Signing Christian Wilkins is Reportedly a Top Priority for Vikings

Christian Wilkins
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Addressing the quarterback position will be one of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s biggest tasks this offseason. So will reinforcing a defensive line that has long lacked elite talent, but luckily, there are several options available, such as Christian Wilkins.

For those who aren’t familiar, Wilkins is a big, 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle who is coming off a career-high nine-sack season for the Miami Dolphins, but now he’s set for free agency, and there’s a lot of smoke tying him to the Vikings.

This makes sense, considering Minnesota’s needs, but that’s not the only reason why. Wilkins was also the first player the Dolphins drafted after hiring Brian Flores as head coach, and just like Mike Zimmer always had an undying loyalty to Anthony Barr, it’s possible the same feeling is replicated here too.

While the Vikings and their fans always have a long wish list of who they’d like to see added to the team, we must realize there are 31 other NFL teams with the same goals. This means adding an elite talent like Wilkins, who’s one of the very best free agents available, won’t be easy. But that won’t impact how strongly the Vikings pursue the game-wrecking DT, who’s said to be a “priority” for Minnesota’s front office this offseason.

“None makes more sense than longtime Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, whom Flores drafted in 2019. Wilkins is versatile, durable and forceful, which is everything Flores seeks. Familiarity is a plus, too. Landing him will likely be a priority, but Wilkins’ market may push Minnesota to around $23 million a year. In that scenario, another question arises: Would you rather offer that type of contract to the 28-year-old Wilkins or the 29-year-old Danielle Hunter?”

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis on Vikings’ interest in Christian Wilkins

Lewis brings up a great point. Who brings better value? Paying Danielle Hunter roughly $23 million per season or handing a similar contract to Wilkins? Ultimately, the choice may not be up to the Vikings.

If Hunter finds a better offer elsewhere, then the Vikings pivoting to Wilkins could still be considered a ‘win’ for the offseason. Yet, letting both slip through their grasp could be a big mistake that leaves the front seven without a single elite player in the group.

In turn, it makes a lot of sense to prioritize chasing Wilkins, whether they lose Hunter or not. But could you imagine having both in Brian Flores’ defense? That’s nasty, in a very good way.

Related: Could Reports of Kirk Cousins’ $100M Salary Demands Cause Falcons to Fly Away?

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