Vikings Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/13/24

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Claimed off waivers (from 49ers): DL Spencer Waege
  • Placed on reserve/retired list: OL Trente Jones

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: DL Chris Collins

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: OL Ireland Brown, CB Jason Maitre

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Terrell Jennings, G Ryan Johnson, LB Jay Person, DE Jotham Russell
  • Waived: RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Signed: DL Elijah Chatman
  • Waived: OLB Jeremiah Martin

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Waived: OL Kellen Diesch

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: DL Shakel Brown

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: DE Nathan Pickering, LB Devin Richardson

Tennessee Titans

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/10/24

Yesterday’s rush of rookie signings continued today. Here are Friday’s draft pick signings:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

  • K Will Reichard (sixth round, Alabama)
  • C Michael Jurgens (seventh round, Wake Forest)
  • DT Levi Drake Rodriguez (seventh round, Texas A&M-Commerce)

New England Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • G Mason McCormick (fourth round, South Dakota State)
  • DT Logan Lee (sixth round, Iowa)

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Seahawks’ GM, HC Discuss Byron Murphy Pick; Team Not Expected To Trade From DL Group

MAY 8: The Rams also made an offer for the Seahawks’ No. 16 pick, according to Sportskeeda.com’s Tony Pauline. Los Angeles, which also attempted to trade up higher for Brock Bowers, is believed to have been targeting Murphy. The Eagles’ interest stemmed from a fear they would lose Quinyon Mitchell had they not traded up. Mitchell ended up falling to Philly at No. 22, while the Rams went with Florida State D-lineman Jared Verse at No. 19.

MAY 5: Going into this year’s draft, guard was arguably the Seahawks’ biggest need. And as ESPN’s Brady Henderson writes, Seattle had targeted Alabama’s JC Latham, who was selected by the Titans with the No. 7 overall pick (the ‘Hawks would have slid Latham, a collegiate tackle, to the interior of their O-line, at least in the early stages of his pro career).

[RELATED: Murphy Signs Rookie Deal]

A number of this year’s top defensive prospects fell lower than expected due to an unprecedented run on offensive talent. When the Seahawks were on the clock with the No. 16 pick, only one defensive player, UCLA edge defender Laiatu Latu, was off the board, and he went to the Colts at No. 15. That left Texas DT Byron Murphy II available for Seattle, whom the team saw as the best defender in the 2024 class. The ‘Hawks ultimately turned in the card for the former Longhorn.

As offensive players were flying off the board, the Seahawks — who did not have a second-round choice — were fielding trade offers that would have allowed them to move down the board and pick up additional draft capital in the process. Per Henderson, the ‘Hawks received offers from the Steelers, Eagles, Vikings, and Falcons (who were trying to trade back into the first round after surprisingly drafting QB Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 choice). The Packers were also interested in acquiring Seattle’s No. 16 selection, but Green Bay ultimately did not make an offer.

With Murphy still available but with Leonard Williams, Jarran Reed, Dre’Mont Jones, Johnathan Hankins, and several recent draftees already on the roster, GM John Schneider was tempted to trade back. However, Seattle is not in rebuild mode, and Schneider felt that Murphy was too good to pass up.

“I’d be lying to you if I said we didn’t think about [trading back],” Schneider said. “But [Murphy], he was just too good. He influences the game, like a lot. He’s got that ability to jump off the ball and get up field. He can play edges, he can play square, he can rush the passer inside, he gets up and down the line of scrimmage.”

New head coach Mike Macdonald added, “he just plays our style of football, really. And then he’s so talented. Versatility along the front, such an aggressive player, plays violently, heavy hands for a guy [of] shorter stature, flexible, pass-rush flexibility — you name it. Yeah, just really excited to have him.”

With all of the D-linemen on the roster and the Seahawks’ shortage of cap space — per OverTheCap.com, Seattle is the only team in the red as of the time of this writing — it would be fair to expect the club to deal from its DL surplus. However, Henderson said the team has no such plans, especially since Macdonald intends to rotate his players more frequently than his predecessor, Pete Carroll.

In related news, the team is expected to have outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu back for training camp, per Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic. Nwosu, who recorded 9.5 sacks in his first Seattle slate in 2022, suffered a pectoral strain in October and missed the remainder of the 2023 campaign. He is under contract through 2026 by virtue of the three-year, $45MM extension he signed in July.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/7/24

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived (non-football injury): OL Ryan Swoboda

Green Bay Packers

  • Reverted to IR: WR Thyrick Pitts

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans

  • Waived: DL Shakel Brown

Washington Commanders

  • Waived: LB Brandon Bouyer-Randle, CB D’Angelo Mandell, DE Joshua Pryor

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/2/24

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Deemed international roster exemption: LB David Ojabo

Minnesota Vikings

The Ravens carved out an extra roster spot after having been granted an international roster exemption for linebacker David Ojabo. The NFL allows teams to carry an extra international player on their roster as long as the individual “is a person whose citizenship and principal place of residence are outside the United States and Canada” and has “a maximum of two years of United States high school experience.”

