Stay or go: 2021 Vikings defense poll results

The Minnesota Vikings need to shake things up to compete for an NFC North crown in 2021.

According to Over The Cap, Minnesota is currently at $7.6 million above the salary cap, which ranks 23rd in the NFL. The Vikings will need to trim that number down and make room for a free-agent signing or two before March 17, the first day of the new league year. Signings and cuts will be in the Vikings’ near future, with a possible trade or two mixed in.

We offered our take on who the Vikings should retain and who they should let walk out the door on defense ahead of the 2021 season.

But what about you, the fan base?

Below, we present the results from Vikings fans from around the web voting on the fate of their favorite (or, in some cases, least favorite) players. (Also see: Results from our offense poll)



Michael Pierce, signed as a free agent last offseason, opted out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns. Apparently, Vikings fans are holding out hope he was the missing piece to the Vikings defensive line in 2020, because he received 98.7% votes to stay, the highest among all defensive linemen.

Danielle Hunter, who the Vikings also missed in 2020, had the second-best mark at 96.7%. Maybe the other 3.3% are hoping Hunter will get traded?

Minnesota fans seem like they’re ready to move on from Jalyn Holmes, Jaleel Johnson and Shamar Stephen — all who played at least 57% of the defensive snaps in 2020.

Abdullah Anderson 9.6%
Jordan Brailford 47.7%
Jalyn Holmes 38.2%
Danielle Hunter 96.7%
Jaleel Johnson 28.6%
James Lynch 69.9%
Hercules Mata’afa 83.1%
Ifeadi Odenigbo 58.8%
Michal Pierce 98.7%
Shamar Stephen 39.2%
Armon Watts 69.4%
Kenny Willekes 59.1%
D.J. Wonnum 94.2%
Eddie Yarbrough 86.7%



First-round pick Jeff Gladney is one of two Vikings defensive players to be welcomed back with 100% voting. Cameron Dantzler, a 2020 third-round pick who excelled at his position, wasn’t far behind at 98.5%.

A majority of Vikings fans want to see Mike Hughes back in purple this fall, but it’s close. Hughes tallied just 59% of the stay vote. He finished behind Kris Boyd, Dantzler, Gladney and Harrison Hand.

Kris Boyd 69.8%
Cameron Dantzler 98.5%
Jeff Gladney 100.0%
Harrison Hand 79.7%
Tae Hayes 18.2%
Mike Hughes 59.0%
Chris Jones 23.6%
Luther Kirk 13.2%
Dylan Mabin 20.8%
Cordrea Tankersley 26.4%



Just about every Vikings fan wanted Anthony Harris back following the 2019 season. After all, he tied for the league lead with six interceptions and added a seventh in the playoffs. What a difference a year makes. Signed with a franchise tag, Harris didn’t do much. And the fans have displayed their displeasure. Harris collected just 15.4% of the stay vote, which isn’t a good sign for someone who didn’t miss a single defensive snap all season.

Josh Metellus, a sixth-round pick by Minnesota in 2020, earned a nice vote of confidence with an 85.2% of the stay vote. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Myles Dorn 40.4%
Anthony Harris 15.4%
George Iloka 10.3%
Josh Metellus 85.2%
Curtis Riley 7.8%
Harrison Smith 94.9%



Eric Kendricks is beloved among Vikings fans with 100% of the stay vote. But that was not the case for his partner in crime, Anthony Barr, who saw 37.9% of Minnesota faithful vote him off the island. Even more interesting, Eric Wilson — an unrestricted free agent, by the way — nearly matched Barr with a 61.4% stay result.

Ryan Connelly, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn., didn’t have enough Eden Prairie Eagles vouch for him, receiving 47.1% stay votes.

Anthony Barr 62.1%
Ryan Connelly 47.1%
Todd Davis 51.0%
Troy Dye 85.7%
Eric Kendricks 100.0%
Blake Lynch 43.4%
Hardy Nickerson 24.5%
Cameron Smith 54.7%
Eric Wilson 61.4%


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