The legal tampering period of NFL free agency opened on Monday afternoon and Vikings fans had to sit through a tough news day. There were reports of Danielle Hunter being unhappy with his contract along with several reported targets for the Vikings signing elsewhere.
Throughout the day it seemed as if Rick Spielman and the Vikings weren’t going to make any splash signings, but that changed late on Monday night. The Vikings added help along the defensive line and at linebacker with just hours to spare before the clock changed over to Tuesday morning.
Defensive Tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who formerly played for the New York Giants, was the first outside signing for the Vikings in 2021. Tomlinson should pair nicely with Michael Pierce and the two will instantly boost a Vikings run defense that was towards the bottom of the league a year ago.
Tomlinson is only 27 and has never missed a start since entering the league in 2017. Despite being an elite run stopper, he has also shown flashes of getting pressure to the quarterback.
In back-to-back seasons Tomlinson recorded 3.5 sacks for the Giants. In the clip above he shows off his strength when bullying his way to a sack on Carson Wentz, but his athleticism and pass rushing maneuvers may surprise Vikings fans down the road.
With this signing the Vikings know they have two starting-caliber defensive tackles that will be a much-needed boost up front. This will allow the Vikings to spend their draft capital on other resources while trying to find more of a third down three-technique later on in the draft.
The Vikings didn’t stop after the Tomlinson signing, as they added some more depth to their linebacker group just moments after.
Nick Vigil played his 2020 season with the Chargers but was previously in Cincinnati for the first four years of his career. He spent time with new Vikings senior defensive assistant Paul Guenther with the Bengals, so the Vikings have someone in-house with familiarity with the new linebacker.
Over the last four seasons Vigil has started in 39 games recording 345 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. He plays with good athleticism and is a cheaper option than bringing back Eric Wilson. Although nothing is set in stone, this singing likely marks the end of Wilson’s time in Minnesota.
Even though the Vikings got off to a slower start on Monday they were able to finish the day with two solid signings. It’s unlikely that the team is done making moves, but at the very least the defense has already improved from last season.
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