3 free agents that could immediately help the Vikings in 2021

(Photo by Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Richard Sherman
(Photo by Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) Richard Sherman /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sam Greene via Imagn content services) Geno Atkins /

Geno Atkins – DT

After having one of the NFL’s worst defenses against the run in 2020, the Vikings did their best to improve the interior of their defensive line this year.

Minnesota knew they already had Michael Pierce returning to the team this season, so they went out and signed free agent defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson to form a wall of large humans on the inside portion of their front-four.

The Vikings are slightly better against the run this year, but they still only rank 21st in run defense after their first two games. Based on the way Minnesota was raving this summer about having Pierce and Tomlinson in the middle, one would’ve assumed the team would at least already rank in the top-10 against the run this season.

If the Vikings are interested in adding another veteran defensive tackle to help against the run this year, Geno Atkins is someone who could make a difference for them.

Ever since he entered the NFL in 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals (when Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator), Atkins has been known as one of the best interior run stoppers in the league.

As he’s gotten older, his performance has tapered off a bit. But he played at a level good enough to make the Pro Bowl less than two seasons ago (2019), so he still probably has some juice left that Minnesota could make use of this year if they’re interested.