Free Agent Pass Rusher Linked to Vikings

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So far during the 2023 season, the Minnesota Vikings have added free-agent guard Dalton Risner, traded for running back Cam Akers and quarterback Josh Dobbs, and signed linebacker Anthony Barr.

The team is unafraid of making noteworthy moves to enhance the depth chart, so some outsiders wonder why not more.

Free Agent Pass Rusher Linked to Vikings

That’s the working theory, anyway, from Bleacher Report, as NFL analyst Ryan Fowler authored an article this week outlining landing spots for some of the league’s premium remaining free agents. And when BR wrote the section on EDGE rusher Melvin Ingram, the Vikings were mentioned.

Agent Pass Rusher Linked
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Ingram, 34, last played for the Miami Dolphins in 2022 and has remained a free agent since, signing nowhere during last March’s bonanza, in the summer, or the regular season. For any team — probably one effectuating a playoff or Super Bowl push — Ingram is available.

Fowler wrote about Ingram’s free agency, “Despite being one of the older names on this list at 34 years of age, 13 sacks over the last two years will surely intrigue teams. A first-round pick over a decade ago, Melvin Ingram could be an excellent addition to round an edge rotation.”

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The journeyman defender has played 145 career games, starting 106, and has logged 57 career sacks. He was at the peak of his powers from 2017 to 2019 as a starter for the Los Angeles Chargers and even grabbed Pro Bowl honors in all three seasons.

“While he’s served as the ‘spinner’ in a multitude of spots during his career, pinning his ears back on passing downs could provide a team an excellent bang-for-your-buck option. Pushing the pocket remains of the utmost importance come playoff time, and whether Ingram gets to the quarterback or not, his presence will, at minimum, draw the eyes of opposing offenses,” Fowler added.

Aspect of Vikings
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Here’s Ingram’s destination resume to date:

  • Los Angeles Chargers (2012–2020)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2021)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2021)
  • Miami Dolphins (2022)

An AFC mercenary indeed, Ingram could try on the NFC for size if BR is correct and fortify the Vikings’ EDGE depth. For now, Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum hold starting duties, while Patrick Jones and Andre Carter are reservist options on the depth chart.

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Recently, two young Vikings outside linebackers were stolen from the practice squad — Luiji Vilain to the Carolina Panthers and Benton Whitley to the New York Giants. Plus, usually-a-starter Marcus Davenport has missed most of 2023 due to injury, so adding Ingram or a different notable EDGE rusher would make sense for Minnesota.

This is Ingram’s Pro Football Focus resume to date:

  • 2012: 61.1
  • 2013: 55.7
  • 2014: 66.6
  • 2015: 70.5
  • 2016: 83.9
  • 2017: 85.3
  • 2018: 71.9
  • 2019: 74.7
  • 2020: 72.3
  • 2021: 79.7
  • 2022: 70.3
  • 2023: TBD

If the Vikings are interested in outside linebacker options but don’t want Ingram, other men like Derek Barnett and Robert Quinn are available.

Minnesota has about $7.4 million in cap space as of November 26th.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by