The Minnesota Vikings have roughly $38 million in salary-cap room, which places them in the upper half in the NFL (although a far cry from the over $100 million Cleveland has to spend). Minnesota hasn't been shy proclaiming their desire to upgrade its offensive line. There are other areas of need as well and with the Vikings having no first-round draft pick, they might need to find immediate impact players via free agency. While the Vikings could re-sign some of their own free agents, here are a few worth keeping an eye on as Minnesota gets set to (perhaps) open up its checkbook.
Kelvin Beachum, left tackle
Due to injuries, left tackle was a revolving door of ineptitude for Minnesota in 2016. It is best for the Vikings and Matt Kalil to move on from the former first-round draft pick. Beachum has been solid if unspectacular in his five seasons with Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. He would be a lower-cost option who would nevertheless be an upgrade for Minnesota.
Donta Hightower, outside linebacker
The thought of pairing Anthony Barr and Hightower on the outside along with Eric Kendricks on the inside is an appetizing thought. It would be hard to imagine a better linebacker trio in the NFL. Hightower had 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defensed and a forced fumble in 2016 with New England, which decided not to place the franchise tag on him. Hightower is expected to command a large payday and it might not be worth it for Minnesota with other needs, but they do need another starting outside linebacker.
USA TODAY SportsRon Chenoy
Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback
Terence Newman could retire and Captain Munnerlyn is looking for a four- or five-year contract. Minnesota has options at cornerback, but plays in the nickel so often that it needs at least three or four solid corners. Kirkpatrick, who emerged as a starter the last two seasons in Cincinnati, has history with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who was the defensive coordinator with the Bengals in Kirkpatrick's first two years in the league. Kirkpatrick has nine career interceptions, including three in 2016, in 66 career games.
USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster
Eddie Lacy, running back
With Adrian Peterson likely not returning to Minnesota, how about another bruising-type running back? Obviously Lacy and Peterson are two different kind of backs, but Lacy has averaged 4.4 yards per carry in his career and has 23 rushing touchdowns in 51 career games. He would be a good complement to Jerick McKinnon as well. The teeth-gnashing from Green Bay fans would just be an added bonus.
T.J. Lang, guard
The Vikings are set at left guard with Alex Boone but could use an upgrade on the right side, which is just where Lang happens to play. Lang is coming off a Pro Bowl season, although he had to miss the game because of hip surgery. Perhaps that will lower Lang's price tag as well. The Packers had a chance to lock up Lang, who will be 30 in September, but could let him walk, just as they did Josh Sitton a year ago. Lang reportedly will let the Packers try to match any offer he gets, however. Either way, he would definitely solidify the offensive line as well give Green Bay fans some angst twice a year.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
Mike Morgan, outside linebacker
An undrafted free agent, Morgan has spent the last six years as a backup in Seattle playing behind a stacked linebacker corps. Morgan could be a breakout player if given a chance to start and wouldn't cost nearly as much as other players on the market, allowing Minnesota to address other needs.
Latavius Murray, running back
Among the early rumors heading into the free-agency period was Minnesota's interest in the Oakland running back. Murray split time at running back with the Raiders last season and gained 788 yards on 4.0 yards a carry with 12 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 33 passes for 264 yards. In 2015, Murray had 1,066 yards rushing. This is a deep running back class, but Murray is only 27 and has but 543 career NFL carries, so there isn't that much wear on his tires. He would allow Minnesota to not have to worry about a running back early in the draft and perhaps take a developmental player later.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Russell Okung, left tackle
There is a bit of an injury history concern with Okung, but he might just be the best left tackle available on the market. After six seasons in Seattle, Okung played all 16 games in a season for the first time in his career last year with Denver. He had nine penalties and four sacks allowed in those 16 games and has given up 24 sacks in 88 career games, which isn't too shabby for a left tackle.
USA TODAY SportsRon Chenoy
Rick Wagner, right tackle
A one-time fifth-round draft pick, Wagner was extremely solid as a starter the last three years with Baltimore, allowing just six sacks in 46 games over that span. Wagner is expected to command a big salary on the open market. After seeing numerous injuries all over the offensive line last year, but especially at tackles, it is nice to know Wagner has missed only two games in his NFL career.
Larry Warford, guard
A four-year starter for Detroit after being selected in the third round in the 2013 draft, Warford is another good guard -- and right guard, at that -- available in free agency. He has allowed just nine sacks and committed only eight penalties in 57 career games -- all starts. On top of that, Warford turns just 27 in June, so he's a player in his prime which can be signed to a longer-term deal. He obviously also knows the NFC North and likely would be extra motivated playing Detroit twice a year.
Kevin Zeitler, guard
There really is a glut of solid right guards for Minnesota to go after and Zeitler is probably the best, which also means he'll be the costliest (think at least $10 million a year). A former first-round pick of Cincinnati, Zeitler has been solid in his five years with the Bengals-- he's allowed just 11.25 sacks in 72 career games, and 4.5 of those came as a rookie -- and he, like Warford, is only 27 years old. If you're going to spend some money, Zeitler is a good place to start.