We’ve already seen one restricted free agent defensive back sign an offer sheet with another club earlier today, as Packers safety Sean Richardson inked a (possible) deal with the Raiders. Another RFA — Broncos cornerback Tony Carter — could also draw interest from around the league in the coming weeks, and the Vikings have the 28-year-old on their “radar,” according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link).
Carter, who spent some time on the Vikings’ offseason roster in 2011, has been the subject of acquisition rumors before, as he generated trade interest leading up to last year’s trade deadline. He ultimately stayed in Denver, but he’s see his role on the club’s defense greatly reduced behind Chris Harris, Aqib Talib, and Bradley Roby. An undrafted free agent in 2009, Carter is certainly capable of posting high-quality production, as evidenced by his 2012 season, when he posted two interceptions and earned a +6.9 grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
The Broncos tendered Carter at the lowest level (a salary of $1.542MM), meaning that while they’ll have the right to match any offer that Carter receives, they won’t be entitled to compensation if they don’t match. Given that they’re already paying large salaries to both Harris and Talib, I doubt they’d be willing to match any significant offer sheet that Carter might sign. Along with the Vikings, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens were also interested in Carter, as they discussed the corner with Denver prior to last year’s trade deadline.
Wolfson stresses that nothing is imminent between Minnesota and Carter, adding that Carter could become an option for the club if they don’t select a corner in the draft. As such, this is a situation which could play out over several weeks.