The legal tampering period for 2020 free agency kicked off on Monday, and with it came a flurry of signings, tags, and trades around the league. With the new league year set to begin at 3 p.m. central time on Wednesday, it promises to be a busy week of transactions in the NFL.
The Vikings got involved frequently on Monday, and there are many more moves ahead for Rick Spielman and company. Listed below is every single move made by the Vikings during this busy time, with the newest transactions at the top of the page. Make sure to check back often for the latest updates and analysis.
Friday, March 27
Vikings re-sign Jones, Abdullah, Dozier
The Vikings are making sure to retain as much of their depth as possible. They re-signed running back/kick returner Ameer Abdullah and interior offensive linemen Brett Jones and Dakota Dozier.
Thursday, March 26
Colts sign Xavier Rhodes to one-year deal
What was suspected is now official: Xavier Rhodes's Vikings career is over. Two weeks after he was released for cap savings, Rhodes has signed a one-year deal with the Colts. The former All-Pro will look to prove he still has something left in the tank. Full story: Xavier Rhodes Signs One-Year Deal With Colts
Wednesday, March 25
Vikings sign defensive end Anthony Zettel
The Vikings made a second move on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with veteran defensive end Anthony Zettel. He has bounced around with several teams over the past couple years, but Zettel posted 6.5 sacks as a solid starter for the Lions in 2017 and will add depth to the DE room. Full story: Vikings Sign Journeyman Defensive End Anthony Zettel
Vikings sign former Titans WR Tajae Sharpe
The Vikings didn't get involved in the run of free agent receiver signings on Tuesday, but they grab one a day later. Sharpe is 25 years old and spent the last four years with the Titans after being taken in the fifth round in 2016. He's a good route-runner who can get open on short and intermediate routes, but isn't super athletic and hasn't had a ton of production. Full story: Vikings Sign Former Titans Receiver Tajae Sharpe To One-Year Deal
Tuesday, March 24
Vikings sign XFL linebacker DeMarquis Gates
For the first time since free agency started, a day went by without any Vikings transactions or news. That was Monday. It was similarly quiet on Tuesday, as the Vikings watched as free agent wide receivers flew off the shelves. But they did make one move, signing former Houston Roughnecks linebacker DeMarquis Gates to add some depth. The Ole Miss product has shined in the AAF and XFL but has never cracked an NFL roster. He'll get another chance to do so in Minnesota. Full story: Vikings Sign Former XFL, Ole Miss Linebacker DeMarquis Gates
Sunday, March 22
Laquon Treadwell signs with Falcons
Former Vikings first-round pick Laquon Treadwell has signed with the Falcons and will look to revive his career with a change of scenery. It never worked out for Treadwell in Minnesota after being taken 23rd overall in 2016. Full story: Former Vikings Receiver Laquon Treadwell Signs With Falcons
Saturday, March 21
Safety Will Parks turns down Vikings to sign with Eagles
The Vikings had been in talks with former Broncos safety Will Parks, but he spurned them to take less money and sign with his hometown team, the Eagles.
Vikings re-sign Rashod Hill
The Vikings officially announced that they are re-signing swing tackle Rashod Hill. He's played in 42 games over the past three years, with 16 starts. Full story: Vikings Re-Sign Swing Tackle Rashod Hill
Vikings restructure Danielle Hunter's contract
The Vikings cleared up $6 million cap space by restructuring Danielle Hunter's contract, keeping them in the mix for another free agent acquisition or two. They took $8 million of his $10.9 million base salary and spread it over the next four years as a signing bonus. Full story: Restructuring Danielle Hunter's Contract Frees Up $6 Million
Friday, March 20
Everson Griffen not returning to Vikings
Everson Griffen, the Vikings' longest-tenured player, announced on Instagram that he won't be returning to Minnesota next season. His agent confirmed that the two sides are no longer in discussion. The Vikings simply couldn't afford the $8-10 million annual price tag Griffen was seeking. He's fourth on the team's all-time sacks list. Full story: Everson Griffen Announces He Won't Be Returning to Vikings
Anthony Harris wants long-term deal
This isn't a surprise, but star safety Anthony Harris is seeking a long-term deal. He played on a one-year deal last season and then was franchise-tagged by the Vikings recently. Can the Vikings afford to sign Harris to a multi-year deal, and do they want to? If the answer to either of those questions is no, they will likely continue looking for trade partners for Harris.
