4 free agents the Vikings will regret not signing in 2021

(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Keelan Cole
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Keelan Cole /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) Keelan Cole /

Keelan Cole – WR (New York Jets)

Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen make up an incredible receiving duo for a team that loves to stretch the field when they get the chance. Irv Smith Jr. is primed for a breakout season in 2021 as he officially hits the starting tight end role with Kyle Rudolph leaving Minnesota.

A rushing attack that features Dalvin Cook is the blueprint of the offense. All of this is true, but it does not negate the fact that the Vikings do not have a reliable third receiver nor do they have a respectable special teams unit.

Keelan Cole felt like the perfect piece for Minnesota in free agency after the team hired Keenan McCardell to be their new wide receivers coach. McCardell previously coached Cole in Jacksonville and the receiver could have filled two huge needs for the Vikings.

Last season with the Jaguars, Cole caught 55 passes for 642 yards and five touchdowns. He also averaged 15.1 yards per punt return, including a 91-yard score against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10. With how often Minnesota has struggled in the return game recently, whether with fumbles or the lack of explosive plays, signing Cole should have been a priority.

He also would have been an extra body in the offense, making wide receiver less of a priority heading into the draft, and, hopefully, motivating Beebe to improve. Instead, the Vikings currently have the same passing attack as last season heading into the draft at the end of the month.