Since the bell rang on free agency just 10 days ago, the Minnesota Vikings have been on a mission to repair their broken defense. Saturday was no different when Spielman went out and signed safety, Xavier Woods, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys.
Woods is just 24 years old, but carries four full years of NFL experience. He started just four games in his freshman season but has been a starter for every game he has taken the field for since. According to Chris Tomasson (Pioneer Press), Minnesota tried to get Woods under contract at the veterans minimum earlier in the week but had to go back to the piggy bank to get the deal done.
Fantastic value for a starting-caliber safety.— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) March 27, 2021
He's not an amazing box safety or centerfielder but he's solid at both, which I imagine is why Zimmer wanted him. Instinctive, durable, aggressive to a fault, hits hard but doesn't always wrap up. Real solid pickup for the price. https://t.co/Cw3CNQfS8Y
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) March 27, 2021
Xavier Woods in his career:— PFF MIN Vikings (@PFF_Vikings) March 27, 2021
2020: 61.9 overall, 55.2 run defense, 62.4 coverage
2019: 73.0 O, 67.1 RD, 77.6 Cov
2018: 68.0 O, 60.5 RD, 72.3 Cov
2017: 72.4 O, 77.4 RD, 67.1 Cov
Snaps in 2020: 382 in the box, 349 at free safety, 171 in the slot https://t.co/Qcm7p62s3J
As you can tell by the tweets embedded above, the Minnesota Vikings locked down Xavier Woods on a bargain deal, even if they had to come back with a better offer the second time around. On top of that, Mike Zimmer’s defense is looking a lot less like a pile of recycled strainers.
The Vikings have found a way to significantly improve both the interior of their defensive line and the many holes in their secondary with ten days worth of free agency moves. We’ll see if Slick Rick has any moves left up his sleeve before the draft takes place next month.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan