With all the recent buzz of free agency signings around the NFL, we were thinking of all the free agents Minnesota Vikings have picked up over the years.
After giving it much contemplation, here are what we believe to be the top five signings by the Minnesota Vikings!
C Antoine Winfield, 2004
It was almost too easy placing Antoine Winfield at the top of this list (which I’ll maintain has no real order) because this guy was a beast. All 5-feet-9-inches of him.
Signed in 2004 from the Buffalo Bills, Winfield went on to play nine seasons with the Vikes — knocking just about everyone down with his bullet-like tackles. He racked up 729 tackles and 21 interceptions with the Purple. He also now is considered one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.
DT Pat Williams, 2005
On the extreme other end of the mass spectrum, the Vikings signed the monstrous Pat Williams (6-foot-3, 310-plus pounds) in 2005.
What did he do with that size you say? Well, he and Kevin Williams helped the Vikings to the No. 1 spot in run defense for three consecutive years! Hence, the “Williams Wall” was born.
The three-time Pro Bowler departed the Vikings in 2011 but his presence, or lack thereof, is still being felt on the defensive line.
QB Randall Cunningham, 1997
He was supposed to be a backup when he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings in 1997. Let that sink in.
That’s not how it went, of course, and he ended up leading the Vikings to a Super-Bowl-was-so-close-we-could-smell-it season in 1998. That year, the team went 15-1 with help from the likes of Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Thirty-four touchdowns, 10 interceptions.
So, going from being out of football in 1996 (yes, really) to near-greatness is definitely good cause for him being on this list.
QB Brett Favre, 2009
Some loathed it, but most welcomed the day long-time Packers’ great Brett Favre signed with the Vikings in 2009. And what a heck of season that was.
In 2009, Favre – along with Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin – marched the team to a 12-4 record with 33 TDs and 7 interceptions.
In true Vikings fashion, however, the 2009 season ended in heartbreak when he threw an interception when the win to the Super Bowl seemed so assured. But what a ride it was. And that’s what Vikings fans love.
Oh, he came back in 2010 but we can forget about that.
K Ryan Longwell, 2006
Let’s give a kicker some credit, shall we? Another graduate of The Pack, the lovable Longwell was signed by the Vikes in 2006. He went on to play a major part in many big wins – kicking nine game-winning field goals. When he left the Vikings in 2012, he left with a Vikings career record of 11 field goals of 50 yards or more.
Honorable Mention: G Steve Hutchinson, 2006
(Please note, Cris Carter was claimed off waivers and the Vikings traded for Jared Allen.)
Who do you think is the greatest signing in Vikings’ history? Vote below!