EAGAN, Minn. — After a tough week of saying goodbye to tenured, popular (and high-paid) players, there is finally a bit of good news for fans of the Minnesota Vikings: At least one is sticking around.
The Vikings confirmed early Thursday afternoon that the club reached an agreement with Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith to keep him in Minnesota for the 2023-24 season. NFL insider Ian Rapoport says Smith restructured his deal and will play the 2023-24 season for $8 million with another $2 million in potential incentives.
Rapoport reports that Smith had significant interest from other clubs around the league, but wanted to stay in a place that has become home.
Smith has been with The Purple since being drafted in the first round out of Notre Dame in 2012. In his career he's notched 34 interceptions, 16.5 sacks and made 946 tackles.
He was one of a number of popular veterans at risk of being released due to the Vikings' severe salary cap problems. Linebacker Eric Kendricks and wideout Adam Thielen were numbers casualties, both getting their walking papers in recent days.
In another development, the Vikings agreed to terms with running back Alexander Mattison, who has been a steady backup to starter Dalvin Cook the past four seasons.
Minnesota finalized the deal on Thursday, a day after Mattison became an unrestricted free agent. The third-round 2019 draft pick out of Boise State has rushed for 1,670 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career, with an average of 4.1 yards per carry. He also has 70 receptions for 526 yards and three scores.
Mattison has three career 100-yard rushing games in relief of Cook, who has a salary-cap hit of more than $14 million. For the first time in six seasons, Cook played in every game for the Vikings in 2022, but that might not be enough to keep him with the club as they could use his cap room to address other pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball.
WATCH MORE ON KARE 11+
Download the free KARE 11+ app for Roku, Fire TV, and other smart TV platforms to watch more from KARE 11 anytime! The KARE 11+ app includes live streams of all of KARE 11's newscasts. You'll also find on-demand replays of newscasts; the latest from KARE 11 Investigates, Breaking the News and the Land of 10,000 Stories; exclusive programs like Verify and HeartThreads; and Minnesota sports talk from our partners at Locked On Minnesota.
- Add KARE 11+ on Roku here or by searching for KARE 11 in the Roku Channel Store.
- Add KARE 11+ on Fire TV here or by searching for KARE 11 in the Amazon App Store.
- Learn more about KARE 11+ here.
Watch more of Minnesota sports:
Watch the latest sports videos - from high school hockey to the Minnesota Vikings and everything in between - in our YouTube playlist: