We’re past the NFL draft, and the Minnesota Vikings still don’t have a middle linebacker they feel comfortable with heading into the 2013 season. Aside from making some interior changes or trying to use rookies and second-year’s who might not be too ready, there are still free agents worth taking a look at, like Karlos Dansby and Nick Barnett.
The Vikings have also been linked with Brian Urlacher, but it seems that at this point, Urlacher’s demands are a bit too high for anyone looking into the option of signing him. Unless the former Chicago Bears player will lower his demands, no one is willing to give him even a one-year contract, with very few teams looking for a starter at the position.
As we’ve previously discussed, there are interior changes the Vikings might make in order to occupy the position. They drafted two linebackers, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti. Hodges played outside linebacker during his college years, while Mauti is quite the injury risk after tearing his ACL numerous times over the last four years. There’s also the option of shifting Erin Henderson to he middle, or even using Audie Cole, a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft, to possibly start for them.
But as we’ve mentioned, there are the guys still looking for teams. Karlos Dansby might be the best of them. The 31 year old who last played for the Miami Dolphins has been targeted by a number of teams this off-season, especially the Buffalo Bills. So far, it seems that just like Urlacher, he’s pricing himself out of the market.
Another option is Nick Barnett, who has spent most of his career with the Green Bay Packers but played for the Bills over the last couple of seasons. He’s been moved around in terms of positioning, playing the weak side linebacker last season, but considering the other options they have, the Vikings will settle for him as well and feel like they’ve been upgraded.