New Linebacker Joins Vikings Roster

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks with defensive players Jerome Baker (55), Kamu Grugier-Hill (51), Brandon Jones (29) and Bobby McCain (28) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, November 15, 2020. (ALLEN EYESTONE / THE PALM BEACH POST)

A Brian Flores carryover from the Miami Dolphins will reportedly join the Minnesota Vikings roster in 2024.

New Linebacker Joins Vikings Roster

The purple team needed extra depth at the off-ball linebacking spot, and journeyman defender Kamu Grugier-Hill got the call on Wednesday.

Vikings Roster
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s seven teams in nine seasons for Grugier-Hill, who should slide into a reservist role on the depth chart. The 29-year-old most recently played for the Carolina Panthers and evidently wasn’t a priority for Dave Canales’ team to re-sign this season.

Here’s Grugier-Hill’s NFL resume to date:

  • New England Patriots (2016)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (2016–2019)
  • Miami Dolphins (2020)
  • Houston Texans (2021–2022)
  • Arizona Cardinals (2022)
  • Carolina Panthers (2023)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2024)
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Drafted by the New England Patriots from the 6th Round in 2016, the Eastern Illinois alumnus never saw action on Bill Belichick’s squad, instead cutting his teeth in the NFL with the Eagles as a rookie eight years ago. He has plenty of experience, playing 115 games while starting 42. Last season, he started 5 games in Carolina and banked a total of 56 tackles and an interception (against the Vikings). All told in the NFL, Grugier-Hill has recorded 338 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 11 QB hits, 8 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions.

Here’s his Pro Football Focus resume to date:

  • 2016 = 68.8
  • 2017 = 72.3
  • 2018 = 62.9
  • 2019 = 60.1
  • 2020 = 50.4
  • 2021 = 44.2
  • 2022 = 29.6
  • 2023 = 48.6

Grugier’s specialty as an inside linebacker is getting after quarterbacks, which should complement newcomer linebacker Blake Cashman, whose forte is pass coverage. This is Minnesota’s inside linebacker room after the Grugier-Hill addition:

  • Ivan Pace Jr.
  • Blake Cashman
  • Brian Asamoah
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill
  • Abraham Beauplan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota hired the aforementioned Flores about 14 months ago after one season of Ed Donatell’s leadership. Flores improved the defense immediately, recasting his unit to the NFL’s 11th-best in 2023 from 24th in 2022 per DVOA. The relationship worked, and now Flores is on tap for Year No. 2 in Minnesota. Free agents like Shaquill Griffin, Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, Blake Cashman, and now Grugier-Hill feel destined to help.

The Vikings could use a bit more help on the defensive line, too. Many fans hoped Adofo-Mensah would sign an impact defensive tackle like Christian Wilkins or Arik Armstead in free agency, but he chose not to invest significant free-agent funds at the spot. Jerry Tillery and Jonah Williams, two bargain additions, joined instead. If Minnesota wants a big-name defensive tackle, it’s basically down to Calais Campbell, the draft, or bust in 2024.

Just Give Brian Flores
Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

The Vikings also signed outside linebacker Jihad Ward on Wednesday.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by