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 Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Marcus Maye /

Marcus Maye – S

2021 Team: New York Jets

Contract negotiations are reportedly ongoing between Marcus Maye and the New York Jets after they placed the franchise tag on their star safety this offseason. The deadline to get things done is rapidly approaching and if terms cannot be reached, it would make it incredibly difficult for the team to keep him around.

This should have the Vikings and others across the league on red alert. Maye is a dynamic force on the backend who has tremendous ability and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time to make plays.

What the Vikings end up doing with one of their greatest-ever players next year is up for debate and it could have some pretty big ramifications.

Harrison Smith has been the heart and soul of Minnesota’s defense almost from the moment he entered the league as a first-round pick in 2021. The former Notre Dame star is still playing at a high level, so it wouldn’t be a big shock to see him extended. But a long-term successor needs to be sought at the earliest possible opportunity if the team and the player decide to go their separate ways.

Minnesota could do far worse than look in Maye’s direction, who has his best years ahead of him and might get even better under head coach Robert Saleh next season.