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Vikings exodus of defensive backs continues

NFL insiders say both cornerback Mackensie Alexander and safety Jayron Kearse struck deals to leave the Purple.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos tight end Troy Fumagalli, center, catches a 3-yard touchdown pass between Minnesota Vikings defenders Mackensie Alexander, left, and Anthony Barr, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

EAGAN, Minn. — The out-door has been far busier than the in-door at TCO Performance Center in Eagan since the start of free agency, as the Vikings try to set their roster for a potential Super Bowl run.

The latest exit from the Purple appears to be defensive back Mackensie Alexander, who multiple sources say has agreed to a one year, $4 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. If true, Alexander would join cornerback Trae Waynes, who also jumped the Vikings ship and signed with Cincinnati when free agency opened. 

Also departing Thursday, according to a report by Sports Illustrated, was safety Jayron Kearse, who is said to be departing for Detroit on a one-year, $2.75 million deal. 

RELATED: Vikings sign DT Michael Pierce, but so far subtractions outnumber additions

Throw in corner Xavier Rhodes, and Minnesota will open the 2020-21 season without their top three corners and a top reserve safety from last season. 

Safety Harrison Smith remains as does fellow safety Anthony Harris, but reports are circulating that the Vikings may be looking to deal Harris after a breakthrough season. 

All this would suggest that head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff have a list of free agents they are targeting to restock the defense back shelves, or the pile of picks in this year's draft (3 gained in the trade of Stefon Diggs) will be used mostly on D-backs. 

The only free agent signing announced by the Vikings so far is the addition of former Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce, a run-stopping specialist who is slotted to take the place of the departing Linval Joseph. 

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