MINNEAPOLIS -- We talked this morning about how former Dallas Cowboys defensive end George Selvie would seem like a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings as they continue to look for help at defensive end. It appears the Vikings could spend some more time exploring that possibility.
According to a league source, the team is talking about lining up a visit for Selvie, who started 29 games for the Cowboys over the past two seasons and is among the top run defenders on the free agent market at defensive end. The Vikings first called about Selvie on March 7, the opening day of the free-agency negotiating period. Among 4-3 defensive ends, Selvie ranked as the 14th-best run defender in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus' ratings, and was 16th in those rankings in 2013. For comparison's sake, Everson Griffen was ninth among 4-3 defensive ends a year ago, but Brian Robison was 54th and Corey Wootton was 55th.
Coach Mike Zimmer asks his defensive ends to set a hard edge against the run, beating blocks and collapsing gaps before pursuing the quarterback. That's what Michael Johnson did so well for Zimmer in Cincinnati, and why the Vikings were so interested in Johnson before he decided to go back to the Bengals following his release from the Buccaneers last week. Selvie had seven sacks for Dallas in 2013, but the biggest benefit he could bring to the Vikings is likely as a solid member of the defensive end rotation who could line up at left end and stop the run.
Both Robison and Griffen logged more than 900 snaps in 2014, in part because the Vikings didn't have backups they could trust on a consistent basis. If the Vikings can add a player who can help on first and second down, it'd go a long way toward splitting the workload in the group and keeping everyone fresh, which is especially important as Robison turns 32 in April. Outside of Greg Hardy -- who is reportedly negotiating with Dallas and who followed Adrian Peterson onto the commissioner's exempt list last year -- Selvie might be one of the best fits still on the open market for the Vikings at defensive end.