MINNEAPOLIS — After making changes to its coaching staff — hiring Brian Flores to replace Ed Donatell as the new defensive coordinator — the Minnesota Vikings are looking to improve their roster as well.
Coming off a 13-4 campaign and their first NFC North title in five years, the Vikings wasted no time getting into the free agency frenzy, agreeing to terms with two players in the first 24 hours. Both agreements were confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because free agent contracts can't be finalized until the new league year begins on Wednesday.
Here's a complete look at players the Vikings have reached agreements with so far:
CB Byron Murphy Jr.: Multiple reports say the Vikings are finalizing a two-year, $22 million deal with the former Arizona Cardinals cornerback. Murphy was one of the top defensive backs in the free agency pool this offseason and should have an immediate impact on a defense that ranked allowed the second-most passing yards of any team in the league last season. Murphy, a former second-round pick, had five interceptions in his first four seasons in the league, including four in 2021. He played college football at the University of Washington.
DE Marcus Davenport: The former first-round pick agreed to a one-year, $13 million contract with the Vikings, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. He was selected 14th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New Orleans, but has had trouble staying healthy. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Davenport had a career-high nine sacks in just 11 games in 2021, but he only had a half-sack last season. He spent the 2022 offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and multiple procedures on his pinky finger, which was partially amputated. Davenport played college football at University of Texas at San Antonio.
TE Josh Oliver: Oliver was a third-round draft pick by Jacksonville out of San Jose State in 2019, but he played in only four games in two seasons for the Jaguars. He suffered a severe hamstring injury in his first training camp and, after a brief return, saw his rookie season end with a back injury. The following year, he broke a bone in his foot in camp and was again placed on season-ending injured reserve. The Jaguars traded him the next spring to the Ravens, for whom he had a limited role in 14 games in 2021. Oliver flourished as a run blocker last season, playing in all 17 games and 47% of the snaps on offense. He had 14 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
DL Dean Lowry: Lowry was a fourth-round draft pick by Green Bay out of Northwestern in 2016. The defensive lineman has played against the Vikings in 13 Border Battles. He has played in 111 regular-season games with 80 starts. Lowry has 224 tackles, 15 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception in his career, according to profootballreference.com.
Safety Harrison Smith: The Vikings confirmed Thursday that "Hitman Harry" will remain with the Vikings after agreeing to restructure his contact. NFL insider Ian Rapoport says Smith accepted an $8 million dollar base salary with another $2 million in possible bonus money.
Reports say the 6-time Pro Bowler was to draw a $14.7 million base salary for 2023-24 before the restructure.
Running Back Alexander Mattison: The Vikings confirm they reached a new deal with Mattison, a 5-year veteran who has capably backed up starter Dalvin Cook for his entire career. With Cook's injury history and a reported $14 million cap hit in 2023-24, some believe he could be released while Mattison ascends into a starter's role.
Center Garrett Bradbury: Bradbury had his best year as a Viking following three seasons of relative disappointment after being a first-round draft choice. Things were so bad before 2022-23 that the team declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
Sports salary website Sportrac says Bradbury inked a 3-year, $15,750,000 contract with the Vikings that includes a $3,820,000 signing bonus and $9,800,000 in guaranteed money (an average annual salary of $5,250,000). That makes him a relative bargain for a starting center.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard: The 8-year NFL veteran returns to the Vikings for a second year, after playing in 12 contests (seven starts) during the 2022-23 season. The 6 foot 3, 290 lb. Bullard registered 23 tackles (17 solo) and five tackles for loss. Terms of the deal were unavailable.
QB Nick Mullens: The 27-year-old Mullens will again serve as backup for Kirk Cousins after signing a two-year, $4 million deal. He was virtually untested in 2022-23 as Cousins remained remarkably healthy.
Kicker Greg Joseph: Sportrac reports Joseph agreed to a 1-year, $2 million deal with Minnesota.
Long snapper Andrew DePaola: DePaola's deal is for 3 years and $4,025,000... not bad for a long snapper, but he is among the best in the league and an extremely popular and respected guy in the locker room.
WR Adam Thielen: The team announced they were releasing the Minnesota native in a move to open up cap space. The former second-team All-Pro spent nine seasons with the Vikings and was one of quarterback Kirk Cousins' more reliable targets in the red zone. In Thielen's nine years with the Vikings, he caught 534 passes for 6,682 yards and 55 touchdowns.
LB Eric Kendricks: Minnesota cut ties with the veteran linebacker earlier in March after he played eight seasons with the Vikings. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2019 and was one of the team's more reliable linebackers during his time. On Monday, Kendricks posted that he agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers.
CB Patrick Peterson: The future Hall-of-Fame cornerback spent just two seasons with the Vikings, but he made a big impact. Despite Minnesota's struggles in coverage during those two years, it rarely fell on his shoulders. Peterson and veteran safety Harrison Smith were the two most consistent defensive backs. The former All-Pro posted on Monday that he agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
DT Dalvin Tomlinson: The 29-year-old defensive tackle signed with the Vikings in 2021 after spending the first four years in the league with the New York Giants. After missing time due to injuries last season, Tomlinson agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns, according to reports.
CB Cameron Dantzler: The former third-round pick is the fourth starter on the defensive side that the Vikings let test free agency. Dantzler spent three seasons with the Vikings. He missed a handful of games with an injury last season and was replaced by Duke Shelley, who played solid in his absence. On Monday, the Washington Commanders claimed Dantzler off waivers.
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