One Vikings Offseason Move Ranked in NFL’s Top 5

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Many wondered when it would happen and who it would be.

The Minnesota Vikings needed roster help at cornerback heading into the 2023 offseason, especially after the club eventually parted ways with Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Cameron Dantzler, Chandon Sullivan, and Kris Boyd.

One Vikings Offseason Move Ranked in NFL’s Top 5

On March 14th, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed cornerback Byron Murphy for two years and $17.5 million, and the mystery was solved.

Move Ranked in
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And that transaction was evidently a Top 5 offseason move around the league, according to Bleacher Report. BR’s David Kenyon ranked the NFL’s best 25 offseason moves this weekend, and Murphy to the Vikings landed firmly at No. 5.

Kenyon explained, “Minnesota already had an overwhelming need at corner last season, and Patrick Peterson left for Pittsburgh in free agency. As concerning as that was, however, the Vikings recovered tremendously with Byron Murphy.”

Should Sign Veteran CB
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“Two years and $17.5 million deal for a player who hasn’t surrendered more than 7.5 yards per attempt in four seasons is a great deal,” Kenyon concluded.

After Murphy on the depth chart, Minnesota is leaning into youth like a nursery, hoping Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Joejuan Williams, or rookie Mekhi Blackmon ascend the depth chart to earn a starting job next to Murphy. If not for the Murphy free-agent addition, the Vikings would employ a handful of hopeful maybes at one of the sport’s most important positions.

Most Popular Free
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Too, Murphy is excited to be a part of the Vikings. He told reporters this week at organized team activities, “Last year [was the] first time [of me] actually getting injured. Sitting out that many games kind of brought me back to reality. I’m here. I’m doing all those things. Just happy to get away from that situation. Always thankful for that team, coming from there, but I’m just here now. Excited and happy. This is just better for me. Everything is better.”

Murphy was considered a top corner on the open market during free agency next to Jamel Dean, James Bradberry, and [perhaps] Cameron Sutton, and Adofo-Mensah wasted no time replacing Peterson, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers the day before. Here’s the Pro Football Focus tale of the tape for the 25-year-old:

  • 2019 = 48.3
  • 2020 = 64.7
  • 2021 = 59.7
  • 2022 = 66.7

And the passer-rating-against statistics:

  • 2019 = 111.2
  • 2020 = 92.5
  • 2021 = 87.6
  • 2022 = 103.1
Vikings Unveil Footage
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Murphy has played 56 games (48 starts) since entering the NFL in 2019 as a 2nd-Round pick. He’s logged 229 total tackles and 5 interceptions in four seasons. Murphy also missed eight games in 2022 because of a back strain.

He’ll get a crack at his old team sooner than later this summer, as the Vikings host joint practices with the Cardinals in August before a preseason game.

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 OverTheCap.com.