Broncos Sign Former Vikings DL Shamar Stephen

Another George Paton import.
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Stacking an already imposing front-seven, the Denver Broncos signed former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Shamar Stephen to a one-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Terms of Stephen's deal are not available as of this writing.

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A 2014 seventh-round pick out of Uconn, Stephen began his NFL career with the Vikings, making 16 appearances and notching three tackles as a rookie. He played in 36 games (17 starts) for the Vikings from 2015-17 — adding 28 solo tackles and five quarterback hits over that span — before joining the Seattle Seahawks in 2018, when he posted a personal-best two sacks in 15 games.

Stephen rejoined the Vikings in 2019, inking a three-year, $12.45 million contract, and returned to full-time duty. He logged 35 solo tackles (four for loss), five QB hits, and 1.5 sacks over the last two seasons, starting 31 of a possible 32 games.

He was released by Minnesota on March 16 and drew little known interest in free agency.

Stephen is the second player to reunite with ex-Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, now the Broncos' GM. Last month, Paton imported former Vikings running back Mike Boone following the departure of Phillip Lindsay.

The 6-foot-5, 309-pound defender gives Denver valuable depth along its line. Depending on where he's deployed, Stephen should operate in a rotational capacity behind locked-in starters Shelby Harris and Dre'Mont Jones. He, too, could kick inside on passing downs, spelling nose tackle Mike Purcell.

The team also has several other defensive linemen on its expansive offseason roster, including McTelvin Agim, a 2020 third-round draft pick, and DeShawn Williams, whom the coaching staff holds in high regard.


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