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Vikings sign CB Nate Hairston, re-sign CB Tye Smith

More depth pieces at cornerback

Baltimore Ravens v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings made a couple of moves in their defensive secondary, adding one new face while bringing back a familiar one.

The team has signed cornerback Nate Hairston and re-signed cornerback Tye Smith.

Hairston comes to Minnesota from the Denver Broncos, where he played last year under new Vikings’ defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. He started his career with the Indianapolis Colts, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After two seasons with the Colts, he was traded to the New York Jets. The Jets released him early in the 2020 season, and after that he made his way to Denver.

Hairston appeared in all 16 games for the Broncos last season, primarily on special teams. He played approximately 15% of the defensive snaps for Denver last season as well.

Smith spent all of 2021 on the Vikings’ practice squad, and was elevated five times to the active roster (with several of those coming as a COVID-19 replacement). Smith didn’t play a whole lot for the Vikings when he did get elevated, but when he did get into the game he was primarily a special teamer as well.

Obviously, neither of these signings are going to move the proverbial needle all that much when it comes to the Vikings’ priorities going forward this offseason. The secondary is still a position of significant need, and the purple will have to invest significantly more capital into it, whether that’s in the form of more free agents, picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, or both.