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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Christian Kirksey /

Christian Kirksey – LB (Houston Texans)

This one isn’t going to leave a major sting on the side of the Vikings, but it was a chance for them to add a veteran player in the middle of the defense. With how poor the defense played when Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks went down last season, they may want to add depth to the linebacker room.

Troy Dye was far from the answer when he was on the field and Eric Wilson has not been re-signed after an up and down season of his own. Wilson was fine as a coverage linebacker, but he really is not that impressive in the run game, which is why Minnesota hasn’t paid him to come back next season.

Christian Kirksey left Green Bay in free agency and he signed a relatively cheap deal with the Texans where he will probably be a situational linebacker behind Zach Cunningham. He has not seen much action over the past three seasons, playing in just 20 games since 2018.

Kirksey had 77 tackles and two interceptions for the Packers last season in his 11 appearances,  but he has been a big factor when healthy in his career. Between 2016 and 2017, Kirksey picked up a total of 286 tackles, six sacks, eight pass deflections, and 17 tackles for loss.

He could have been a very reliable third linebacker in Minnesota’s defense with enough experience to fill in for Barr or Kendricks if they went down again in 2021. The Vikings have very concerning depth at linebacker and the draft board will not favor them if they wish to fill that need through young prospects.