4 mistakes the Vikings must not make in 2021 free agency

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Xavier Rhodes /

Bringing back too many old faces

The Vikings wasted no time in bringing back Stephen Weatherly following his release by the Carolina Panthers after just one season.

The defensive end failed to make a prominent starting position his own after playing well on a rotational basis behind Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen in Minnesota. So coming back to familiar surroundings might see him return to the player of old.

Plenty of former players are free agents this offseason in addition to speculation mounting regarding a possible early parting of the ways between Linval Joseph and the Los Angeles Chargers that would surely make the Vikings sit up and take notice.

However, bringing back too many old faces into the fold simply sends out the wrong message and it might be worth remembering that most of them were released for a reason.

Xavier Rhodes is a prime case in point, here. Rhodes was once regarded as one of the NFL’s best shutdown corners before a dismal final two seasons in Minnesota that eventually resulted in his release last year.

The former Florida State standout enjoyed a career renaissance with the Indianapolis Colts in 2020. He was clearly playing with a chip on his shoulder and he benefitted as a result. But the Vikings would be wise not to look in Rhodes’ direction considering how much of a weak link he was prior to his departure.

Continuity is always key. But the youth movement currently transpiring in Minnesota would be compromised by too many veterans returning and expecting the same sort of status on the roster they had previously.