The Minnesota Vikings might not be waiting until the official start of free agency on March 13 to shore up their struggling secondary.
According to a report by Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas, Minnesota has expressed interest in cornerback Stanford Routt, who was released by the Oakland Raiders on Thursday. Routt, a seven-year veteran, was cut just a year after signing a new five-year, $54.5 million contract with Oakland that included at least $20 million in guaranteed money.
Watkins spoke to Routt’s agent, Vann McElroy, who said Routt has visits scheduled with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans and has also been contacted by the Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs.
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Minnesota’s secondary struggled all season, allowing the most passing touchdowns in the league and a 107.6 rating to opposing quarterbacks, the highest in the NFL. The Vikings had veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield for just five games because of two separate injuries, and second-year cornerback Chris Cook played only six games because of lingering legal troubles. The rest of the secondary struggled with increased reps, and Cedric Griffin never seemed comfortable in his return from his second knee surgery.
Routt became a casualty of his new contract as the Raiders, and new general manager Reggie McKenzie, are looking to free themselves of a tough salary cap situation. Routt’s play also didn’t match up with his new deal. According to STATS LLC, Routt allowed eight touchdown passes, tied for second-most in the league, and committed a league-high 17 penalties. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.