Should the Vikings attempt to sign CB Dre Kirkpatrick?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dre Kirkpatrick
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Dre Kirkpatrick /

The veteran cornerback was recently released by the Cincinnati Bengals and he has a connection to current Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

Cornerback depth is something that is currently non-existent for the Minnesota Vikings. After the departures of Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander, the Vikings now have a very young group of corners who lack experience.

Mike Hughes and Holton Hill could potentially step in as Minnesota’s top two cornerbacks for 2020, but the team should still be looking for ways to possibly add a veteran to the position group.

One potential option for the Vikings could be the recently released Dre Kirkpatrick. He was let go by the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday and Minnesota has multiple connections to the veteran cornerback.

Not only was Mike Zimmer part of the Bengals staff when they drafted Kirkpatrick in 2012, but new Vikings defensive backs coach, Daronte Jones, just spent the last two seasons with the free-agent corner as Cincinnati’s secondary coach.

So with their connections to Kirkpatrick and the fact that they are desperate to add some starting experience to their current group of cornerbacks, it would make sense for Minnesota to try and sign him this year.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound cornerback has been in the NFL for a total of eight seasons and he started 67 games during his tenure with the Bengals. At 30-years-old, Kirkpatrick should still have a few productive seasons left in him as well and working with Zimmer could definitely help improve his chances of extending his career.

Last year, he only ended up appearing in six games for Cincinnati thanks to a knee injury. But in 2018, he was on the field for 13 of the Bengals matchups and he allowed his coverage to only haul in 44 percent of their targets (second-best in the NFL).

The talent and experience are clearly there, but how much it could cost to sign Kirkpatrick will likely determine whether or not the Vikings are able to bring him in.

During the last three seasons, he had cap hits of around $9 million. But based on his age and him coming off of a knee injury, his price tag shouldn’t be that high. Minnesota might be able to convince him to sign a deal that pays him an average of about $6 million per year.

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If Kirkpatrick is willing to play for that amount or something similar, then the Vikings could potentially have themselves a new veteran cornerback for the 2020 season.