Vikings Re-Sign 1 of Their Free Agents

Vikings Depth Chart -- Week 16 vs. Giants
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) and center Garrett Bradbury (56) celebrate Thielen's touchdown in the second half. © Danielle Parhizkaran/, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The Minnesota Vikings continue to be active on the market. On Monday, the first day of free agency, the Vikings agreed to terms with tight end Josh Oliver and edge rusher Marcus Davenport. The latter is a low-risk one-year deal for $13 million. He could be a replacement for Za’Darius Smith who reportedly wants out.

Bringing in Oliver, meanwhile, raised some eye-brows. The Vikings gave him a three-year contract for $21 million, which is a lot of money considering his underwhelming production. However, he is much more than his statistics, as he’s an elite blocker with upside in the passing game because the Ravens rarely used him in their passing attack.

Vikings Re-Sign 1 of Their Free Agents

Vikings Re-Sign 1 of Their Free Agents
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Center Garrett Bradbury continues to be center of the Vikings for the next three seasons. Mike Garafolo reported on Twitter: “The Vikings have reached agreement with C Garrett Bradbury to return to Minnesota, source says. The 2019 first-round pick remains Kirk Cousins’ center.”

Bradbury was arguably the top Vikings free agent after defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson reportedly agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns. It’s good news for the Vikings to get their starting center back. The move ensures full continuity across the offensive line, as all five starters will be back in the upcoming season, barring a surprising roster move. Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill will continue to form one of the elite offensive tackle duos, while the three interior linemen, Ezra Cleveland, Ed Ingram, and Bradbury will all return.

The weakness of the line is clearly the interior but Bradbury played well in 2022 after struggling in his first three years. Cleveland is slowly improving while Ingram could be in line for a big jump in his second campaign in the league after having some normal rookie problems.

Christian Darrisaw's Return Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think
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Bradbury’s problem was the pass protection. Too often, the center was pushed back by strong defensive tackles, most of them are huge individuals, something that gave the undersized player all kinds of problems. However, the new regime, especially Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell seem to like the player and he took a step in the right direction and got more consistent.

His biggest advantage compared to other players at his position is his athleticism. Bradbury is one of the quickest and fastest linemen in the league and his ability to set reach blocks in the running game with that mobility earned him the nickname “Grim Reacher” prior to the draft.

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The good news for Vikings fans is the contract numbers. Bradbury reportedly agreed to a three-year deal for $15.75 million, according to Ian Rapoport. He was projected, by different outlets, to earn more with his next deal. Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah often talks about value and Bradbury is a surplus value with his new contract.

The continuity should help the offensive line to take a step forward as a unit under offensive line coach Chris Kuper, a former NFL lineman. Bradbury can hopefully build on his strong 2022 season in which he was finally considered the anchor of the interior offensive line.

Minnesota fixed one of their roster holes, with many more to go. On Tuesday morning, the Vikings already agreed to terms with backup QB Nick Mullens. The next signings should include some help at cornerback and the Vikings need to sign either a new kicker or bring back Greg Joseph.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt