Skip to main content

The Vikings are running out of defensive backs

If the season started at this very moment, Mike Hughes would be the top cornerback.
Mike Hughes

Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander signed with the Bengals. 

Jayron Kearse reached a deal with the Lions. 

Xavier Rhodes was released. 

Anthony Harris, still with the Vikings, is reportedly on the trade block after being franchise-tagged. 

It's safe to say the Vikings' defensive backfield is skin and bones at this point, only anchored by perennial Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith and Harris, if he's not traded. 

Let's zoom in on the roster to find Minnesota's secondary options: 

  • Mike Hughes, CB
  • Holton Hill, CB
  • Kris Boyd, CB
  • Mark Fields, CB
  • Nate Meadors, CB
  • Marcus Sayles, CB
  • Kemon Hall, DB
  • Harrison Smith, S
  • Anthony Harris, S

Hughes, who has battled injuries in both of his seasons in the NFL, is now the No. 1 cornerback on the roster. He was a first-round pick so his potential is clearly high, but behind him is a depth chart loaded with questions.

Hill and Boyd got some playing time last season, but when push came to shove in the playoffs, coach Mike Zimmer chose to start Andrew Sendejo, a safety, at nickel corner. Sendejo is now a free agent with his name being connected to the Browns in the latest rumor mill. 

Truth be told, Zimmer does have a brilliant history of developing cornerbacks into high-caliber starters, so perhaps Hill and Boyd will be given expanded roles in 2020. But the situation in the secondary doesn't look great on paper, especially since Minnesota is strapped for cash as they're only approximately $7 million under the salary cap, according to Over The Cap. 

Trading Harris would free up $11 million, but it would also create another need in the secondary. 

The good news in all of this is that the Vikings have 13 picks in the April NFL Draft, which is considered by many experts to be as deep as any draft in league history. 

Next Up

basketball unsplash stock

High school basketball games canceled after adult 'threatens to bring gun'

The boys and girls varsity and JV games between South St. Paul Secondary and Two Rivers High were canceled.

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 9.18.37 PM

Bed, Bath & Beyond closing 86 more stores, including in Bloomington

The struggling chain closed a store in St. Cloud last year.

Andy Trowbridge

Tributes to KARE 11 sports producer who has died at age 35

KARE says Andrew Trowbridge died following a 'brief illness.'


Man pleads guilty to murder of Inver Grove Heights father

Michael Chang-Beom Lee, 43, was killed during a burglary at his home.

Eggs at Hy-Vee

Price comparison: How much do eggs cost at Twin Cities grocery stores?

Prices have been spiking, so where can you find the cheapest eggs?


FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.


St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.


Danielle Hunter

The Vikings' defensive starters if the season started today

The defense will look a lot different in 2020.

Danielle Hunter

Coller: Can Vikings' remaining stars sustain excellence on defense?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Danielle Hunter

And just like that, the Vikings defense appears fully loaded

The defensive line will likely have four entirely new starters from last year.

Holton Hill

Ranking Vikings defensive backs in the NFC North

Minnesota's safeties are elite, but the cornerbacks bring them down the rankings.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook officially ruled out for Vikings-Falcons game

Mike Zimmer wasn't interested in talking about player injuries during Friday's press call.

Justin Jefferson

And just like that the Vikings have a spot in the playoff race

If the playoffs started today, the Vikings would face the Packers in the first round.