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Vikings sign Giants DT Dalvin Tomlinson to fortify soft defensive line

The 6-foot-3, 318-pound Tomlinson started every game for the Giants over the last four seasons. He had 3 1/2 sacks, eight tackles for loss and 10 QB hits in 2020.
Credit: AP
New York Giants nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson rushes in against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Baltimore. The Ravens won 27-13. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have moved to shore up a problematic defensive line, agreeing to a free agent deal with former New York Giants defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. 

SportsTrust Advisors, Tomlinson's agency, announced the deal on Twitter. 

The 6-foot-3, 318-pound Tomlinson started every game for the Giants over the last four seasons. In 2020, Tomlinson had 3 1/2 sacks, eight tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits.

Shortly after reports of the Tomlinson signing surfaced the Vikings announced that veteran defensive tackle Shamar Stephen has been released. Stephen was drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft, and played six seasons for the team. In 2020-21 he started all 16 games for Minnesota. 

In other moves, the Vikings agreed to terms on a one-year, fully guaranteed contract for offensive tackle Rashod Hill, according to his agent on Twitter. The team recently parted ways with tackle Reilly Reiff, who was recently cut loose to free up salary cap space. Reiff played left tackle, and was trusted with a major role in protecting QB Kirk Cousins. 

NBC's Pro Football Talk is reporting that linebacker Anthony Barr has agreed to restructure his contract to provide more salary cap room for the club to sign free agents. In exchange, Barr will become a free agent after the coming season. His contract was originally scheduled to run through 2022. He missed the final 14 games of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. 

Speed rushing defensive end Stephen Weatherly could help as well, returning to the Vikings as a free agent after a year spent in Carolina. Weatherly started nine games and registered zero sacks with the Panthers. 

Besides rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines, the Vikings will need to find a new kicker after cutting Dan Bailey who struggled mightily in 2020-21. The team signed Greg Joseph, who was on the Tampa Bay practice squad but did not attempt a kick in 2021.