Normally, this is reserved for undrafted players, with many of those players entering the league via the NFL International Pathway Program. However, the Ravens got creative with Ojabo, who is a former second-round pick. The linebacker was born in Nigeria and grew up in the United Kingdom, and he only came to the United States when he was 17. The Michigan product’s NFL career has been highlighted by injuries, with Ojabo being limited to only five appearances through two seasons in Baltimore.

The move allows the Ravens to now carry 91 players on their offseason roster.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/30/24

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Waived: WR Kaden Davis, CB Quavian White

Dallas Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: P Seth Vernon

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Waived: DT Noah Elliss, WR Griffin Hebert, DB Tiawan Mullen, C Lecitus Smith

The Patriots have added some linebacker depth in Oshane Ximines, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Giants. A third-round pick in 2019, Ximines ended up getting into 48 games during his time in New York, compiling 71 tackles and 6.5 sacks. He was limited to only three games this past season while alternating between the Giants practice squad and active roster.

In New England, he’ll be reunited with outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins, who previously served in the same role with the Giants. The Patriots will be hoping the new addition can provide some depth at strongside linebacker behind the likes of Matt Judon and Josh Uche.

Latest On Giants, Vikings’ Offers For Patriots’ No. 3 Overall Pick

While Drake Maye generated split opinions as a prospect during the pre-draft process, the Patriots have a rookie quarterback other teams coveted. New England’s reassembled front office has the trade proposals to confirm the interest.

The Patriots did not close off trade avenues, holding talks leading up to going on the clock for their highest draft choice in 31 years. But buzz in the hours leading up to the draft all but locked in Maye to Foxborough. The Giants and Vikings, who each had been viewed as having steady interest in the North Carolina prospect, did make notable offers for the pick.

We heard post-draft the Giants continued to pursue Maye while the Pats were on the clock. Big Blue offered New England its 2025 first-rounder to move from No. 6 to No. 3; New York’s package included that 2025 first and its second-rounder (No. 47) this year, according to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan. The Vikings were OK unloading their No. 23 pick (along with No. 11) and their 2025 first to climb to No. 3, per ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss. Ultimately, the Pats balked and will build around Maye.

Considering how the Giants proceeded at No. 6, their pursuit of Maye qualifies as significant. The team has regrouped around Daniel Jones, despite doing steady work on this class’ top QBs. The Giants chose Malik Nabers over J.J. McCarthyMichael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix. Each passer visited the team during the draft run-up, with Raanan adding the team did not have this QB crop’s second tier graded highly enough for an investment at No. 6.

We had a lot of conversations with a lot of teams,” Giants GM Joe Schoen said. “I’m not going to get into specifics. We had a really good player at six. That was a position that I think was a need that we needed to upgrade. I’m fired up about the kid.”

The Giants’ Maye interest points to another make-or-break season for Jones, whose $40MM-per-year contract can be shed without too much damage in 2025. Jones performed well enough in his previous “prove it” season (2022), becoming the first QB to see his fifth-year option declined and then re-sign with that team. And Nabers profiles as the top target the 2019 first-rounder has been given while with the Giants. But Jones, who is expected to be finished with ACL rehab by training camp, is clearly on the clock once again.

The Vikings’ proposal also included two Patriots mid-round picks this year going to Minnesota, per Reiss. Going into the draft, the Patriots were not impressed with the offers they had received. As the Giants’ 2025 first-rounder dangled as an important chip — as the Pats would have only stepped back three spots in this draft and picked up a second — the Vikings essentially had to include two future firsts to present a viable offer. It cost the 49ers their 2022 and ’23 first-rounders, along with a third, to vault nine spots (No. 12 to No. 3) for Trey Lance in 2021. After New England passed, Minnesota did not end up needing to trade its No. 23 overall pick — later used to move up for Dallas Turnerto land McCarthy.

Each of this draft’s non-Caleb Williams first-round QBs trekked to Minnesota to meet with the Vikings before the draft. All but Jayden Daniels participated in a workout, with SI.com’s Albert Breer adding Daniels — who did not go through QB drills at the Combine or LSU’s pro day — passed on this part of the Vikings visit. Daniels had long been expected to go No. 2 to Washington, which was far less likely to trade the pick — despite the Raiders’ efforts — compared to the Patriots.

After Mac Jones could not sustain his rookie-year momentum — as the Pats cycled through offensive coordinators post-Josh McDaniels — Maye will be tasked with growing into a franchise-caliber passer. The 6-foot-4 prospect may well begin the season behind Jacoby Brissett, but given how this process usually goes, the two-year North Carolina starter should be expected to begin Pats QB1 work well before this season ends.

Vikings Sign 17 UDFAs

With the draft in the rearview mirror, teams are bringing in undrafted free agents. The Vikings added 17 players to their offseason roster via the UDFA route; here is Minnesota’s class:

Not exactly a hotbed for NFL talent, Mercer will send two wide receivers to the same team. These two pass catchers are the second and third Mercer products to land an NFL opportunity in the past decade. James is the Division I-FCS program’s all-time receiving leader; he earned first-team All-American honors in 2023. The former Georgia recruit surpassed 1,100 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons, adding 20 receiving TDs. Operating as an all-purpose player, Harper combined for four return scores for the Bears. Harper set a school record with 78 grabs alongside James last season.

