The Minnesota Vikings have inquired after one of the lesser cornerback names in free agency, per a report by the Pioneer-Press.
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The hard-working Chris Tomasson says the Vikings have “expressed interest” in former Philadelphia Eagles CB Bradley Fletcher.
The 6-0, 200-pound Fletcher was recently cut by the Eagles after a pretty dismal season in the Philly defensive backfield. Both Fletcher and Cary Williams were let go so the Eagles could completely rebuild their secondary with bigger names like Byron Maxwell.
The Vikings were never going to be in on players like Maxwell, so that leaves them picking through the bargain bin for players like Fletcher.
A third-round pick by the Rams in 2009, Fletcher was at one point graded as a fair-to-middling cornerback by outfits like Pro Football Focus. In six seasons for St. Louis and Philadelphia, he has amassed 280 tackles, 8 interceptions, 53 passes defensed and 3 forced fumbles.
But Fletcher’s 2014 performance was truly brutal. Last year Fletcher surrendered 1,072 yards, the most of any corner in the NFL. His 9 TDs surrendered was second-most in the league. Fletcher’s focus seemed to completely vanish the last couple weeks of the season and he wound up on the bench.
Some have argued that the Eagles’ defensive gameplan left Fletcher on an island too much. A similar criticism was leveled at times against Mike Zimmer last year for allowing Josh Robinson to match-up one-on-one with bigger receivers.
Fletcher would be an upgrade from Robinson in terms of size but it’s questionable whether he is actually a better player at this point in his career.
It’s not believed that Fletcher would command much money, so the Vikings could bring him in on a prove-it deal and see what he has. Mike Zimmer has pulled off some reclamation projects in the past (Pacman Jones, for instance) so maybe he could do the same with Fletcher.
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