New Viking to Wear First-of-its-Kind Jersey in 2023

Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas-San Antonio defensive end Marcus Davenport arrives on the red carpet before the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

Arguably the splashiest Minnesota Vikings signing hit the books about seven weeks ago, outside linebacker Marcus Davenport from the New Orleans Saints.

Davenport headlined Minnesota’s 2023 free-agent class, along with cornerback Byron Murphy from the Arizona Cardinals, tight end Josh Oliver of the Baltimore Ravens, and Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry.

New Viking to Wear First-of-its-Kind Jersey in 2023

And in March, Davenport told’s Kevin Patra about the disappointment over his 0.5-sack season in 2022, “I’m still upset. But you know, that’s just fuel for the future. I kind of go over my play and see that I didn’t capitalize, as much as I would say that I had some success in matchups and was putting the pressures [on the quarterback], but I wasn’t necessarily being the smartest player to know when to capitalize and how to capitalize, using my teammates, using the scheme and just overall winning.”

new vikings to wear
Sep 25, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) rush off the field against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports.

The 26-year-old concluded, “Really, I just want to start from zero. I need to know my game. And then I have to study other people’s games way better because I want to dominate. As far as the past, I’m really trying to let go of everything and just keep walking forward and looking forward.”

To fully personify the “start from zero” slogan, Davenport will wear jersey No. 0 this season, according to’s Will Ragatz. The NFL relaxed rules this offseason that prevented players from wearing the number (lack thereof?), and Davenport will become the first Viking ever to don the zero.

Vikings Latest Free
Oct 20, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The Davenport free-agent addition in March was surprising as nobody had him anywhere near the Vikings offseason radar. Heading into free agency, the team was cash-strapped, and Davenport figured to be out of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s price range. But for one year and $13 million, Minnesota got its man.

New Orleans selected Davenport in the 1st Round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he’s played 63 games since, starting 32. He’s tallied 142 total tackles, 60 QB hits, 25 tackles for loss, 21.5 sacks, and 7 force fumbles in five seasons. The knocks on his resume are durability and consistency. Davenport is an adept run-stopper, has an elite pass-rushing skillset, and was ranked by PFF as this year’s top EDGE on the free-agent market.

Jan 3, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker (6) throws an interception as he is pressured by New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

NewOrleans.Football’s Mike Triplett opined on the Vikings-Davenport transaction the day of: “Davenport’s market was impossible to predict because of his injury history and inconsistent production. But this feels like a steal. Low risk with such a potentially high reward. Such a shame it didn’t pan out in New Orleans.”

Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Calvin Ridley will also wear No. 0 in 2023. So will Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell.

Vikings mandatory minicamp begins on June 13, where Davenport will sport the number.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

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