4 Vikings on the hot seat for 2021 after free agency moves

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Hughes /

Mike Hughes – CB

It might be a surprise to some that Mike Hughes is still on the Vikings’ roster after the team brought in All-Pro corner Patrick Peterson and former Minnesota second-round pick Mackensie Alexander to strengthen their defensive backfield for next season.

Considering the recent situation regarding Jeff Gladney, however, it could result in the former first-round pick getting one final chance to prove himself in 2021.

Hughes’ talent is undeniable. He has enjoyed plenty of memorable moments throughout his career in Minnesota to date. But the ongoing concern regarding his inability to stay healthy is something that sees his long-term future with the team right on the brink.

Had Gladney’s recent arrest not transpired, then the Vikings might have already cut Hughes loose. They have a promising corner in Cameron Dantzler to put alongside Peterson on the outside, with Alexander set to resume his duties covering in the slot.

This is an area where Alexander thrived before moving to the Cincinnati Bengals last season. So even if Hughes does get a reprieve on the final year of his deal, he will probably still face a real fight for playing time.

The situation with Gladney is a serious one that Minnesota is monitoring closely. It doesn’t look good for the corner’s future, so it might present a chance for Hughes as he enters the last chance saloon under Mike Zimmer.