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Bleacher Report – Vikings

The most intriguing players on NFL.com’s ‘cut candidates’ list

By Matthew Coller

In just over one month, the flood gates will open to NFL free agency. The list of players hitting the market could grow exponentially by the beginning of the new league year on March 14.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal dug into a group of players who could be released and become unrestricted free agents. The list has a fair number of players who might catch the Vikings’ eye.

Let’s have a look…

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills

The Bills are set to take on an $18 million cap hit if they keep Taylor, who appeared to be on his way out last year when the team benched him for rookie Nate Peterman at one point. It would cost Buffalo $8 million in dead cap money to move on. Over the last three years, Taylor has a 22-20 record with 51 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 92.5 rating to go along with 1,575 yards rushing. If the Vikings do not retain either Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater, they will be on the lookout for another option. If he is an unrestricted free agent, Taylor’s name would be in the mix if no other teams are willing to lock him in as their starting QB.

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, New York Jets

Once a dominant player, Wilkerson has fallen off significantly in his sack production over the last two years. In 2015, he had 12.0 sacks and rated by Pro Football Focus as one of the best players at the position. This year, PFF scored him 50th and he only picked up 3.5 sacks. Of course, his decline has come along with the slide of the Jets as a whole. If Wilkerson played alongside Linval Joseph, he might be more dangerous than in the past few years.

Julius Thomas, TE, Miami Dolphins

A Pro Bowler in Denver (with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball), Thomas has sputtered since leaving the Broncos, playing two nondescript years in Jacksonville then catching 41 passes for the Dolphins last year. It would be surprising if he was given a No. 1 job anywhere, making him a possibility as a role player. The Vikings rode Kyle Rudolph and David Morgan last year, but lacked a No. 3 option that would have come in handle when Rudolph was slowed by injury.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Playing in a very limited offense, Maclin caught 40 passes last season. The Vikings’ attempt to pick up a veteran receiver last year (Michael Floyd) didn’t work out. They could still use another receiver to support Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Maclin is only 29 years old.

Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals

Mike Zimmer might look to an old friend for a rotational pass rusher if Johnson hit the market. He was a key player on some of Zimmer’s best defense in Cincinnati.

Dwayne Allen, TE, New England Patriots

After filling a solid role for the Colts for years, Allen didn’t find much success in New England, catching just 10 passes for 86 yards. In 2016 he was effective, making 35 receptions and six touchdowns.

Jordy Nelson OR Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

It’s clear Devante Adams is the top dog in Green Bay, so the Packers are likely to part ways with one of the other two top receivers.

Josh Sitton, G, Chicago Bears

The Vikings should be quite intrigued if Sitton lands on the market. He ranked fifth by Pro Football Focus last season. With Joe Berger likely to retire, the Vikings have an opening at guard.

Torrey Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Smith wasn’t one of Philadelphia’s top receivers, but filling a role he grabbed 36 passes for 460 yards. The Vikings don’t need much more than that out of a No. 3.

Orlando Scandrick, CB, Dallas Cowboys

If the Vikings are looking to fill out their cornerback group more this year, they might consider the 31-year-old veteran if he is released by Dallas.

The post The most intriguing players on NFL.com’s ‘cut candidates’ list appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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