Slot cornerback Mackensie Alexander is returning to the Minnesota Vikings after spending one season with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to his agent Neil Schwartz.
It's a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum for Alexander, which is incredible value.
The Vikings are loading up at corner after being extremely thin at that position last year. After adding Patrick Peterson, now they've landed a veteran nickelback with four years of experience in Mike Zimmer's defense.
Peterson and Alexander, who turns 28 in November, will be the two veterans in a room that also includes 2020 draft picks Cameron Dantzler, Jeff Gladney, and Harrison Hand, as well as oft-injured 2018 first-rounder Mike Hughes and 2019 late-round pick Kris Boyd.
If the Vikings can add another safety to replace Anthony Harris and replace Harrison Smith, that has a chance to be an excellent secondary.
Alexander played in 13 games for the Bengals last year after signing a one-year deal there last offseason. He finished with 47 tackles, six pass breakups, and one interception. More importantly, despite dealing with some injury issues, he finished with a 67.2 PFF coverage grade and allowed a passer rating of 87 on throws in his coverage.
When he's healthy and at his peak, Alexander can be one of the better slot corners in the NFL. His physicality and familiarity with the nuances of Zimmer's scheme make this a good signing for both parties.
Alexander was originally drafted by the Vikings out of Clemson in the second round in 2016. He played in 55 games for Minnesota during his rookie contract, peaking in 2018 with a strong all-around season on nearly 600 snaps.
With Alexander and Weatherly returning from playing one season elsewhere and injured players Danielle Hunter and Anthony Barr coming back, the Vikings are getting the band back together. Throw in Peterson and new defensive tackles Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson, and the Vikings have a chance to be back to their old ways on Zimmer's favorite side of the ball.