2 Ex-Vikings Stars Among Top 5 Lions Free Agent Targets

Anthony Barr

Getty Linebacker Anthony Barr, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Detroit Lions have lost eight of their last 10 games against the Minnesota Vikings, so it might not be a terrible idea for the team to kick the tires on some of Minnesota’s former players, including former Pro Bowl free agents Xavier Rhodes and Anthony Barr.

The Lions don’t have many major roster needs before training camp, except perhaps at cornerback, where Jeff Okudah is recovering from an Achilles injury that sidelined him for all but one game in 2021, and linebacker, which appears light on “impact-type players,” according to Sports Illustrated’s Vito Chirco.

Here’s a look at five free agents whom the Lions should be getting on the phone with ahead of training camp.

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Cornerback Xavier Rhodes

At this point of his career, Xavier Rhodes may be seen as a player who has lost more than a step or two, but he still has veteran savvy and pedigree. Rhodes, 32, played seven solid seasons for Minnesota, racking up three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro nod with the team before signing with the Indianapolis Colts, where he played the last two years. Statistically, he’s been no slouch, with 453 tackles, 13 interceptions (two for touchdowns), three forced fumbles and 92 passes defended. Here’s a highlight reel from his two seasons with the Colts:

Xavier Rhodes 2020-2021 HighlightsI hope you all enjoyed this Xavier Rhodes Colts highlight video! Let me know what player I should do next! Make sure to tell me you're thoughts down below! (Music might be loud. let me know) Follow me on Twitter! – twitter.com/JuicedUp13 Follow me on Instagram! – instagram.com/juiceduup13/ Subscribe for more Colts content! – youtube.com/channel/UCWyMqEl-6O5wMPbWkl_zDfw?view_as=subscriber…2020-12-19T01:55:08Z

For the Lions, he could serve as an important veteran mentor for a young group that figures to have the players to become good in the near future.

Linebacker Anthony Barr

Another ex-Viking, Anthony Barr was considered a favorite to sign with Detroit in 2019, but that did not materialize. Now, Barr, 31, is looking for a job and could be a good depth player to help stabilize a group that’s been called the Lions’ “biggest weakness.”

Barr, a four-time Pro Bowler, may not fit the Lions’ scheme, but his production was solid in his eight years in Minnesota. He also has plenty of big plays on his highlight reel.

Anthony Barr Career Highlights “Emotionally Scarred”2020-10-08T01:00:01Z

It’s surprising to see Barr still on the market, but a July 6 Sports Illustrated report said a deal with the Dallas Cowboys appears to “be on the table.” The Lions could give him a hard look, too.

Linebacker Kwon Alexander

A player familiar to head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn from their year and a half together in New Orleans, Alexander also could offer the Lions some help in the middle. Alexander, 27, has 521 career tackles and 12 sacks in his seven-year career. He’s coming off a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Saints.

Kwon Alexander 2021 Season HighlightsCopyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. I do not own any of the clips or music being used in…2022-03-17T17:43:22Z

Campbell and Glenn could offer him a soft landing, and he could still see plenty of big-time snaps on a Lions defense that is desperately trying to improve.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins was drafted in 2012 as a second-round pick of the then-St. Louis Rams. He made an imprint on the league early on, returning three touchdowns as a rookie, a record once held by Lions legend Lem Barney. From there, Jenkins went to the New York Giants in 2016 where he made an impact.

Jenkins was a Pro Bowler as well as an All-Pro that season, and then joined the New Orleans Saints in 2019 and 2020, when played with Glenn and Campbell before playing for the Tennessee Titans in 2021. Here’s a look at some of Jenkins’ best work on the field so far:

Janoris Jenkins Career Highlights “Welcome To New Orleans"2019-08-05T02:56:29Z

Jenkins, 33, has 576 tackles, 27 interceptions, nine touchdowns, seven forced fumbles and 124 passes defended in his 10-year career. Jenkins has the kind of stats that could be appealing to a team like Detroit that needs a back-end boost.

Cornerback Kevin King

Though he never played for Minnesota, Kevin King is yet another ex-rival of the Lions. His five season with the Green Bay Packers has placed him on the radar of Detroit fans. At 27, King is young and one of the reclamation projects the Lions could see as making sense given his age and abilities.

King has played in 51 games collecting seven interceptions and putting up 197 tackles. King also has 30 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Kevin King | 2019-2020 Season Highlights ᴴᴰKevin King's 2019-2020 Season Highlights. Business Contact: mdliccone@gmail.com ________________________________________­______________ Follow me on Instagram: @mdliccone Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mdliccone ________________________________________­______________ Follow @titletown_edits on Instagram, and @Titletown_Edits on Twitter for insane edits! The thumbnail attached to this video belongs to him. ________________________________________­______________ All clips and music audio goes to their rightful owners. No copyright intended. ________________________________________­______________…2020-07-01T19:00:00Z

While King may have worn out his welcome with the Packers and has struggled at times, the Lions could likely get him on the cheap to add to some veteran depth on the back end with league and division experience. He could be the kind of player they could help reclaim. As July deals with upside go, this could be a good one to remember for the Lions.

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