Vikings To Sign CB Byron Murphy

The Vikings have found their replacement for Patrick Peterson. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter), the Vikings are finalizing a deal with cornerback Byron Murphy.

Byron Murphy (vertical)[RELATED: Steelers To Sign CB Patrick Peterson]

Murphy is inking a two-year deal, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). Minnesota will pick up Arizona’s No. 1 corner of the past two seasons on just a two-year, $17.5MM deal, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets.

Going into his age-25 season, the fifth-year defender will see $12.5MM guaranteed. The deal includes $2MM in playing time and Pro Bowl incentives. Of Murphy’s 2024 salary, $4.5MM is already guaranteed for injury. That shifts to a full guarantee on Day 3 of the 2024 league year, per Wilson, giving the Vikings some options.

The former second-round pick emerged as one of Arizona’s most dependable defenders in recent years. The defensive back started only half of his games during his sophomore campaign but rebounded nicely in 2021, starting all 16 of his appearances and finishing the season with a team-leading four interceptions and 12 passes defended.

Murphy had a firm hold on the starting gig heading into the 2022 campaign. He started the first nine games for the Cardinals, compiling 36 tackles and four passes defended. A back injury forced him off the field for the second half of the season, and he was ultimately placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Despite the injury, Murphy still showed more than enough to establish himself as one of the top CBs available in free agency. While Pro Football Focus has generally graded Murphy as a slightly above-average cornerback, the site has always been fond of his run-stopping ability.

Murphy will fill in the void left by Peterson, who ended up signing with the Steelers. Peterson expressed an interest in re-signing with Minnesota, but it’s uncertain if the interest was reciprocated. With Peterson entering his age-33 season, it’s feasible that the organization preferred the 25-year-old Murphy.

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