Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Meet the free agents: DT Fred Evans
By Ben Goessling
Every day we'll take a look at one of the Minnesota Vikings heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team before and a prognosis on whether or not he'll be back with the club in 2014.
Free agent to be: Fred Evans
Position: Defensive tackle
Years in the league: 8
What he made last season: $1,750,000 (cap number); $1,500,000 (cash value)
What he did last season: Evans was again a rotational player in the Vikings' defense, splitting time with Letroy Guion at nose tackle. He missed two games with a knee injury, and didn't record a sack after notching two in 2012. Pro Football Focus ranked him the 46th-best defensive tackle in football, rating him slightly below-average. With Guion struggling, and also missing some time because of injury, Evans got 34 percent of the Vikings' defensive snaps, but his play particularly slipped at the end of the year.
His potential market value: He'll likely be able to find a job as a rotational player on a defensive line -- teams are always in the market for serviceable linemen, and Evans' size (6-foot-5, 307 pounds) has helped keep him on the field regularly for most of his career. He certainly won't get a big-time offer, but he should be able to offer some value and find playing time for some team.
Will he still fit the Vikings? It wouldn't be in any kind of major role, but as unsettled as things are for the team at nose tackle right now, Evans could be brought back. The Vikings need an upgrade at the position, and they won't get it by keeping the same personnel they've had in the past, but Evans could be of some use in spot duty.
What happens: Even though the Vikings could bring him back, the guess here is the Vikings let Evans go, choosing to restock the position with younger and cheaper tackles.