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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. 

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