ESPN’s Scouts Inc. ranked Knox as this draft class’ No. 205 overall prospect; he is heading to Minneapolis after five college seasons (the recent norm for UDFAs due to the COVID-19 waiver). After four seasons at Arkansas, Knox transferred to South Carolina. He caught 37 passes for 312 yards and two TDs last season. Murphy was part of UCLA’s Laiatu Latu-led edge-rushing contingent. After a 7.5-sack 2021 season, he registered eight — along with 16 tackles for loss — last year. Murphy will attempt to make a Vikings team that is revamping on the edge, bringing in Jonathan Greenard and first-rounder Dallas Turner after losing Danielle Hunter, D.J. Wonnum and Marcus Davenport.

Gant is a former four-star recruit who transferred from Ohio State, earning first-team All-MAC honors after heading north to Toledo. Rolland — a Harvard transfer — started as one of Drake Maye‘s pass protectors for the past two seasons, while Cindric started 17 games at center and 17 more at guard at Cal.

Vikings Pick Up LT Christian Darrisaw’s Fifth-Year Option

To no surprise, Christian Darrisaw will remain in place with the Vikings for at least the next two years. The standout left tackle had his 2025 fifth-year option picked up on Monday, per a team announcement.

[RELATED: Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Darrisaw has started all but two of his games with Minnesota to date, serving as the team’s blindside protector. The 23rd overall pick in the 2021 draft does not have a Pro Bowl invite to his name, but his snap shares easily qualify him for the second-highest tier in terms of option values. As a result, he will earn $16.04MM in 2025.

A multi-year extension is no doubt one of the Vikings’ top priorities in Darrisaw’s case, though, and a long-term commitment will be much more expensive. The top of the left tackle market reached $25MM per season when Laremy Tunsil worked out his latest Texans agreement. Penei Sewell recently signed the league’s most lucrative deal at any O-line spot with his Lions extension ($28MM per year). Darrisaw could command a deal near the top of the pecking order on a second contract.

The latter received a PFF grade of 71.9 as a rookie, but his second season in the league produced a notable step forward in performance. Darrisaw saw his overall grade jump to 90.4 in 2022, the second-highest mark in the league amongst tackles. This past season, he graded out in seventh at the position. Darrisaw was charged with six sacks allowed and seven penalties by PFF, but continued development through the coming years would make a long-term investment a sound one on the part of the Vikings.

Minnesota already has right tackle Brian O’Neill on the books through 2026 on his own lucrative extension. The team also retained center Garrett Bradbury last offseason on a three-year pact worth $15.75MM. Keeping Darrisaw in the fold for years to come will add further to the cash and cap investments made up front, but it would come as little surprise if a long-term pact were to be worked out. At a minimum, today’s decision will serve as a placeholder buying extra time for negotiations.

Vikings GM On Justin Jefferson Extension Talks

The Vikings have a new franchise passer on the roster, and now that the 2024 draft is in the books, they can turn their focus back to an extension for perhaps the best wide receiver in the league. Minnesota and three-time Pro Bowler Justin Jefferson tabled their contract negotiations during draft weekend, but as GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made plain, that pause had nothing to do with a breakdown in the talks themselves.

“We continue to have great dialogue with [Jefferson’s] representatives,” Adofo-Mensah said (via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert). “The process is still ongoing. We did say, ‘Hey, [let’s pause] a couple days.’ The draft’s coming. The [agents] have players they represent. We have our process.”

In addition to noting that the two sides continue to make progress, Adofo-Mensah also said that when (not if) an agreement is reached, it will be cause for celebration that should not be overshadowed by other matters like the draft.

“Either way, whenever we sign him, we want Justin to have his whole week,” the GM said. “You know that friend that has a birthday that takes the month? I think Justin would deserve his whole month if we signed a contract to celebrate it. We’re excited to work towards it. We’re going to keep going. You can’t have all these plans when you talk about all these visions and not talk about the king linchpin, so we’re going to keep working toward that end goal.”

Jefferson, who is entering his age-25 season, was not present to start the Vikings’ offseason program as he continues to seek his mega-deal, although he did not participate in the club’s voluntary work last year either (he did attend the mandatory minicamp). Both the Eagles’ A.J. Brown and the Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown have inked extensions of their own over the past several days, deals that place those players at the very top of the ever-booming WR market in terms of both average annual value and total guarantees.

Brown now holds the wide receiver record for AAV ($32MM) and guaranteed money ($84MM), and Jefferson will surely be aiming to meet or top those figures. Despite the hamstring injury that kept him off the field for much of the 2023 season, the LSU product’s youth, importance to his club, and accomplishments to date give him plenty of ammunition in that regard.

After player and team got “unbelievably close” to reaching an extension last offseason, there is optimism that they may soon push this matter over the finish line.