Vikings Finally Add Another CB

3 Big
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

Twenty-six days. That’s how long lapsed between the Minnesota Vikings last free-agent signing and the most recent.

On March 22nd, linebacker Troy Reeder joined the club. Fast forward to 10 days before the NFL Draft, and Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added former New England Patriots CB Joejuan Williams.

Vikings Finally Add Another CB

ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted the acquisition Monday, “The Vikings have signed former Patriots CB Joejuan Williams.”

Vikings Finally Add
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

A 2nd-Round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams never quite took off with the New England Patriots, hence the lack of priority in extending him beyond a rookie deal. Williams lasted four seasons on Bill Belichick’s team but missed all of 2022 on injured reserve.

Since 2019, he’s played in 36 games while starting one, tabulating 505 defensive snaps and experiencing action on 337 special teams plays. Because of the 2022 injury, he was basically a forgotten man as a Patriot and evidently not a priority to sign by, well, anybody — until now.

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings employ six cornerbacks now, with more expected on the way from the NFL draft. Here’s the Vikings current CB lay of the land:

  • CB1: Byron Murphy
  • CB2: Andrew Booth
  • CB3: Akayleb Evans
  • CB4: Tay Gowan
  • CB5: Kalon Barnes
  • CB6: Joejuan Williams

And some of the stats from Williams’ resume to date, here’s the passer-rating-against since 2019:

  • 2019 = 56.8
  • 2020 = 79.7
  • 2021 = 96.8
  • 2022 = Injured
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports.

And, of course, the Pro Football Focus skinny:

  • 2019 = 67.8
  • 2020 = 55.5
  • 2021 = 66.6
  • 2022 = Injured

A shoulder injury derailed his fourth season as a pro, but he’ll certainly get an audition with the Vikings this summer. Minnesota has been relatively slow to the party in adding cornerback depth, seeming to suggest one of the team’s first two picks in the 2023 NFL Draft will be a corner. Rookies like Deonte Banks (Maryland), Cam Smith (South Carolina), and Kelee Ringo (Georgia), among others, have been linked to Minnesota via mock draft.

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota’s defense struggled tremendously in 2022, ranking 27th per defensive DVOA, 30th in points allowed, and 31st in yards allowed. Still, the franchise won 13 games to just four losses in head coach Kevin O’Connell’s first year, creating enthusiasm for 2023. O’Connell canned 2022 defensive coordinator Ed Donatell in January and hired Brian Flores (who once coached for Williams’ old team, the Patriots) in February.

Williams was a teammate at Vanderbilt with free-agent linebacker Zach Cunningham.

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