MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - NFL free agency officially starts Wednesday afternoon, but the Minnesota Vikings roster is already starting to take shape after two days of legal tampering.
Tuesday’s moves started with restructuring the contract of quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is now costing the Vikings only $20.25 million against the salary cap instead of $36.25 million. The move, however, is not an extension and doesn’t solidify Cousins’ future in Minnesota after 2023.
The Vikings also announced they’ve agreed to terms with center Garrett Bradbury, Nick Mullens, Greg Joseph and Andrew DePaola. Bradbury was a 2019 first round pick, and missed five games last year with a back injury, but Tuesday’s move keeps last year’s starting offensive line intact.
Mullens will back-up Cousins, giving the Vikings a viable option if their franchise quarterback gets hurt.
Joseph has battled for his roster spot since he came to the Vikings two years ago. He was 26-of-333 on field goals last year, including tying an NFL record with five game-winning kicks, which is also a Vikings’ franchise record. He also made history with a 61-yard game-winning kick, the longest made field goal in team history. He was 40-of-46 on extra points in 2022.
In two seasons with the Vikings, he’s 59-of-71 on field goals and 76-of-86 on extra points. DePaola returns to the Vikings on a multi-year deal after earning his first career trip to the Pro Bowl as a long snapper.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s biggest move might have come Tuesday night. The Vikings reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year deal with defensive back Byron Murphy. He spent his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, and with the departures of Patrick Peterson and Cam Dantzler, immediately becomes the most experienced defensive back on the Vikings’ roster.
In 56 career games and 48 starts, Murphy has 229 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks and five interceptions, one for a touchdown. He also has 34 passes defended, and five fumble recoveries, with one for a score. He missed the final eight games of last season with a back injury, but comes to the Vikings healthy.
Murphy was widely considered one of the top free agent defensive backs on the market.
Before Murphy, the Vikings’ defensive backs under contract with experience were Akayleb Evans and Andrew Booth Jr. Duke Shelley, Chandon Sullivan and Kris Boyd could test free agency.
On Monday, the Vikings lost Patrick Peterson to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dalvin Tomlinson to the Cleveland Browns. They agreed to terms with tight end Josh Oliver, and pass rusher Marcus Davenport.