Giants Steal Vikings Defender

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

First, it was Luiji Vilain to the Carolina Panthers in October.

The Panthers pilfered Vilain from the Minnesota Vikings practice squad about a month ago, and now the New York Giants have followed suit, stealing outside linebacker Benton Whitley.

Giants Steal Vikings Defender

KPRC2‘s Aaron Wilson tweeted Monday, “Outside linebacker Benton Whitley signed by Giants off Vikings practice squad per a league source.”

Giants Steal
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Whitley, 24, joined the NFL via undrafted free agency in 2022, onboarded by the Los Angeles Rams for the spring and summer. But on roster trimdown day 15 months ago, Los Angeles dropped Whitley and made him available to 31 other teams. The Kansas City Chiefs pounced and added the defender the next day.

That relationship didn’t last long, though. Like the Giants this week, the Vikings grabbed Whitley off the Chiefs’ practice squad, and he stayed affixed to Minnesota’s roster in varying capacities for 13 months. Whitley has played one defensive snap since turning pro, a Week 1 appearance for the Vikings versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also played on six special teams snaps.

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Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll after the defense stopped Houston in the red zone in the second half. The Houston Texans at the New York Giants in a game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on November 13, 2022. © Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Holy Cross alumnus will become an immediate part of the Giants’ active roster, as NFL rules state a practice-squad steal cannot merely be transferred to a different practice squad. And with the Giants going nowhere fast — they’re 3-8 after Week 11 — Whitley could actually experience some playing time in New York, which Minnesota couldn’t provide to date in 2023.

These are the Vikings’ outsider linebackers after Whitley-to-Giants:

  • Danielle Hunter
  • Marcus Davenport (IR)
  • D.J. Wonnum
  • Patrick Jones
  • Andre Carter
  • Quincy Roche (PS)
WORCESTER – Benton Whitley on his timed run. Holy Cross football players as well as others from local Universities worked out for pro scouts in preparation for NFL Draft, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at the indoor football facility at the Luth Center. © Christine Peterson/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK.

And for the Giants at EDGE rusher:

  • Kayvon Thibodeaux
  • Boogie Basham
  • Azeez Ojulari
  • Jihad Ward
  • Benton Whitley
  • Oshan Ximines (PS)
  • Tomon Fox (PS)

Not for nothing, the Giants defensive line is coached by former Vikings defensive coordinator Andre Patterson.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

New York’s defense ranks 27th leaguewide per DVOA at the moment, so it doesn’t have much to lose by giving Whitley some playing if the time comes. Per the same metric, the Giants offense ranks dead last in the business.

The Giants also employ former Vikings offensive guard Wyatt Davis, although Davis is on injured reserve.

The Vikings play the Giants again in 2025 at MetLife Stadium.

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