With the final months of the regular season winding down, veteran free agents are beginning to choose the teams they’ll help make a run in the postseason.
The Minnesota Vikings maintained conversations with five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh since the summer but had yet to find a price point to agree upon signing the veteran tackle. KSTP reporter Darren Wolfson kept tabs on the conversations that bled into the regular season.
However, this week, Suh turned his back on those talks with the Vikings, opting to sign with an NFC rival instead.
Ndamukong Suh Signs With Philadelphia Eagles
On November 17, Suh agreed to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Suh was reported to wanting a $9 million contract this season, which was a price point Minnesota was not ready to pay.
Suh’s signing comes just a day after the Eagles signed former Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph — two significant additions to a defense that is looking to replace standout rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who landed on the injured reserve list with an ankle injury.
“#Eagles had been involved on the periphery with Suh for weeks,” Heavy NFL insider Matt Lombardo tweeted. “Defense’s vulnerability against the run made the timing right. Suh’s top priority has always been chasing a ring. Big get for Howie Roseman’s #Eagles.”
Without Davis, the Eagles have yielded 168 yards on the ground to the Houston Texans in Week 9 and 152 yards and two touchdowns in their first loss of the season to the Washington Commanders on Monday.
Philadelphia’s loss was a warning cry that the Eagles would need to improve their defensive front to stay as the leaders of the NFC — especially with the Vikings threatening with an equal record of 8-1 through 10 weeks.
Vikings Optimistic About Top Run Defender’s Return
The Vikings have been without defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson the past two games and have seen a significant hit to their run defense, allowing a whopping 312 yards on the ground.
Tomlinson is the largest defensive lineman and was brought in to play the Joseph role in plugging up the middle of Mike Zimmer’s defense, signing a two-year contract back in 2021. While he’s switched to playing the three-technique next to nose tackle Harrison Phillips, his return will surely give the Vikings’ defense a needed boost in the trenches, and it may be coming soon.
KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported on November 15 that there’s “optimism” Tomlinson will participate in practice this week and take a significant step toward returning in time for Week 11’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.
Meanwhile, starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw and rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans are in concussion protocol and questionable this week. Kevin O’Connell did not update which phase they are in of the protocol in his Wednesday press conference.
Evans started in place of Cameron Dantzler who was placed on the injured reserve list with an ankle injury and will miss at least three more games. Star Tribune reporter Andrew Krammer reported on November 16 that Dantzler expects to return after his four-game stay on the injured list.
Second-round rookie cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. played 37 snaps in place of Evans on Sunday against the Bills. Veteran cornerback Duke Shelley, who was signed off the street last week, stepped in for three snaps and came up with a crucial stop in overtime the play before Patrick Peterson‘s game-clinching interception.
Those two corners will be in line for significant reps in Evans doesn’t clear concussion protocol in time.