5 free agents the Minnesota Vikings should avoid in 2023

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Allen Lazard
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Allen Lazard /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) Eli Apple /

Eli Apple – CB

2022 Team: Cincinnati Bengals

The Vikings will be looking for at least one veteran cornerback in free agency. They have a handful of young players but need an experienced cover man in the back end. Patrick Peterson could be out of the mix, so the team could look to the free-agent market for more help.

One guy they need to stay away from is Eli Apple. Apple is a bit of a polarizing figure. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind or even trash-talk an opponent before, during, or after a game. While some coaches and fans may like that brashness, Apple’s comes off as weak because he isn’t good enough to back it up.

Apple’s PFF grade a season ago was  53.3. That ranked him 68th in the league. The real kicker about that stat is that only 64 players start at the position. Apple also has allowed 11 touchdowns in his two seasons with the Bengals with only two interceptions.

He’s had a revolving door of teams since being drafted by the Giants in 2016. He first went to the Saints, back to the Giants, back to the Saints, spent 2020 with the Panthers, and then has been with the Bengals for two years. Apparently, no one wants this cat around for very long.

Apple is going to create a lot of attention to himself and then struggle when he’s on the field. He isn’t what this Vikings defense needs right now, and the team can find a better option on the market.