The Minnesota Vikings continued making moves on Monday, bring back defensive tackle Shamar Stephen. Stephen, who played with the Vikings from 2014 to 2017, spent last season with the Seattle Seahawks.
Dan Graziano of ESPN reported the Vikings and Stephen agreed to a three-year deal. Financial details were not immediately released. The deal will become official on Wednesday.
Source: DT Shemar Stephen plans to sign a three-year deal with the Vikings.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 12, 2019
Stephen (6-5, 310) will return to the team that drafted him in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. More of a rotational player in his first stint with the Vikings, Stephen started 20 games in his first four NFL seasons, collecting 73 tackles. The 28 year-old was a stout defender against the run.
This appears to be a depth signing for the Vikings, who are also trying to re-sign Sheldon Richardson. Richardson and fellow three technique Tom Johnson are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. It’s unclear what impact Stephen’s signing will have on re-signing the free agents, but for now the team at least has a name on the depth chart.
The Vikings need to get better up front on both sides of the ball this offseason. While this may not be a splashy move, it’s an economical one. Stephen, who had a cap hit of $2.1 million in 2017, earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 60.4 in 14 starts with Seattle last season.
Welcome back to Minnesota, Shamar!