The Super Bowl is over and now the NFL is entering the offseason. In the spirit of the Super Bowl and free agency, which starts in just over a month, here are three players that will be free agents who could help the Vikings next season.
1. LaGarrette Blount – RB, New England
Let's pretend for a minute that after the Vikings' "tough analysis" of Adrian Peterson's future in Minnesota he is released and the team moves on in a different direction.
At 30, Blount isn't a lot younger than AP, but he is coming off his best year in the NFL. He ran for 1,168 yards and a league-high 18 touchdowns.
But given James White's Super Bowl showing, Blount's return to New England seems unlikely. He could provide the Vikings with the lead ball carrier they need to compliment Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata.
2. Taylor Gabriel – WR, Atlanta
Taylor Gabriel was released by the Cleveland Browns over the summer. However, the intriguing 25-year-old restricted free agent could help the Vikings significantly, especially if Cordarrelle Patterson signs elsewhere.
Gabriel was an explosive weapon for Atlanta, catching 35 passes for 579 yards and six touchdowns. At 5-foot-8, Gabriel is an exceptional route runner, isn't afraid to work the middle of the field and has blazing speed.
But it would likely take a significant investment from the Vikings to make Gabriel an offer the Falcons would not match.
3. Matt Schaub – QB, Atlanta
No, Matt Schaub wouldn't come to the Vikings with the expectation that he'd be the starting quarterback. But if Shaun Hill retires, Schaub could be the veteran backup Minnesota might need.
It doesn't sound like Teddy Bridgewater will be ready for at least the start of 2017, so there may be a need.
Schaub only threw three passes all season, but he did start two games for the Ravens in 2015, going 1-1. If the Vikings don't feel Taylor Heineke is ready to be the primary backup, they could do a lot worse than Schaub.