The Vikings now have three quarterbacks under contract for next season.
Nate Stanley and Jake Browning, both of whom spent all of 2020 on the practice squad, were among eight players Monday to sign futures deals with Minnesota. They join on the offseason roster starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has two years left on his contract. Backup Sean Mannion is due to become a free agent in March.
Stanley, a native of Menomonie, Wis., was a seventh-round draft pick last April out of Iowa. Browning has been with the Vikings since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2019.
Others off the practice squad to sign were cornerbacks Cordrea Tankersley and Tae Hayes, tackle Blake Brandel, fullback Jake Bargas, defensive back Luther Kirk and offensive lineman Zack Bailey. A source said tight end Brandon Dillon, who finished the season on the practice squad COVID-19 list, also will sign.
Tankersley played in two games in 2020, including starting Sunday’s 37-35 season-ending win at Detroit. Dillon got into three games in 2020, and caught one pass for six yards. Bargas was elevated for a Dec. 25 game at New Orleans when starter C.J. Ham was injured and played seven snaps. Hayes was elevated for the finale at Detroit and played two snaps on special teams.
Sources said practice-squad players not expected to sign futures deals include offensive lineman Aviante Collins, defensive end Eddie Yarbrough and defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson. Collins spent the past four seasons with Minnesota, getting into five games.
Yarbrough spent the first week of the season on the 53-man roster and the remainder of the season on the practice squad. He played in four games this season, including 20 having snaps Sunday. Anderson was elevated for a Nov. 8 game against Detroit, and had 10 snaps on special teams.
Vikings free agents
The Vikings have 11 players due to become unrestricted free agents in March and three bound to be restricted free agents.
Heading the list of unrestricted free agents are safety Anthony Harris, who played in 2020 under the franchise tag of $11.441 million, and linebacker Eric Wilson, whom salary-cap analyst Jason Fitzgerald recently said could command a contract worth “$9 million or $10 million a year.” It would be surprise if the Vikings re-sign Harris, who had nothing special of a season, and they likely only would re-sign Wilson if they decide to part ways with linebacker Anthony Barr, who is on the books in 2021 for a salary-cap number of $15.062 million.
Other unrestricted free agents will be Mannion, defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, guard Dakota Dozier, tackle Rashod Hill, running back Ameer Abdullah, linebacker Todd Davis, center Brett Jones, linebacker Hardy Nickerson and safety George Iloka.
Restricted free agents will be defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, wide receiver Chad Beebe and running back Mike Boone. Odenigbo didn’t want to speculate on his future, saying he had not “thought much about it.’’
After having seven sacks as a reserve in 2019, Odenigbo had just 3 1/2 in 2020 while starting 15 games before sitting out the finale with a chest injury.
“Obviously, I played a lot this year and I think offensive linemen were learning my tendencies,’’ he said. “Use this offseason to get better. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because this league will move on without you.’’
Running back Dalvin Cook led the NFL with an average of 137.0 yards per scrimmage per game. “He’s a big reason why I’m excited for next year,” said receiver Adam Thielen. … Beebe called his 40-yard touchdown catch and run in the waning seconds of the first half Sunday “unexpected.” He said he was looking to go out of bounds until he “saw nobody really in front of me.” … Center Garrett Bradbury said he “improved” from his rookie season of 2019 and now needs to “take another step.”