were hoping he’d be able to stay healthy and contribute to this team.  As a member of a Super Bowl winning team, it was hopeful that his experience and knowledge could help some of the young players develop.  He has talent when healthy, but can’t manage to stay on the football field to put that talent on display.

Erin Henderson, linebacker

  • Accumulating many starts at both outside and inside linebacker for Minnesota, Erin Henderson looked like he would be part of the team for many years to come.  However, injuries and legal issues kept him off the field and young Audie Cole ended up taking his job at the end of last year.   Henderson has yet to find a suitor in free agency, leaving his status for this year in the dark.

Marvin Mitchell, linebacker

  • Mitchell found some starts at outside linebacker, but wasn’t extremely effective in those games.  He was a good player for the Vikings, but not great.  It is somewhat surprising that Mitchell hasn’t hasn’t found a job as a backup linebacker or special teams player in the NFL, but sometimes players just slip through the cracks.

Kevin Williams, defensive tackle

  • This is the most surprising of the four.  Williams has had one heck of a career with Minnesota and is a former multiple time All-Pro and Pro Bowl player.  He is a former first round draft pick of the Vikings and played with the team for 11 years.  Perhaps his age is a breaking point for many teams since he turns 34 in August.  Maybe his asking price is too high.  But it’s hard to believe that he still hasn’t found a team at this point.

Whether it is injury, age or ineffectiveness, the fact that these four players are still free agents is a sign that this truly is a “what have you done for me lately” kind of league.  Still, it’s hard to see former members of a team’s starting defense struggle to find employment like this and not wonder if Minnesota’s schemes and level of talent has contributed to the lack of interest in the players.


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Tags: Desmond Bishop Erin Henderson Kevin Williams Marvin Mitchell Minnesota Vikings

  • Captain Omniscient

    One team’s trash is another team’s treasure. The Packers discard their has-beens, and the Vikings snatch them up like they’re gold. The problem is they’re fool’s gold, not real gold. And the Viking’s trash……well, they’re just trash and hence nobody wants them.

    • Clayton Booth

      Kevin Williams could have easily gotten a new team. He most likely was asking for too much money. Same thing with Allen, but he eventually lowered his price tag and landed in Chicago.

      • Captain Omniscient

        Williams and Allen are old; good players whose time is almost up.

        • Chris Schroeder

          Get off this vikings article scab

    • Craig Lorenz

      Favre Jennings sharper and longwell are trash players? Favre sharper and longwell all had their best seasons with the Vikings not the packers!

      • Timothy Solum

        You are so right. Favre had one of his best seasons as a Viking and we all know what Logwell did and Jennings will eventually make his mark. Didn’t Favre show up golden boy twice in one season?

        • Captain Omniscient

          All that fans care about is what did you do in the playoffs. We all know how Favre ended his career…..with a predictable interception. That’s how his career in Green Bay came to an end, as well.

          It’s no surprise that a QB and a kicker are going to have better stats indoors than outdoors. Surely you can figure that one out on your own……or maybe not, since it seems that I have to explain it.

      • Captain Omniscient

        The Packers were smart enough to let Favre go. Sure he still had a good year or two left in him, but they couldn’t let Rodgers sit and rot any longer. How did that work out in the end, by the way? If I remember correctly, Favre’s great Viking year ended with a stupid INT throw and meanwhile Rodgers got the Packers another SB trophy.

        • Chris Schroeder

          Another fag packer fan on a vikings article lol seems to me your scared of what the vikings r gonna do this year in the NFL and in our division. Go read about how crap your team is gonna be this year and many to come. Our defense is gonna put Rogers on his back a record setting time this year. Oh and why don’t u trash fudge packer fans try and put glass in the best running backs food again like u tried last year. Your team and fans are a joke

        • Orion

          I think that the Packers commitment to Rodgers (and dumping Favre) was a good choice. But I think it is wrong to blame the stupid interception on Favre. Favre was clearly too banged up to still be in the game and the coaches screwed up badly by leaving him in the game.

    • MikeH123

      I remember when the Packers let Marshawn Lynch go to the Seahawks who won Super Bowl with him.

      • Patswervin

        marshawn lynch only played for the bills and

        • MikeH123

          That’s because the Packers wouldn’t offer the Bills as much as the Seahawks.
          Just google: Report: Packers were in the bidding for Marshawn Lynch
          The Seahawks got Lynch for 4th and 5th round picks.

    • Jack Hoffman

      Seems to me like Seattle won the Super Bowl last year with a lot of Minnesota’s trash on their team.

      • John Doe

        So true.

  • Robert Ries

    Now they’re saying Finley may want to play for the Vikings.
    Like rats off a sinking ship