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Vikings free agency tracker: Signings, releases and rumors – Vikings Wire

A new era is upon us with general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell officially kick-starting their run with the Minnesota Vikings. As the Los Angeles Rams proved by winning a Super Bowl last season, this is the time of the year where championships can be won or lost.
O’Connell knows a great deal about the importance of getting it right in free agency considering he served as the offensive coordinator for that juggernaut Rams team. Now, he’ll be looking to help Adofo-Mensah lead a Vikings team that has missed the playoffs over the last two straight seasons back to relevance.
This will page will include all of the Vikings signings, releases and major rumors slated to unfold with the free agency madness.
The legal tampering period starts at 11 a.m. CT on Monday, March 14, while free agency officially kicks off on Wednesday, March 16 at 3 p.m. CT.
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Well, Vikings fans didn’t have to wait long for the biggest chess piece on the board to move into place with news of the team agreeing on a one-year, $35 million fully guaranteed extension with quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Some fans have taken to Twitter to voice their frustrations over the signing, and even our own, Tyler Forness, isn’t buying the move. Only time will tell if the new regime made the right decision or the same mistake as the previous one in sticking with Cousins.
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Restricted free agent placekicker Greg Joseph is being tendered by the Vikings on a one-year, $2.433 million deal. Joseph’s agent, Brett Tessler, broke the news on social media on Monday. Teams can offer Joseph, but the Vikings will have the chance to match whatever offer is on the table.
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Veteran backup tackle Rashod Hill will be weighing his options on the free agent market. He has spent the last six years helping bolster the offensive front for the Vikings. While he could choose to sign with another team, his agent, Brett Tessler, isn’t ruling out a return to Minnesota.
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The first unrestricted free agent walking out of the door for the Vikings is center Mason Cole. After spending only one season in Minnesota, the 25-year-old former third-round draft pick has agreed to a three-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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File this one under one of the players the Vikings would have been better off keeping, but the team clearly doesn’t have the money to throw around this season.
Safety Xavier Woods never left the field when he was in Minnesota. He was an every-down defensive player for a secondary that struggled last season. And now, he’ll be taking his marathon-man talents to the Carolina Panthers on a three-year, $15.75 million deal.
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The Vikings take a break from losing players and finally pick one up in Monday’s agreed upon deal with Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. With the team expected to switch to a 3-4 base defense, there’s hope Phillips will be the right fit for what defensive coordinator Ed Donatell hopes to achieve in Minnesota. It’s a three-year, $19.5 million deal for Phillips.
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News of Harrison Phillips signing with the Vikings was sure to lead to some bad news for someone else on the roster. Michael Pierce, the Vikings veteran defensive tackle, is expected to be released after the team failed to trade him and come to terms on a cheapened contract extension.
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With Mason Cole likely headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Vikings are expected to be losing offensive guard Dakota Dozier as well. The impending free agent was reportedly told the team wouldn’t be re-signing him. He spent most of the 2021 season competing on the practice squad with only six game appearances and no starts.
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The Minnesota Vikings are giving their linebacker corps a boost by bringing in veteran Jordan Hicks on a two-year, $12 million deal. Not only do they get a smart player that can help them win right away, but they also get a tremendous locker room guy, who can help lead the defense.
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The first move from the Vikings on the official day of free agency was keeping one of their own. They are re-signing punter Jordan Berry to another one-year deal following a season where he had a career-best yards-per-punt average (46.5).
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Vikings former first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney, who was recently found not guilty of felony assault charges by Dallas County Court, is signing a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. He was released by the Vikings after the alleged incident last August.
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The Vikings are jumping out ahead of their tight end situation by adding former Los Angeles Ram Johnny Mundt to the roster. Mundt is predominantly a blocking tight end with experience playing underneath Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell. His deal is a two-year, $2.45 million contract.
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Austin Schlottmann is no savior by any stretch of the imagination, but he will add much-needed depth along the offensive front for the Vikings. The former Denver Bronco agreed to a one-year, $1.035 million deal with the team on Wednesday.
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With Irv Smith Jr. out with an injury in 2021, Tyler Conklin was the tight end that stepped up in a big way for the Vikings—61 receptions, 593 yards and three touchdowns. But a career-year, coupled with a tight cap situation in Minnesota, meant a departure for Conklin, who is now joining the New York Jets.
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The Vikings are reportedly looking to trade former All-Pro defensive end Danielle Hunter. There was hope that the team would consider restructuring his contract and keeping him on the roster.
You won’t find many human beings capable of doing the things Hunter can do on defense. But the Vikings are still hurting for cap space, and they could use the assets from a potential trade for one of their premier talents.
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One of the big dominoes dropped on Thursday with the Vikings agreeing on a contract restructure with six-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith. The reworking is expected to save the team $6 million in cap space, which helps them keep Smith and create room to sign other free agents.
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Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander’s return to Minnesota is believed to be short-lived. The team has reportedly informed their former second-round draft pick they won’t be re-signing him. With other teams already showing interest, Alexander will likely be playing football in another uniform in 2022.
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After being released by the Vikings, defensive tackle Michael Pierce is returning to the Baltimore Ravens on a three-year, $16.5 million deal. The 29-year-old former undrafted free agent only appeared in six games for the Vikings over the last two seasons.
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After restructuring safety Harrison Smith’s contract on Thursday, the Vikings got another big contract done on Friday with two-time Pro Bowl receiver Adam Thielen. There were concerns of a possible trade or outright release, but now, the Vikings have solidified their receiver room by keeping one of the veteran leaders on the team.
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Well, after the reported trade considerations, the Vikings are now planning on paying the $18 million roster bonus to keep two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter. This was another mega domino to fall in the team’s hopes of building a contender in 2022.
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Two-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith is visiting the Vikings, and a source is telling the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson the team is in a position to make a “suitable offer.” The ability to bring in a dominant defensive talent like Smith would be quite the splash in what has otherwise been a quiet free agency in Minnesota.
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Sean Mannion is coming back on a one-year deal to ensure the Vikings have a veteran option behind quarterback Kirk Cousins. At the very least, he’ll be in competition with second-year quarterback Kellen Mond for top backup responsibilities. 
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The Vikings made their first major splash signing of free agency on Tuesday afternoon with two-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith agreeing to a three-year, $42 million deal. Smith and Danielle Hunter playing on the field together could give the Vikings one of the best pass-rushing tandems in the NFL.
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