4 remaining free agents who have connections to the 2021 Vikings

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Olivier Vernon
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Olivier Vernon /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Olivier Vernon /

Olivier Vernon – DE

Connection to Vikings: Dalvin Tomlinson

Currently, Danielle Hunter is not taking part in the Vikings’ voluntary OTA practice sessions. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But with just about every player on Minnesota’s roster attending these practices, Hunter not being there is significant.

If the situation with Hunter doesn’t get resolved, the Vikings will need some additional help on the defensive line to avoid a repeat of last season’s terrible pass rush.

One potential option to consider is Olivier Vernon, a former teammate of new Minnesota defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Vernon and Tomlinson spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons together as members of the New York Giants defense.

Coming off a 2020 campaign in which he racked up nine sacks, the 30-year-old pass rusher might still be in search of a starting opportunity. With the Vikings, Vernon could compete to be the other starting defensive end opposite Hunter, or he could take Hunter’s spot if Minnesota’s Pro Bowl pass rusher ends up not being available during the 2021 season.