Andrew Sendejo signs with Browns
The exodus from the Vikings' secondary continues. Veteran safety Andrew Sendejo signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Browns on Friday morning. The Vikings reportedly had interest in re-signing Sendejo, but instead, he joins Rhodes, Waynes, Alexander, and Kearse in departing from the Vikings' defensive backfield. Sendejo spent 2011-2018 with the Vikings and then re-joined them halfway through last season.
Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris – who remains a trade candidate – are now the only safeties left on the roster.
Thursday, March 19
Vikings re-sign Dan Bailey
Bailey is officially staying in Minnesota on a three-year deal. The Vikings have a ton of holes right now and really didn't need to open another one at kicker, so this is good news. Full story: Vikings Re-Sign Kicker Dan Bailey
Dan Bailey deciding between three teams, including Vikings
Kicker Dan Bailey is down to three teams as he makes his free agency decision, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. One of them is a return to the Vikings for a third year, but it seems like that may not be a sure thing. If the Vikings don't want to create yet another hole on their roster, they should probably figure out how to get Bailey back. He worked well with punter/holder Britton Colquitt last year, and the Vikings just re-signed Colquitt.
Mackensie Alexander joins Waynes in Cincinnati
It wasn't quite the sure thing that Kearse leaving was, but it wasn't surprising to see Alexander depart and sign with the Bengals. What was surprising was that it was for just one year and $4 million. That's a steal for a nickel corner of his ability, and it shows that he probably didn't want to come back to the Vikings. Alexander joins Waynes in Cincy and will look to prove he's worth big money on a long-term deal next offseason. Full story: Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse Depart as Teardown of Vikings Secondary Continues
Jayron Kearse signs with Lions
It was essentially a formality that safety Jayron Kearse would be leaving the Vikings in free agency. Given all of his tweets about the situation, it was just a matter of when. Kearse signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the division rival Lions on Thursday. Full story: Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse Depart as Teardown of Vikings Secondary Continues
Wednesday, March 18
Vikings sign former Ravens nose tackle Michael Pierce
The Vikings have signed their first external free agent, agreeing to a three-year, $27 million deal for former Ravens nose tackle Michael Pierce. The 27-year-old Pierce replaces Linval Joseph. He's an outstanding run defender and was one of the highest-graded defensive tackles in the league in 2018. Full story: Vikings Sign Nose Tackle Michael Pierce to Three-Year Deal
Right guard Josh Kline released
In fairly shocking news, the Vikings announced that they have cut Josh Kline, their starting right guard who was acquired on a three-year deal last offseason. This move saves just $1.6 million in cap space, with the Vikings eating $4.5 million in dead money. Between the financials of it and the fact that Kline was clearly better than left guard Pat Elflein last year, this move doesn't make a ton of sense. Is another announcement coming soon? Full story: Vikings release right guard Josh Kline
Backup QB Sean Mannion returns on a one-year deal
The Vikings have brought back Sean Mannion for 2020, according to Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. Mannion hasn't shown much on-field ability, but Kirk Cousins and coaches have gushed about the knowledge he brings to the QB room in meetings.
