For the first time in four years, Jonathan Bullard will be remaining in the same NFL home for more than one season. The veteran defensive lineman agreed to a new deal with the Vikings on Tuesday, per a team announcement.
The 29-year-old played in Chicago for the first three seasons of his career, his longest stint with any one team. He primarily worked in a rotational role with the Bears, but saw an uptick in playing time in 2019 with the Cardinals, starting six of nine game played. His career-high 1.5 sacks that season earned him an intra-divisional move to the Seahawks.
In Seattle, and Atlanta the following year, Bullard was limited to just 15 games played. He saw his usage rate drop over that span, which limited the value of his first Vikings deal. That pact represented the fifth consecutive one-year contract Bullard played on, but it allowed him to take on a larger role than years past. The former third-rounder saw a snap share of 40% in 2022, the third-highest of his career.
Bullard started seven of the 12 games he appeared in during the regular season. A December biceps injury led to a stint on IR, but the Florida product still managed 23 tackles (including five for loss) in his debut Vikings campaign. He was able to return in time for the playoffs, and recorded a sack in the team’s wild card loss to the Giants.
Now, Bullard will continue his stay in the Twin Cities after years of bouncing around the NFC. The Vikings have, to little surprise, seen a number of changes to their defense this offseason, after the unit struggled in 2022 in spite of the team’s overall success. That has included fellow interior d-lineman Dalvin Tomlinson signing with the Browns, and former Packer Dean Lowry being added. Bullard will look to occupy a similar role to the one he had last season as Minnesota aims for a set forward on defense in 2023.