Vikings Warned Not to Sign Elite AFC Cornerback

Minnesota Vikings

Getty Najee Harris #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball as Harrison Smith #22 and Nick Vigil #59 of the Minnesota Vikings defend in the second quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 09, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings need a lot of help on the back end of their defense, but there is one top cornerback on the market this offseason they’ve been advised to avoid.

The Vikings have a bevy of needs to address this offseason, that is once they decide who the new general manager and head coach will be, which are priorities No. 1 and No. 1-A. The decision on quarterback Kirk Cousins — whether to extend or trade his $35 million contract — will have a ripple effect on what the new leadership is able to do across the roster. Assuming the Vikings can manufacture cap flexibility, the majority of their most immediate woes reside on the defensive side of the football, where they ranked 30th in the league in total defense this season.

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The problems begin in the secondary. Minnesota surrendered more than 250 passing yards per game in 2021 and allowed 29 touchdowns to opponents through the air. The Vikings need to add quality cornerbacks to the roster this offseason and there are a couple different ways to go about it. Should they go the free agent route, however, there is one name they should be wary of: Bryce Callahan, of the Denver Broncos.

Vikings Warned not to Take Bait on Standout Broncos CB Callahan

Bryce Callahan Broncos

GettyDenver Broncos cornerback Bryce Callahan playing against the New York Jets in prime time.

The Vikings are familiar with Callahan, who started out his career with the Chicago Bears in 2014 and played in the NFC North Division for four seasons. A quality player throughout his NFL tenure, Callahan has one glaring flaw that could prove problematic for Minnesota should they ink him to a deal.

Alex Kay, of Bleacher Report, laid out why the Vikings would be mistaken to pursue the talented cornerback out of Denver.

While there are some red flags across the lineup after the squad ranked No. 30 in total defense, the cornerback position in particular must be addressed.

The defense leaned heavily on an aging Patrick Peterson — set to become a free agent — as a starter and had wildly ineffective depth options like Kris Boyd and Alexander Mackensie behind him.

Bryce Callahan could be of some use to Minnesota, but the team would be better served going after an outside cornerback with a history of staying healthy.

Callahan has been an elite slot cornerback during his six seasons but has yet to stay healthy for the duration of any one of those. He missed six games in 2020 and another six this year, a concerning amount of playing time lost in that span.

Given how desperate the Vikings should be to improve the secondary, a reliable cornerback will be a better fit in the Twin Cities.

Vikings Could Look to Address CB Position in NFL Draft

Patrick Peterson

GettyVikings cornerback Patrick Peterson is now a free agent.

Another option for the Vikings would be to address their CB needs in the upcoming NFL Draft.

In his most recent mock draft, CBS Sports Ryan Wilson has Minnesota doing just that, going after Clemson corner Andrew Booth Jr. with the 12th pick in the first round. Booth is the third-ranked CB in the draft and would provide size and athleticism at 6-feet, 200 pounds.

However, the Vikings are also in desperate need of an edge rusher. The 2022 class is loaded at that position, and while the very top-end guys like Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) are expected to be off the board within the first few selections, high upside guys viewed as minor projects like Michigan’s David Ojabo should be available for the Vikings at No. 12.

It will be one of several tough decisions Minnesota’s incoming GM and head coach tandem who will have a lot to work with on the Vikings roster, but also a lot to figure out.

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