While the Vikings continue to clear salary cap space in advance of the 2023 league year on Wednesday, they're working to improve their roster on the open market.
A league source confirmed they've agreed to a three-year deal with Ravens tight end Josh Oliver, who figures to give the Vikings a blocking complement to T.J. Hockenson. NFL teams could begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents on Monday, but cannot officially sign players until Wednesday.
Oliver's deal is worth $21 million, with $10.7 million in guaranteed money and a $3.5 million cap hit for this year.
According to Pro Football Focus, Oliver played 324 of his 513 snaps on run plays last year, and spent another 30 in pass protection. He caught a career-high 14 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, but the 6-foot-5, 249-pound Oliver stood out most in his blocking work, and he could play a similar role for the Vikings.
Hockenson is under contract for the 2023 season, but Irv Smith is set to hit free agency this week and Johnny Mundt (who worked primarily as a blocking tight end last year) has just $100,000 of dead money on a deal set to count for $1.23 million against the cap this season. Oliver's addition figures to come with a significant role in the Vikings' offense in 2023.
The Vikings, who agreed to a restructured deal with linebacker Jordan Hicks to clear cap space on Monday morning, still have more work to do to get under the cap by the start of the league year on Wednesday afternoon. It's believed they're pursuing a restructured deal with safety Harrison Smith, and could make moves with players like running back Dalvin Cook and edge rusher Za'Darius Smith before the start of the league year.