Vikings Miss Chance on Veteran Free Agent CB
The Minnesota Vikings lost a number of cornerbacks this offseason, including Cam Dantzler, Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, and Chandon Sullivan.
All four of these players started at least five games during the 2022 season, and now, they are trying to replace them with veteran Byron Murphy and a bunch of unproven players, none of whom have started more than two games at the NFL level.
Minnesota did have an opportunity to sign another veteran cornerback this offseason in Ronald Darby, who visited the team a few weeks ago. However, the Vikings missed the chance to sign him. As reported by Adam Schefter, Darby has signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Schefter tweeted, “CB Ronald Darby is signing with the Ravens, per source.”
Back in July, I speculated that the Vikings could be interested in the veteran CB:
Ronald Darby is a very twitchy athlete at the cornerback spot with sub-4.4 speed that allows him to keep up with even the quickest receivers. He was one of the very best corners in the NFL during his early career in Buffalo and Philadelphia, recording 44 pass break-ups over his first five seasons from 2015-19.
Darby also spent his three years in Philadelphia being coached by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz who, wouldn’t you know it, got his first NFL job with the Cleveland Browns in 1993, learning under Belichick.
The 29-year-old corner has struggled through injuries over the course of his career, playing fewer than 10 games in three of his eight seasons, so there should be tempered expectations as to how big his role would be if Minnesota were to sign him. However, he is yet another guy who, as a press-man corner who spent time in a Belichick-esque defense, checks a lot of boxes for Flores.
However, it appears that this speculation was for naught. While the Vikings did visit with Darby, no contract was agreed upon, and now, the veteran CB joins the Ravens in the aftermath of Marlon Humphrey’s injury.
For the Vikings, they luckily seem to have avoided serious injuries in their CB room to this point, perhaps lessening the onus to sign another veteran to the roster. Both Mekhi Blackmon and Akayleb Evans left Thursday’s practice with injuries, but neither appear to be all that serious.
Hopefully, the Vikings young CB room can hold up as the regular season approaches. Andrew Booth had a very strong showing during the most recent joint practice against the Tennessee Titans. He made an interception in the end zone on Tennessee’s two-minute drill, and hopefully he is able to build off of that showing moving forward into the weekend.
The Vikings have their second preseason game on Saturday, facing off against the Titans at 7 PM inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.