5 worst moves of the Minnesota Vikings 2021 offseason

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Chad Beebe
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Chad Beebe /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /

Bringing back Stephen Weatherly

One of the biggest issues with the Vikings’ defense last season was their pass rush. With Danielle Hunter out for the year, Minnesota’s depth was exposed and they finished the season with just 23 sacks. Five of those sacks came from Yannick Ngakoue, who lasted just six games before being traded to the Baltimore Ravens.

To solve the issue, the Vikings brought back Stephen Weatherly. Weatherly had six sacks and 67 tackles in four years with Minnesota, but he signed with the Carolina Panthers last offseason.

Promoted to a starting role in Carolina, Weatherly floundered, recording only 17 tackles and no sacks in nine games before being released in February.

The Vikings are hoping that they can utilize Weatherly’s talents, but he wasn’t an effective player during his time in Minnesota. During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Weatherly finished 77th and 78th among qualifiers in pass-rushing efficiency rankings, and he was better suited as a rotational player.

Zimmer could use Weatherly both on the edge and as a 3-technique, but it doesn’t move the needle for a team that couldn’t get to the quarterback last season. With D.J. Wonnum and a stable of “pet cats” behind him, there’s a chance the Vikings’ defensive line depth could still be an issue.