Vikings Add New CB

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NFL free agency is 48 days away, but the Minnesota Vikings bumped up the timeline a bit on Tuesday.

Vikings Add New CB

The club added former Cleveland Browns cornerback A.J. Green III to the roster, a futures contract for the Oklahoma State alumnus. The Vikings’ main social account tweeted the news:

Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah spent two seasons in Cleveland from 2020 to 2021, which is when Green III entered the NFL, so the move checks out. Green III can be accurately labeled as a Kwesi guy now that the young executive carried him over from Cleveland to Minnesota.

Vikings Add New CB
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If one is to assume that Green III eventually experiences playing time with the Vikings, his addition to the depth chart checks out for one central reason — size. Most Vikings corners are under 6’2,” and a couple of them struggled in 2023 with oversized, physical wide receivers. See: Courtland Sutton of the Broncos and Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins. Green is 6’2″ and unlikely to be outmatched on jump balls, at least not routinely.

Undrafted in 2020, Green III lasted in Cleveland for four seasons, earning 318 defensive snaps and 477 on special teams. He didn’t play on defense in 2023, with most action accrued in 2021 and 2022.

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Here’s his Pro Football Focus resume to date:

  • 2020 = DNP (defense)
  • 2021 = 86.2
  • 2022 = 43.6
  • 2023 = DNP (defense)

Green III has a long way to go in making the 53-man roster at the end of August, but for now, he has a puncher’s chance of joining the 2024 active roster. Some Vikings fans believe cornerback is a primary need this offseason, although from Weeks 4-14 this year, Minnesota’s defense ranked tops in the NFL per EPA/Play.

25 Free Agents
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With Green III’s addition to the roster, a group that will climb to 90 players by May, these are the Vikings’ cornerbacks as of January 23rd:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andrew Booth
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Najee Thompson
  • Joejuan Williams
  • Jaylin Williams
  • A.J. Green III

Minnesota ranked 32nd in the NFL per completion percentage allowed in 2023, a statistic in blatant need of repair. Between Green III, free agency in seven weeks, and the 2024 NFL Draft, the Vikings must rectify that metric if the defense is to improve.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper sent Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins to the Vikings via his first mock draft of the cycle on Tuesday. Minnesota owns the 11th overall pick in April’s draft.

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Green III has tabulated 40 tackles and 2 interceptions in his career, with a 79.4 passer-rating-against in 2021 and 94.7 in 2022.

He’ll turn 26 in June.

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