6 free agents the Vikings should already be thinking about for 2021

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Ryan Fitzpatrick
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Ryan Fitzpatrick /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Simmons /

Justin Simmons – S

There’s a chance that Anthony Harris won’t return to the Vikings in 2021 and there would likely be more to his departure than just a high price tag.

Harris will be 30 next year and his performance this season has trended a bit backward after an impressive 2019 campaign. For a guy who some believe could command a contract that pays him an average of at least $10 million per season, Minnesota might be better off investing that money in someone younger and more talented like Justin Simmons.

Simmons, currently with the Denver Broncos, is one of the most underrated safeties in the league today. In nine games so far this year, he’s come up with 58 tackles, five pass breakups, three interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

If the 27-year-old Simmons landed in the Twin Cities, he could take his game to the next level with the help of Mike Zimmer and Harrison Smith. The combination of the Broncos safety and Smith in the Vikings’ defensive backfield is something that Zimmer only dreams about during his 40 minutes of sleep each night.

Like several free agents that have been included in this list, Minnesota will need to create a pretty good chunk of cap space before signing Simmons can become a reality. But if the Vikings are thinking about re-signing Harris, why not just use that money on a younger safety with more potential like Simmons?