4 big decisions that backfired on the Vikings in 2020

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Yannick Ngakoue
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Yannick Ngakoue /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Mackensie Alexander /

Letting Alexander walk

The Vikings made a bold move to rid their roster of their three top cornerbacks before the 2020 campaign. Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes were underperforming and left Minnesota with no other alternative other than to go in a different direction. But this did not apply to Mackensie Alexander.

Despite head coach Mike Zimmer outlining his desire to keep the player before free agency, the Vikings couldn’t come up with the funds needed. Alexander ended up signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

This forced Minnesota to rely on the injury-prone duo of Mike Hughes and Holton Hill – which didn’t exactly go according to plan – in addition to the rookie pairing of Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler, who showed signs of enormous promise with plenty of responsibility thrown their way.

There is little doubt that Alexander would have helped the Vikings in 2020. He thrived as a nickel corner during his time with the organization and although this is something he wanted to move away from, letting him walk was a decision that backfired considering how little Hughes and Hill contributed throughout the campaign.

Given the tight cap situation in 2021, Minnesota could make even more sacrifices in the coming months. But they can take some comfort from knowing that Gladney and Dantzler could be their starting cornerbacks for years to come.