Who has the edge as the Vikings third linebacker in 2020?

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Eric Wilson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Eric Wilson /
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Minnsota Vikings
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Troy Dye /

Why Dye will win the job

The Vikings defense needs some help in pass coverage this year with a new-look secondary. Anthony Barr has shown that he isn’t the best option for covering running backs and slot receivers. Troy Dye specializes in the passing game and he could remove that burden from the versatile Barr.

Dye was a four-year starter at Oregon who produced every time he stepped onto the field. He recorded at least 84 tackles in each of his four seasons while adding 13 sacks and five interceptions over that span. He added four forced fumbles over his final three seasons as well, showing his playmaking ability over the middle.

If not for injuries, Dye would have probably been a higher rated draft prospect than we saw this spring. For a rangy linebacker, you cannot ask for much more than what Dye produced in college. His 41.5 tackles for loss and 14 pass breakups are an unusual combination of brilliance at the linebacker position.

If the Vikings decide to roll with Dye, they will save a little over $3 Million by cutting Eric Wilson. Wilson’s current deal falls on a second-round tender, but he has no dead cap in the case of a roster cut.

Dye will be much cheaper in 2020 and he can do some more things in coverage that Wilson has yet to show. Dye makes sense as a rotational piece, but Minnesota should be in no rush to get him on the field.