Vikings: A look at the departures, returners and additions in NFL free agency
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - We’re about two weeks into the NFL offseason, and there has already been plenty of shake-up when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings roster.
There are still plenty of questions to answer, but here’s a look at where the roster is at as the NFL holds its annual meetings next week in Arizona.
The Vikings have had six significant departures, between releases to shed salary and free agents moving onto other teams.
Eric Kendricks (Chargers), Patrick Peterson (Steelers), Cam Dantzler (Commanders), Adam Thielen (Panthers), Duke Shelley (Raiders), Dalvin Tomlinson (Browns)
The Vikings have to replace a starting linebacker and key leader in Kendricks, and two starters in the secondary with Peterson and Dantzler. Tomlinson is a significant loss up front, and Thielen will get an opportunity in a more prominent role in Carolina.
Harrison Smith, Garrett Bradbury, C.J. Ham, Austin Schlottmann, Alexander Mattison, Jordan Hicks, Jonathan Bullard, Nick Mullens, Oli Udoh, Ben Ellefson, Kenny Willekes, Greg Joseph and Andrew DePaola.
Harrison Smith and Jordan Hicks are among a few players to take pay cuts to come back. Bradbury is back when he could’ve been a free agent, and Mattison returns to the backfield. Joseph and DePaola give the Vikings added stability in special teams.
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
Byron Murphy (CB), Marcus Davenport (EDGE), Josh Oliver (TE), Dean Lowry (DT), Brandon Powell (WR) and Troy Reeder (LB).
Murphy becomes the Vikings’ most experienced defensive back. Davenport and Lowry will contribute on the defensive line, Oliver gives the Vikings a blocking tight end and Powell gives the Vikings an option on punt return.
Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Cook.
We still don’t know what the future holds for Cook, and Smith. Cook earned a $2 million injury bonus last Friday, and Smith earned a $5 million guarantee as well. There’s still time for the Vikings to move both, and if they keep them, some shuffling with money will have to be done to the salary cap.
VIKINGS START OFFSEASON PROGRAM APRIL 17
The NFL on Friday announced the dates for the offseason programs for all 32 teams. The Vikings will start on April 17, with organized team activities to follow on May 22-23, 25, 30-31, June 2, 5-6 and 8. The Vikings will hold a mandatory minicamp June 13-14.
Last year, the Vikings were one of a few teams allowed to start their offseason program a week earlier, with Kevin O’Connell being a first-time head coach.