Linebacker Jordan Hicks agreed to a restructured contract with the Vikings, the team announced Monday.
Hicks, who started every game last season, will stay in Minnesota for the second season of a two-year, $10 million contract he signed in free agency last year. The details of Hicks' new deal were not immediately available, but the Vikings have sought salary cap space from multiple players; Hicks, who turns 31 in June, had a $6.5 million cap hit ($5 million unguaranteed).
The Vikings must be under the $224.8 million salary cap by Wednesday afternoon, when the 2023 league year and free agency begin. More moves are needed after general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah began last week by releasing receiver Adam Thielen, linebacker Eric Kendricks and cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Hicks, offensive lineman Chris Reed and defensive tackle Ross Blacklock have agreed to restructured deals to clear cap space.
Reed's restructure cleared $1 million in cap room. The 30-year-old lineman out of Minnesota State-Mankato agreed to drop his base salary from $2.45 million to $1.4 million, according to NFLPA data, while guaranteeing $600,000 and adding $50,000 to his workout bonus. His new salary cap figure is $1.75 million.
Minnesota's defense, which ranked 31st last season, is undergoing another transformation under new coordinator Brian Flores. Hicks gives them at least one veteran linebacker alongside young defenders Troy Dye, Brian Asamoah and William Kwenkeu. He was credited with 129 combined tackles (86 solo; two for a loss), trailing only Kendricks, and 10 pass deflections a year ago.
Kendricks said he'll be joining the Chargers in Los Angeles, where he played in college for UCLA. The Chargers are scheduled to visit U.S. Bank Stadium this season.
Two other veteran defenders — and pending free agents — appear to be joining new teams. Cornerback Patrick Peterson announced an agreement on Monday afternoon with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Peterson plans to sign for two years and up to $14 million. Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson agreed to a four-year, $57 million deal with the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, per multiple reports.
The Vikings agreed to terms with former Ravens tight end Josh Oliver on a three-year deal.
Star Tribune staff writer Ben Goessling contributed to this report.