Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings’ defense, which is usually the case, is set. On offense and special teams, it’s a different story. When linebacker Anthony Barr re-signed last week after initially agreeing to join the New York Jets, it meant that 10 of Minnesota’s 11 starters will return on defense. The Vikings lost starting defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in free agency to Cleveland, but he will be replaced by Shamar Stephen, who returns after playing for Minnesota from 2014-17, including starting in 2016.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr took less money when he spurned the New York Jets to return to the Minnesota Vikings, and that impressed former teammate Chad Greenway. The Vikings announced Wednesday, March 13, that they have agreed to terms with Barr, who gets a five-year, $67.5 million contract. That’s an average of $13.5 million, less than the average of about $15 million he could have received from the Jets.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Free-agent linebacker Anthony Barr, who had agreed to a deal Monday with the New York Jets, reversed course Tuesday and will re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings. Barr will sign a five-year, $67.5 million contract that includes $33 million guaranteed and could be worth as much as $77.5 million with incentives. NFL Media first reported Barr’s change of heart. ESPN reported he told the Jets on Monday he would be joining them but then got “cold feet.”
EAGAN, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings released guard Mike Remmers and declined the contract option on safety Andrew Sendejo on Monday, saving them about $10 million. The move on Remmers, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract two years ago, saves them $4.55 million. Letting Sendejo go clears $5.5 million.
EAGAN, Minn. - NFL free agency begins next week, and it promises to be much different for the Minnesota Vikings, who last year wasted little time in signing quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson to contracts worth a combined $92 million. This year, the Vikings must trim payroll before they can add to it. The free agency legal tampering period begins Monday and the new league year begins Wednesday, when teams can begin signing outside free agents. Only one NFL team has less salary-cap space than the Vikings’ $4.94 million.
EAGAN, Minn. -- If the Vikings don’t re-sign their 2018 starter at three-technique defensive tackle, they could turn to their 2017 starter. Sheldon Richardson, who started all 16 games last season, is bound for free agency after playing on a one-year, $8 million deal — and Minnesota might not be able to afford bringing him back. Tom Johnson, the 2017 starter who rejoined the Vikings early last season after a short stint with Seattle, also will be a free agent but at a much more affordable price.
EAGAN, Minn. - Exclusive rights free-agent fullback C.J. Ham will return to the Vikings, a source said Tuesday. Ham, entering his third full season, will sign a one-year, $645,000 deal. The move was expected. Ham, undrafted in 2016, spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad. He has been the team’s regular fullback the past two seasons. Last season, the Duluth Denfeld graduate had six carries for eight yards and caught 11 passes for 85 yards. He has career totals of 13 carries for 21 yards, and 18 receptions for 153 yards.
EAGAN, Minn. -- If there was disappointment for Kevin Stefanski in not getting Cleveland’s head coaching job, it evidently didn’t last long. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the Browns chose Freddie Kitchens over Stefanski, the other finalist. But Stefanski then agreed to a deal to be the Vikings’ offensive coordinator after serving on an interim basis for the final three games of the 2018 season.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer told NFL Media on Friday, Jan. 11, he has left the Vikings for the Cleveland Browns. Priefer, whose contract expired Tuesday, said in a statement to the outlet that the Vikings offered him a contract but he elected to move on after eight seasons to join the staff of new Browns coach Freddie Kitchens.
EAGAN, Minn. -- The Vikings have settled on an offensive coordinator. Now, they have turned their attention toward an offensive line coach. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the day the Vikings removed the interim tag from offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, BobMcGinnFootball.com reported they received permission from the Green Bay Packers to interview Joe Philbin.