If former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer wants to put an end to the endearment that fans hold for him, the next step he could take is pillaging Cincinnati's roster. OK, there's not much he could do, in reality, other than signing away Michael Johnson -- no one really believes that the Bengals will successfully retain him anyway.
When asked if Zimmer is going after former players that he coached in Cincinnati, he said it'd be nice.
"It always helps because of the communication, but it’s not relative," said Zimmer via the Star Tribune. "I had no one in Cincinnati [his first year]. Matter of fact, I was the only new coach I think when I went there on defense. I had no players that came with me at that time. It’d be nice, but it’s not imperative."
Two targets that the Star Tribune offer up is the obvious Michael Johnson and restricted free agent Vincent Rey. Johnson will cost Minnesota money, but they have the cap number to bring him on board. NFL Insider Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network calls Johnson Minnesota's top target.
If Michael Johnson is free, he’s a top target for Vikes RT @NFL_ATL: Will Bengals free agents flock to Minnesota? http://t.co/AKHOR93Tmf— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2014
Rey is an interesting perspective -- which may bite Cincinnati in the end.
The Bengals tendered the restricted free agent as an original round tender with $1.431 million. Minnesota could easily sign Rey to an offer sheet and if the Bengals are unable to match, they lose both the player and any compensation that would have come with it -- had they added another million to Rey's tender, the Bengals would have received second-round compensation.