3-Time Pro Bowl Edge Named Bargain Free Agent Fit for Vikings

Melvin Ingram, Dolphins

Getty Edge-rusher Melvin Ingram, formerly of the Miami Dolphins.

The NFL season is approaching its stretch run, and playoff contenders like the Minnesota Vikings may be considering late-season additions who can help push them over the top.

While the free agent market is minimal 12 weeks into the 2023 campaign, a handful of players who can offer meaningful contributions remain unsigned. Among them is edge-rusher Melvin Ingram who can provide depth at a premium position.

Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report pitched Ingram as a top bargain signing for Minnesota on Saturday, November 25.

“A first-round pick over a decade ago, Melvin Ingram could be an excellent addition to round an edge rotation,” Fowler wrote. “While he’s served as the ‘spinner’ in a multitude of spots during his career, pinning his ears back on passing downs could provide a team an excellent bang-for-your-buck option. Pushing the pocket remains of the utmost importance come playoff time, and whether Ingram gets to the quarterback or not, his presence will, at minimum, draw the eyes of opposing offenses.”

Melvin Ingram Tallied 6 Sacks with Dolphins Last Season

Melvin Ingram, Dolphins

GettyEdge-rusher Melvin Ingram, formerly of the Miami Dolphins.

Ingram has bounced around the NFL since his glory days with the Los Angeles Chargers, where he made three consecutive Pro Bowls between 2017-19.

The pass-rusher racked up 6 sacks with the Miami Dolphins last season and 2 sacks the year before between stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. Ingram has tallied 57 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns over the course of his 11-year career, per Pro Football Reference.

Ingram played in Miami last season on a one-year, $4 million contract. The Vikings have nearly $7.5 million in salary cap space at their disposal as of Saturday.

Marcus Davenport Ankle Injury Has Left Vikings Thin at Outside Linebacker

Marcus Davenport, Vikings

GettyPass-rusher Marcus Davenport of the Minnesota Vikings sacks quarterback Bryce Young of the Carolina Panthers during an NFL game in October 2023.

Minnesota is thin at the outside linebacker position, as Marcus Davenport remains on injured reserve (IR).

The Vikings signed the former member of the New Orleans Saints to a one-year, $13 million contract during free agency last offseason. Davenport has tallied just 2 sacks across four games played in 2023.

He suffered an ankle sprain during Minnesota’s victory over the Chicago Bears in mid-October, which put him on the shelf. Davenport was eligible to return last week against the Denver Broncos but remained out. He was still listed on IR as of Saturday, per ESPN.

Danielle Hunter and DJ Wonnum are both having quality years for the Vikings off the edge, but depth at the position gets shaky beyond the starters. Pat Jones II and Andre Carter II are the other two outside linebackers on the active roster. Jones has 4 career sacks, though none this season. Carter, an undrafted rookie, has played just 38 defensive snaps for the Vikings this season.

The 34-year-old Ingram can offer Minnesota both experience and depth on the edge at value. Even a timely sack or two down the stretch and/or during the postseason will render Ingram worth whatever moderate contract the Vikings will need to offer to secure his services.

Minnesota hosts the Chicago Bears on Sunday before settling into their bye next week.

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