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 Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Gesicki /

Mike Gesicki – TE

2021 Team: Miami Dolphins

A parting of the ways between the Vikings and Kyle Rudolph was inevitable this offseason. The veteran Pro Bowler became less of a factor in the passing game and his salary was didn’t match his production at this stage of his career. So the organization made the right call by cutting him loose and allowing Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin a chance to make more of an impact.

Whether the young tight end duo can make the most out of this opportunity remains to be seen. Both have some eye-catching athletic traits to call upon, although it’s hard to deny this isn’t a hugely important campaign for their overall aspirations in Minnesota.

If Smith and Conklin fail to meet expectations, it could mean the Vikings are forced to look at a free agent that can provide more of a threat. Mike Gesicki‘s role with the Miami Dolphins has increased steadily with every passing year and his 2020 contribution came with career highs in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns.

His reliability catching under pressure across the middle and in the red zone are two elements that have become a hot commodity in recent years. Miami won’t want to lose such an important member of their passing attack, so Gesicki is a clear candidate for the franchise tag if a long-term deal doesn’t get sorted beforehand.