Another Offensive Lineman Returns to Vikings for 2023 Season

Kirk Cousins Took
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The Vikings entered the important week with many pending free agents. In the first few days of free agency, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah re-signed a good bunch of his own players. Center Garrett Bradbury returns after agreeing to a three-year deal, just like long snapper Andrew DePaola.

Backup QB Nick Mullens and running back Alexander Mattison agreed to two-year deals. Kicker Greg Joseph and depth players Kenny Willekes and Ben Ellefson will fight for roster spots in training camp in July and August.

Another Offensive Lineman Returns to Vikings for 2023 Season

Another Offensive Lineman Returns to Vikings for 2023
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According to Tom Pelissero, the Vikings agreed to terms with backup center Austin Schlottmann who will return for a second season in Minnesota. Last year, Schlottmann was one of the first signings of the new regime.

Schlottmann is the primary backup for starter Bradbury who will also return for another season in purple. Bradbury hasn’t missed a game in his first three campaigns but was forced to sit out five games in the 2022 season. The backup started four of those but exited the game in Green Bay in Week 17 with a broken fibula. His season was over, and he didn’t play in Week 18 or the postseason game.

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Chris Reed was the next man up in Green Bay and Chicago. It showed the significance of capable depth players waiting for their chance in case of emergency. Schlottmann appeared in 58 games in the NFL, including 11 starts through four seasons. The center was an undrafted rookie in 2018 coming out of TCU and signed with the Broncos, where he spent one year on the practice squad and three more on the active roster.

In 2022, the Vikings struggled in the interior of the offensive line, and the purple team doesn’t seem to make any changes there. Both starting guards, Ed Ingram and Ezra Cleveland, are expected to keep their jobs, just like the aforementioned Bradbury. The Vikings also re-signed backup guard and center Chris Reed and employ practice squad center Josh Sokol.

We Now Know 80
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In addition, the organization rosters offensive tackles Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, Blake Brandel, and Vederian Lowe, and offensive line coach Chris Kuper can now work with ten players.

Expect the Vikings to add more athletes to the room. The Vikings started training camp with 15 offensive linemen last season. The 27-year-old Schlottmann agreed to a deal with the Vikings for one season.

More depth and completion across the offensive line is a need, just like another cornerback, a replacement for Adam Thielen, and someone who can stop the run at the defensive tackle spot.

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