Vikings Make 2nd Major Offseason Move

Move Ranked in
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On Monday, it was Marcus Davenport from the New Orleans Saints. He’ll be the Minnesota Vikings new EDGE rusher opposite Danielle Hunter in September.

On Tuesday, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah maintained the defensive theme and “got his guy” at cornerback, a terribly desolate roster spot before Tuesday night.

Vikings Make 2nd Major Offseason Move

Minnesota signed cornerback Byron Murphy from the Arizona Cardinals, a deal universally accepted by Vikings fans as a glorious move. Some even exhaled a sigh of relief.

Vikings Make 2nd
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NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “The Vikings are working to finalize a deal for Cardinals CB Byron Murphy. A big-time defender lands in Minnesota. It’s a 2-year deal worth roughly $22M, per me and Tom Pelissero. One of the top CBs on the market.”

Next to Jamel Dean, James Bradberry, and [perhaps] Cameron Sutton, Murphy was considered a top corner on the open market, and Adofo-Mensah wasted no time replacing Patrick Peterson, who bolted for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday.

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Murphy emphatically shores up Minnesota’s skinny CB room, at least on paper, and brings the player total to five, with free agency hitting Day 3 on Wednesday:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Andrew Booth
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Tay Gowan
  • Kalon Barnes

And in that temporary conglomeration — Minnesota may sign more CBs or draft one or two in April — Murphy is the instant CB1 with no debates from anybody. That’s not necessarily a positive thing for the Vikings, instead displaying the lack of depth as of March 14th. But Murphy does provide a man-coverage skillset, which Minnesota will need in 2023 with Brian Flores in charge.

ESPN Deems Vikings
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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

The Vikings can put a bow on the free-agent part of CB roster needs by re-signing 2022 standout Duke Shelley. The out-of-nowhere performer from last year has indicated this offseason he’d like to rejoin the Vikings, but it’s been crickets on his return in recent weeks. Shelley was somehow the NFL’s fourth-best cornerback in 2022, according to PFF. Pairing Murphy with Shelley, Booth, and Evans would give the Vikings a little bit of confidence heading into 2023 with Brian Flores’ new defensive scheme.

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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 missed eight games in 2022 because of a back strain.

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