Late last week, there were reports that Minnesota Vikings’ outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith had asked the purple for his release. At the time, the Vikings didn’t sound as though they were willing to grant his request.
They might be more accommodating now.
In another move that’s come a bit out of left field, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that the Vikings have agreed to a one-year, $13 million deal with edge defender Marcus Davenport.
The #Vikings are signing pass-rusher Marcus Davenport, sources tell me, @MikeGarafolo, and @TomPelissero. He gets a 1-year deal worth $13M. Impressive.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2023
Davenport was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, who traded up in the draft to acquire his services. He’s shown flashes in his time in New Orleans, including a nine-sack season in 2021, but recorded only half a sack last season after missing some time with a shoulder injury that placed him on injured reserve.
Injuries have been a big part of Davenport’s career to this point, as he’s missed at least two games in all five of his NFL seasons to this point. He’s a very athletic player that could make an impact as an edge defender in Brian Flores’ defense. . .if he can stay healthy.
We still don’t know for sure whether or not this means that the Vikings will grant Za’Darius Smith’s request or, for that matter, which other moves the Vikings are going to make to get under the salary cap by 3:00 PM Central time on Wednesday. But they’re taking a swing on a guy that’s never really fulfilled his potential in the hopes that they can unlock him in Minnesota.
Welcome to Minnesota, Marcus Davenport!