After being a backup during his first six seasons, Dakota Dozier broke through as a 16-game starter with the Vikings in 2020. The team has moved to extend the parties’ partnership.
Dozier agreed to terms on a one-year deal to stay with the Vikings, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. At worst, Dozier represents a depth piece for a Vikings line that moved on from Riley Reiff earlier this month. The Vikings announced the move, marking the sides’ third one-year contract agreement.
The Vikings signed Dozier in 2019 and used him as a spot starter that year. Last season, Dozier broke into Minnesota’s starting lineup in Week 1 and did not relinquish the left guard job all season. The Vikings waived Pat Elflein midway through the season, sticking with Dozier and then bringing Ezra Cleveland into the lineup at guard. Pro Football Focus did not view Dozier’s work in an especially positive light, slotting him 77th among qualified guards last season, but the Vikings now have four of their five O-line starters from 2020 under contract.
Reiff’s departure may mean Cleveland moves to left tackle, leaving a guard spot open. Dozier, 30 in April, would then have a clearer path to returning as a starter. Prior to joining the Vikings, the former fourth-round pick served as a Jets backup from 2014-18.
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