Vikings Begin Offseason by Re-Signing Versatile Defender

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It is a fascinating time in the 2024 offseason for Skol Nation as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has multiple crucial questions to answer. Quarterback Kirk Cousins and pass-rusher Danielle Hunter are scheduled to hit free agency in March, and keeping or replacing them should be his priority. However, he must fill his roster to 90 players and started doing that on Wednesday.

Vikings Begin Offseason by Re-Signing Versatile Defender

Vikings Begin Offseason by Re-Signing Versatile Defender
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Adofo-Mensah decided to re-sign free agent defender, Theo Jackson, the team announced, a key piece for the roster’s depth and a riser in last year’s preseason. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores has been a fan of the safety.

Jackson was an exclusive rights-free agent but will return for his third season in purple. He joined the Vikings in Week 6 of the 2022 season when the organization snatched him from Tennessee’s practice squad. Roughly six months before he arrived in Minnesota, the defender from the University of Tennessee was selected in the sixth round by the Titans.

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Lewis Cine’s season-ending injury opened the roster spot, and he was the natural replacement as a speedy depth safety who could contribute to special teams. Indeed, that’s why Jackson played in all 11 games during his debut season, logging 275 reps on special teams and 18 on defense.

His role grew massively when Flores arrived. The new defensive coordinator implemented a defensive system that featured a bunch of looks with three or more safeties on the field. Playing in 15 games in his sophomore campaign, Jackson logged 260 snaps on special teams and 128 on defense. He was the first safety off the bench behind starters Camryn Bynum, Josh Metellus, and Harrison Smith.

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It was quite surprising when the Vikings opted to keep six safeties on the roster (Smith, Bynum, Metellus, Jackson, Cine, and Jay Ward) and only four cornerbacks, although Flores’ crazy usage of them legitimized the decision.

His stat sheet shows 21 tackles and one interception. He caught a pass from Jalen Hurts in Week 2, his first career interception. Throughout the season, he lined up as a deep safety in the box, in the slot, and as an outside cornerback. Similarly to Metellus, he was used all over the field.

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Jackson could once again see a boost in usage in the upcoming season. Veteran Smith is contemplating retirement, and Flores will undoubtedly continue to feature a plethora of safeties. The defender’s ability to cover, combined with a 4.46 40-yard dash time, make him a fascinating player, and Flores is a big fan of his versatility.

His new deal was the first of many Vikings news in the next few months. The 25-year-old should be considered a favorite to earn one of the coveted 53 roster spots.

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