Linval Joseph signs with Chargers
On the first day of the new league year, with just a couple hours remaining before the official start of free agency, Linval Joseph has signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Chargers. It's a price the Vikings weren't going to be able to afford, and they must now look for a replacement at nose tackle. Joseph joins a defensive line with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III in Los Angeles. Full story: Former Vikings DT Linval Joseph Signs With Chargers
Tuesday, March 17
Trae Waynes signs with Bengals
One longtime member of the Vikings secondary is officially headed elsewhere. Cornerback Trae Waynes signed a three-year, $42 million deal with the Bengals on Tuesday afternoon. The Vikings would've liked to keep Waynes, but they weren't going to be able to afford him, especially not for $14 million per year. It's a fresh start for the 2015 first-round pick. Full story: Former Vikings Cornerback Trae Waynes Signs With Bengals in Free Agency
Anthony Harris reportedly available for trade
It appears that Anthony Harris might be on the move after all. Ian Rapaport reported that the Vikings have made Harris available for a "mid-to-late round pick." The Vikings would clear up a lot of salary cap space by trading Harris, and would get a 2020 pick back instead of a 2021 compensatory pick if they had just let him walk in free agency. Updated story: Vikings Place Franchise Tag on Anthony Harris, May Still Trade Him
Monday, March 16
Stefon Diggs traded to Bills
It finally happened. Stefon Diggs has been traded to the Buffalo Bills for four draft picks, including the No. 22 overall pick this year. The Vikings lose an elite receiver on a team-friendly deal and now have a major need at wideout behind Adam Thielen, but at least they got a haul of picks in return. The Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins for a whole lot less earlier on Monday. Full story: Stefon Diggs Traded to Bills For Four Draft Picks, Including 2020 First
Stephen Weatherly signs with Panthers
The Vikings' first free agent departure came on Monday evening when Weatherly's agent announced that the defensive end had signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with the Panthers. Weatherly was well-liked in Minnesota and reportedly wanted to return, but his talent priced him out of the Vikings' plans. It's a solid payday for the former seventh-round pick, who had six sacks, 17 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles in a rotational role over the past two seasons.
Weatherly will now get his first chance to play a major role in his fifth NFL season. His departure could net the Vikings a fifth or sixth-round compensatory pick (based on his $6.25 million AAV) in 2021, depending on how the rest of free agency plays out.
With Weatherly gone, it will be interesting to see what happens with Everson Griffen. Can the Vikings still afford him after tagging Harris and signing several others? If Griffen joins Weatherly on the way out, the door would be wide open for Ifeadi Odenigbo to step into a nearly full-time role.
Vikings re-sign punter Britton Colquitt
This was all but a sure thing after a report on Thursday said that the two sides had a verbal agreement on a new deal. But now it's official: Colquitt is back with the Vikings on a three-year, $9 million deal with $5 million guaranteed. His base salary and cap hit increases in each year of the deal. The man nicknamed "Skolquitt" was very solid as a punter last season, and also brought consistency as a holder that helped kicker Dan Bailey have a strong year. Reports indicate that the Vikings are also trying to work out a new deal for Bailey. Stay tuned.
Stefon Diggs indicates impending departure through tweets
Stefon Diggs, the Vikings' star receiver and noted mysterious tweeter, took things a step further than usual on Monday. He tweeted that "it's time for a new beginning," and followed it up with a reply that said this time was different, and "something's going to happen." Is he forcing his way out of Minnesota? Full story: Stefon Diggs Trade Rumors: "Something's Going to Happen"
Vikings place second-round RFA tender on Eric Wilson
The Vikings placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent linebacker Eric Wilson, which likely means he'll be back next season. Wilson is solid in coverage and brings some pass-rushing skills to the position. Check out the link for an explanation of RFA tenders. Full story: Vikings Place Tender on Eric Wilson
Vikings use franchise tag on Anthony Harris
In a surprising move, the Vikings elected to use the franchise tag on their top free agent, safety Anthony Harris. It's just the third time in franchise history that they've broken out the tag. If no extension is worked out and Harris isn't traded, the Vikings will owe him $11.4 million in 2020. Full story: Vikings Place Franchise Tag on Anthony Harris
CJ Ham signed to four-year deal
The Vikings wasted little time locking up fullback CJ Ham, a restricted free agent, through 2023. Full story: Vikings Sign C.J. Ham to Four-Year Deal
Cousins signs extension
The Vikings and Kirk Cousins agreed to a two-year extension that will keep Cousins with the team through 2022. He's owed $96 million over the next three years. Full story: Vikings Extend Kirk Cousins Through 2022 Season
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