The Vikings and defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard agreed to a contract on Tuesday, marking the 10th free agent to agree to re-sign with Minnesota this month.
Bullard, the 29-year-old former Bears draft pick, appeared in 12 games last season. He made seven starts as an interior defender in the Vikings' 3-4 front, which they'll maintain under new coordinator Brian Flores. Bullard missed five games, including a four-game absence due to a biceps injury suffered Dec. 4 against the Jets.
The Vikings front office has retained all of last year's interior defensive linemen — Harrison Phillips, Bullard, Khyiris Tonga, James Lynch, Ross Blacklock and Esezi Otomewo — except Dalvin Tomlinson, who the Vikings could not afford in free agency. The position's lone newcomer so far is ex-Packer Dean Lowry, who signed a two-year deal.
Nine other free agents have re-signed with the Vikings this month: center Garrett Bradbury, running back Alexander Mattison, kicker Greg Joseph, long snapper Andrew DePaola, quarterback Nick Mullens, offensive linemen Oli Udoh and Austin Schlottmann, outside linebacker Kenny Willekes and tight end Ben Ellefson.
Five former Vikings players remain free agents: tight end Irv Smith Jr., cornerbacks Duke Shelley, Kris Boyd and Chandon Sullivan, and receiver Bisi Johnson.
Receiver Thomas Hennigan, an undrafted signing last year out of Appalachian State, was waived on Tuesday.
Salary cap gymnastics
The Vikings' salary cap maneuvering involved adjusting the structures of contracts for recent free-agent additions Byron Murphy Jr. and Josh Oliver.
In the case for both, the Vikings added void years — three for Murphy, two for Oliver — that cleared over $3 million in space by pushing signing bonus charges into future seasons, according to NFLPA data. Combined with safety Harrison Smith's pay cut, the Vikings are compliant with the 2023 salary cap. But the team may need to make further moves to create cap space for future veteran additions, signing the draft class and eventual injury replacements.
Coaching staff finalized
The Vikings announced final additions to this year's coaching staff on Tuesday. Kevin O'Connell hired three defensive coaches — assistant defensive line coach Pat Hill, assistant inside linebackers coach Thad Bogardus, and assistant defensive backs coach Michael Hutchings — and assistant special teams coach Dalmin Gibson. Flores helped run interviews with defensive candidates, according to O'Connell.
Hutchings, a former Western Kentucky assistant, will be a first-time NFL coach. He is filling the latest opening on the Vikings' staff after former safeties coach Roy Anderson was hired as Seattle's defensive backs coach.
Bogardus, the ex-Rams defensive assistant, is the fifth former L.A. coach on staff, rejoining O'Connell, quarterbacks coach Chris O'Hara and coordinators Wes Phillips and Matt Daniels.
Imarjaye Albury is rejoining the coaching staff as a defensive assistant after spending last year as a pro scout. Albury was also a defensive assistant in 2020-2021.