Vikings would be foolish not to pursue former Defensive Player of the Year in 2024

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore
Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings need to improve their cornerback depth his offseason, and signing former Dallas Cowboys corner Stephon Gilmore would definitely help.

Before he became the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator last year, Brian Flores spent the first 11 seasons of his coaching career in the NFL as an assistant on the New England Patriots staff.

During his final year two years with New England in 2017 and 2018, Flores helped transform cornerback Stephon Gilmore from a solid defender into one of the best defensive backs in the entire NFL. Even after Flores left in 2019, Gilmore still remained one of the best corners in the league, and following the 2019 campaign, he was selected as that season's NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Today, Gilmore is coming off a 2023 season with the Dallas Cowboys, and even though his career in the league is nearing the end, the Vikings should still be looking to reunite the veteran cornerback with Flores this offseason.

Stephon Gilmore would be tremendous for the Minnesota Vikings

Ever since the Buffalo Bills selected him in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Gilmore has experienced almost everything a player possibly could in the league.

He's played in multiple Super Bowls, been voted to several Pro Bowls, earned a pair of First-Team All-Pro selections, and also been a part of two terrible teams (2021 Carolina Panthers and 2022 Indianapolis Colts).

In 17 games with the Cowboys in 2023, Gilmore finished with 68 tackles, 13 pass breakups, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. His performance this past season also earned him the 35th-best defensive grade from PFF out of 127 qualifying corners.

So, even during his 12th season in the NFL, Gilmore was able to hold his own and show that he can still make an impact for a defense.

With Minnesota, he could come in and be a starter immediately. Gilmore's addition would likely result in Mekhi Blackmon moving to the No. 3 spot on the cornerback depth chart, but the young defensive back would still probably get plenty of snaps out on the field.

Currently, Spotrac has Gilmore's market value at $11.1 million per year. That might seem a little pricey, but with the NFL's salary cap increasing by more than $30 million for 2024, that's a reasonable amount to pay for a corner of Gilmore's caliber.

So, we already know the Vikings' top priorities in free agency this offseason are figuring out what to do with Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter. But Minnesota should make attempting to sign Gilmore one of the top things on their to-do list for this year as well.