Vikings Make Rare Announcement

Vikings
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, after a 20-17 win over the Washington Commanders in Week 9 of the 2022 regular season.

The Minnesota Vikings hardly ever announce free-agent visits.

Vikings Make Rare Announcement

Typically when a new player is signed, it’s first announced by Tom Pelissero, Ian Rapoport, or Adam Schefter, and that’s that. But this week, the club started Day No. 8 of free agency by announcing a free-agent visit — defensive tackle Jonah Williams.

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports.

The man will evidently tour the facilities in Eagan and discuss a relationship for 2024.

Adding another defensive tackle makes sense, as Minnesota has just four such players on the roster as of March 18th:

  • Harrison Phillips
  • Jerry Tillery
  • Jonathan Bullard
  • Jacquelin Roy

The Vikings didn’t partake in the sweepstakes of any expensive, big-name defensive tackles during free agency’s first week. Chris Jones, Christian Wilkins, and Leonard Williams, for example, headlined the DT market, but Minnesota apparently didn’t have the funds to make a splash.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

Instead, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed Jerry Tillery, a former 1st-Rounder, last week, and that’s all the free-agent DT action to date. Minnesota also released Dean Lowry, who joined the club during free agency last year but didn’t pan out in 2023.

Williams, 28, joined the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2020 — yes, Kevin O’Connell was the Rams’ offensive coordinator then — serving on the practice squad until 2021. Williams steadily accumulated playing time in the last three seasons, culminating in 17 games and 16 starts last year. He banked 40 tackles and 2 sacks.

Flores Flourish
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s his Pro Football Focus resume to date:

2023 = 55.6
2022 = 53.6
2021 = 64.9

The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder is better at stopping the run than getting after the quarterback, whereas the man signed last week, Tillery, is the opposite. If the Vikings sign Williams and no free-agent DTs thereafter while not selecting an impact defensive tackle in April’s draft, perhaps Tillery and Williams would split defensive snaps in 2024 at the spot next to Harrison Phillips. We shall see.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.

Williams attended Weber State University and won a Super Bowl with the 2021 Rams, along with the aforementioned O’Connell. If the Vikings plan to, alas, make a splashier DT addition than Williams, well, the franchise is down to Calais Campbell as its last best hope. It’s unclear, however, if Campbell, at age 37, would want to join a new team likely featuring a rookie quarterback in September (or Sam Darnold).

The former Ram played 598 defensive snaps, or 53% of the time, for last year’s Los Angeles squad. He’ll be an affordable option if Adofo-Mensah turns the free-agent visit into a contract.

Williams will turn 29 in August.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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