Vikings Urged to Anchor Defense with 5-Time All-Pro Tackle

Getty Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Minnesota Vikings were in talks to sign Ndamukong Suh last season and could be interested again, as the defensive tackle is back on the free-agent market.

After holding fast for several weeks due to salary demands, Suh ended up joining the Philadelphia Eagles in November 2022 and adding to that franchise’s run to the Super Bowl. The five-time All-Pro wanted $9 million from Minnesota for his services last year — a price the team was unwilling to pay at the time. However, after an 0-3 start that has included two gut-wrenching defeats to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, the Vikings may be more open to Suh’s financial demands.

Bleacher Report’s NFL Staff put together a list of necessities and suggestions for all 32 teams on Monday, September 25, urging the Vikings to add Suh as a top priority.

Throughout the first two weeks of the campaign, the Vikings have five total sacks. Four have been from edge-rusher Danielle Hunter, while defensive tackle Harrison Phillips and linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. have accounted for half a sack each. Clearly, they could use someone else who can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Suh, 36, is well past his prime but he can still be an effective pass-rusher with six sacks in both 2020 and 2021. While he only had one quarterback takedown in eight regular-season games last year, the veteran was serving in a rotational role among Philadelphia’s talented defensive line. He would instantly be Minnesota’s top interior pass-rusher.

Time Is Now for Vikings to Add Ndamukong Suh to Roster

Ndamukong Suh

GettyDefensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, is once again a free agent in 2023.

Minnesota is at its first major crossroads of the 2023 campaign, which considering the circumstances, could also be the last.

A 13-win team last season, the Vikings have been competitive all year save for a rough third quarter on the road against the Eagles in Week 2. Minnesota has two games against 0-3 teams over the next three weeks — the Carolina Panthers, possibly without starting rookie QB Bryce Young, and the Chicago Bears, both on the road — with a home matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in between.

The Vikings are talented enough and have played well enough to believe they can go at least 2-1 over that stretch and potentially play themselves back into contention. Only 2.5% of NFL teams starting 0-3 since 1990 have made the playoffs, but Minnesota plays in a winnable division inside of a weak conference. If the team plans to add pieces like Suh in an attempt to compete, now is the time to do it.

A Few More Losses Could Render Vikings Sellers at NFL Trade Deadline

Adofo-Mensah, O'Connell, Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (left) and head coach Kevin O’Connell (right) of the Minnesota Vikings address the media in February 2022.

The other side of the coin is that it will make sense for the Vikings to become sellers ahead of the NFL’s October 31 trade deadline if the team struggles over its next handful of games. After the three-game stretch mentioned above, Minnesota will host the undefeated San Francisco 49ers then visit the division rival Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field two days before the deadline hits.

Teams like the New York Jets appear desperate for a starting quarterback to bolster what is otherwise potentially a championship roster. The Vikings chose not to extend Kirk Cousins long-term in either of the past two offseasons, and he is set to hit unrestricted free agency in 2024.

If Minnesota doesn’t plan to ride with Cousins into the future, and the 2023 season looks lost, the right decision is to trade him for whatever draft assets the team can acquire. However, if the Vikings intend to make a playoff push, despite the odds stacked against them, then a move or two for players like Suh can’t happen soon enough.

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