C.J. Ham, fullback – re-signed
Many NFL teams don’t even use a fullback anymore, meaning that the position doesn’t exactly have a lot of demand anymore. That said, C.J. Ham is a solid blocker and a sneaky option out of the backfield in the passing game.
Ham’s one year deal worth $645,000 will likely have very little to no impact on the team’s salary cap and his presence should help open holes for Dalvin Cook as well as block for Kirk Cousins. Considering the price and low risk, this was a great signing for Minnesota. Grade: A-
Matt Wile, punter – re-signed
In his first full year in Minnesota, Matt Wile had a sneaky good year as a punter. In fact, as of the end of the 2018 season, he was the team’s all-time leader in yards per punt at 42.5, which is 0.8 yards more than the previous leader, Chris Kluwe.
Even though his punting was outstanding, there is still the question of his work as a holder. It’s possible the kicker struggles with rookie Daniel Carlson and even Dan Bailey, who tied his career low numbers in field goal percentage at 75%. Thankfully, Wile’s contract is only $645,000 for one year and the team has a new special teams coach to help his technique. Grade: C
Anthony Barr, linebacker – re-signed
At first, it didn’t appear as though there was any chance the Vikings would be able to retain Anthony Barr. Bringing back the linebacker for a sixth year with their salary cap the way it was seemed impossible, but the Vikings were able to make it happen despite reports that the Jets were willing to throw a massive contract at him.
The details of the contract are VERY team friendly, with a backloaded contract where the majority of guaranteed money comes in the first three years of his five-year deal worth $67.5 million. Not only does this keep Barr around one the cheap, but it gives them an out on the deal after his third year. Rob Brzezinski is truly a magician when it comes to structuring contracts and this deal is a prime example of that.
Add in the fact that there are escalators in Barr’s contract for sacks, and you have a situation where he should be rushing quarterbacks more than dropping back into coverage, which should help the defense greatly going forward. Grade: A-