5 early free agents the Vikings could target in 2022

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Tyrann Mathieu
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) Tyrann Mathieu /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – CB

2021 Team: Carolina Panthers

Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander should provide some impressive production for the Vikings next season. However, the cornerback duo might be short-term fixes to what has the potential to become a long-term problem.

There is just no telling how things are going to go with Jeff Gladney’s current legal complications, although Minnesota hasn’t cut him loose just yet. But the team also traded Mike Hughes to the Kansas City Chiefs for minimal compensation, which indicates the former first-round pick wasn’t even going to make the final 2021 roster.

Cameron Dantzler has promise providing the necessary progression is made during his sophomore campaign. But the Vikings might be on the lookout for a more talented player in the secondary that could solidify in 2022 and beyond.

Someone like Donte Jackson should be on their shortlist. The Carolina Panthers defensive back looked like a No. 1 corner in the making down the stretch last season after struggling with a toe problem until their Week 13 bye. So if he builds on this momentum next time around, then he’ll be in a strong position heading into free agency.

The Panthers won’t want to lose Jackson at this stage of their rebuild. Their decision to let James Bradberry walk last year came back to haunt them and if the same situation transpires with another of one their cornerbacks, Minnesota should get on the phone quickly.