Vikings checking on defensive backs

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings continued to take stock of the free-agent market at a number of different positions on Monday, but there was a noticeable focus on the secondary through their efforts.

According to league sources, the Vikings made calls on a wide range of cornerbacks, from the Green Bay Packers' Davon House to the Philadelphia Eagles' Bradley Fletcher. According to 1500ESPN.com, they also called about Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain, and they were believed to have inquired about the Dallas Cowboys' Sterling Moore, as well. It's advisable to take news of these preliminary phone calls with a grain of salt -- expressing interest in a player is free, after all -- but we can at least see a trend in the players the Vikings are discussing.

It's also worth noting that, according to a league source, the Vikings did make a run at Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who got a five-year, $47.5 million deal to stay in New England and seemed like he would have been an excellent fit in the Vikings' defense. The Vikings talked with McCourty's representatives several times, and were interested in the safety until the price got past $8 million.

With a lucrative deal eventually looming for Harrison Smith, it would have been tricky for the Vikings to pay top dollar for two players at the same position, and a source said that reality ultimately led the Vikings to bow out of the bidding for McCourty. But a safety at a slightly lower price point still figures to be a viable option for the Vikings; from what we've heard, safety is at or near the top of their shopping list, and with a thin draft class at the position, it wouldn't be surprising to see the team pursue an established player at the position.

Deals can officially be signed at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. We'll see if the Vikings have a new addition to their defense -- or a new backup quarterback after the team offered Shaun Hill a contract -- by then.