Vikings Sign OL Jesse Davis

A longtime starter for the Dolphins, Jesse Davis visited the Vikings on Monday. That meeting is expected to lead to a signing, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The Vikings have announced the move. It is a one-year deal worth $3MM, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.

Davis has worked extensively as a first-stringer over the course of his career, seeing time at tackle and guard during his five-season run with the Dolphins. The Vikings are looking at Davis at right guard, with Tomasson noting he is now viewed as the top candidate to start there (Twitter links). The Dolphins cut Davis last week.

The Vikings brought in Bills restricted free agent Ryan Bates for a visit, but Bates signed an offer sheet with the Bears — one the Bills matched. While Minnesota has a few positions solidified up front, the team is in need at right guard. Pro Football Focus viewed it as by far the team’s weakest spot in 2021.

Despite having five years’ experience, Davis will turn 31 this fall. The Idaho product spent two years developing without seeing game action, entering the NFL as a 2015 UDFA. But he moved into a starting role with the Dolphins in 2017 and logged 72 starts over the past five years, spending full seasons at both guard and tackle. The Dolphins gave Davis a three-year, $15MM deal in 2019.

Last season, the Dolphins moved Robert Hunt to guard and slid Davis back to right tackle. PFF did not view Davis’ latest right-edge work well, but the veteran made 16 starts for Miami in 2021. He has also seen left tackle time, giving the Vikings an ideal swingman if they opt to further address their right guard spot this offseason. Longtime Vikings swingman Dakota Dozier signed with the Bears earlier this month.

Minnesota has Christian Darrisaw, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury and Brian O’Neill on track to continue as up-front starters, giving the team a solid outlook up front as begins a new regime. The team returns its primary 2021 right guard, Oli Udoh. But Davis should be expected to, at worst, provide strong competition for the job.

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