Should the Vikings be interested in signing Dre Kirkpatrick?

The Vikings could use a veteran in the secondary, but does he fit?
Publish date:
Dre Kirkpatrick

The Minnesota Vikings have been in desperate need of help at the cornerback position heading into the 2020 season. 

With Xavier Rhodes being released (and signing in Indianapolis), the Vikings lost two more starters when Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency.

While the Vikings addressed the need by drafting Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler, and Harrison Hand, they could still use a veteran presence, which could lead their search back to Cincinnati and Dre Kirkpatrick.

Is Kirkpatrick already a Viking?

The rumors between Kirkpatrick and the Vikings were already there after the Alabama product broke into the league while Mike Zimmer was the Bengals defensive coordinator in 2012 until he left for Minnesota in 2014.

That relationship would make a teacher/student reunion make sense as the Bengals released Kirkpatrick after eight seasons and five as a starter. But the Vikings haven't pulled the trigger yet...or have they?

Kirkpatrick's Wikipedia page was edited this past week to say that he has already signed with the Vikings, but that was cleared up quickly since Wikipedia is a user-generated site and anyone can post anything.

But a smaller fan blog site known as Essentially Sports also stirred the pot, listing Kirkpatrick as a Viking in a headline for a story speaking out on the riots in response to the death of George Floyd.

The Vikings have not officially "roped in" Kirkpatrick as of yet, but it's gotten many wondering if Kirkpatrick could eventually wind up in purple and gold.

What can Kirkpatrick bring to the table?

On paper, Kirkpatrick is a player that fits the mold of what Zimmer wants in a cornerback. The 30-year-old stands at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, but his 4.51 second time in the 40-yard dash coming out of Alabama is a little slower than what they like to see (especially for a guy with eight years under his belt in the league).

An idea to mask that deficiency could be to stick him in the slot to help cover the loss of Alexander, but even that's not a given. Kirkpatrick played 68 snaps in the slot during his rookie year in 2013 per Pro Football Focus and 33 the following season but hasn't become a regular at that position.

With that in mind, it's hard to see how that would be an upgrade over Mike Hughes, who played 103 snaps in the slot last season but is recovering from a neck injury. Gladney also has the measurements to play the position but needs time to learn how to play in the slot, something that took Alexander a couple of years to master.

On top of this, Kirkpatrick wasn't good for the Bengals last season. His 126.5 passer rating allowed when targeted was 10th in the NFL last season and was right behind Rhodes, who allowed a 127.8 rating when targeted. In addition, his 1.50 yards allowed per coverage snap was identical to Rhodes.

Mix in a knee injury that ended his 2019 season after Week 6 and there's a reason Kirkpatrick is still on the market.

Should the Vikings be interested?

After looking at this, why would the Vikings want to get rid of Rhodes and then bring in Kirkpatrick, who was equally as bad last year? It would depend on Zimmer's preference for familiarity.

Zimmer knows Kirkpatrick from his time in Cincinnati and if he feels it might take more time for his rookies to acclimate to the NFL, Kirkpatrick could be a veteran presence to lean on during training camp and potentially the early part of the 2020 season.

In addition, the elder statesman of the Vikings' cornerback room is Hughes, who has just five career starts at age 25. By comparison, Kirkpatrick has 67 and can be a reference to the younger players.

Perhaps the most appealing factor about bringing Kirkpatrick in would be his cost. While Rhodes was due to make $12.9 million this season, it's possible the Vikings could get Kirkpatrick for the veteran's minimum of $1.05 million.

If the Vikings are looking for someone to lock down the starting cornerback spot in 2020, they should probably look to their rookies and take the growing pains that come with it. If they want to add another coach on the field ala Terence Newman, it might be worth giving Kirkpatrick a call.

Next Up


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.


Desmond King

Should the Vikings be interested in Desmond King?

The Chargers corner is reportedly on the trade block.

Mike Zimmer

Should the Vikings extend Mike Zimmer prior to 2020?

The Vikings' head coach is entering the final year of his contract.

Jalen Waddle

5 NFL Draft prospects Vikings fans should watch

If the Vikings can't get Trevor Lawrence, who else is in the draft?

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Dalvin Cook

The argument for why the Vikings need to sign Dalvin Cook

The centerpiece of the Vikings offense could be replaced, but...

Everson Griffen

Ex-Viking Everson Griffin slams Kirk Cousins, apologizes

The former Vikings star is seemingly campaigning to re-join the Vikings.

Mike Zimmer

Report: Vikings finalizing multi-year extension with Mike Zimmer

The Vikings' head coach was heading into the final year of his contract.

Mike Zimmer

Bad luck or failure to adapt? Vikings must decide Mike Zimmer's future

2020 has been a rough year for the Vikings, but Zimmer's flaws go beyond some bad luck.