Vikings Urged to Take Shot on Hyper-Athletic Free Agent CB

Getty Greedy Williams of the Cleveland Browns.

The Minnesota Vikings are expected to look for secondary help early in the upcoming NFL Draft, but a pick or two probably isn’t going to be enough.

Minnesota finished 31st against the pass in 2022, as several of their defensive backs dealt with serious injuries. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has the challenging task of improving the roster while cutting costs, as the Vikings are currently $23.4 million over the salary cap heading into 2023.

Talent at value is therefore the name of the game in Minneapolis, a task often met with the strategy of scooping up former high-end draft picks who did not pan out at their first stops. In the Vikings’ case, a player like cornerback Greedy Williams of the Cleveland Browns could fit the bill.

Vikings Make Sense as Second-Chance Landing Spot For Williams

GettyCleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams is a free agent in 2023.

Cleveland selected Williams with the 46th overall pick in the second round back in 2019. However, a handful of injury issues and subsequent newcomers to the Browns secondary have left Williams on the outside looking in.

The cornerback will officially hit free agency in March, at which point Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report believes a team like the Vikings can scoop Williams up at a bargain.

Williams needs a change of scenery. If he can stay healthy, the 6’2″, 185-pound cornerback can start for a team that needs size and length on the boundary.

After a lost 2020 season, Williams recorded 10 pass breakups and two interceptions while allowing a 55.2 percent completion rate and a 74 passer rating in 2021. With the addition of [Greg] Newsome and [Martin] Emerson, he didn’t have much opportunity to build on that solid campaign, though.

With only 21 starts on his resumé, Williams has more room for development. The Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans finished with bottom-three pass defenses in yards allowed for the 2022 term. All three should kick the tires on a 25-year-old cornerback with flashes of starting potential.

Vikings Have Big Questions in Secondary Heading Into 2023 Season

Andrew Booth Jr.

Courtesy of VikingsVikings rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. underwent knee surgery on November 28, 2022.

The Vikings’ top cornerback last year was veteran Patrick Peterson. While Peterson has indicated both a willingness and a desire to return to Minnesota next season, he is a free agent who played exceptionally well on just a $4 million contract in 2022. Translation: the eight-time Pro Bowler is going to want the money he believes — and is probably right to believe — that he’s owed.

Aside from Peterson, the rest of the secondary was either young, injured or, in several cases, both last year. Cameron Dantzler Jr. missed significant time toward the end of the campaign, while rookie safety Lewis Cine and rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. both suffered season-ending injuries in their initial NFL runs. Another rookie, cornerback Akayleb Evans, suffered three concussions over the course of the year.

The youth movement in the secondary is likely to continue in 2023, as Adofo-Mensah highly prioritized it as part of his first-ever draft as a GM last season. But a player like Williams is the best place to find talent at value outside of a rookie contract, which is why the former LSU product is likely to remain on the Vikings’ radar this offseason.

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