5 remaining free agents the Minnesota Vikings should avoid

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Geno Atkins /

Geno Atkins, defensive tackle

Lately, rumors have been swirling that a reunion between Geno Atkins and former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer could bring the 32-year-old defensive tackle to the Minnesota Vikings. While that sounds great, there are some reasons the team shouldn’t pursue the 11 season veteran too hard in free agency.

Atkins excelled in the NFL for quite a long time. He racked up 71 sacks in his first nine seasons in the league, averaging a little under eight quarterback takedowns per season. However, his last two years have seen that production grind to a near halt, notching only 4.5 sacks in those 24 games while missing time in 2020 due to a shoulder injury.

With a previous salary of $16.3M per year on his four-year deal with Cincinnati, having someone on the wrong side of 30 years old who is showing a decline doesn’t make sense as a situational pass-rushing defensive tackle behind Dalvin Tomlinson in Minnesota.

Since cap space is tight for the Vikings and there are some young, talented players Minnesota can plug in on obvious pass situations, the value of bringing in Atkins isn’t there. While it would be a great story to reunite him with Zimmer, it’s not one that makes sense on the football field.