Former Vikings Defender Signs with the Arizona Cardinals Prior to 3rd Preseason Game

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (14) throws while Minnesota Vikings linebacker Zach McCloud (59) defends during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals are meeting in Eagan for a pair of joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday prior to their preseason game on Saturday.

Ahead of this week of practice, the Cardinals have decided to add a former Vikings defender in pass rusher Zach McCloud. Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reported the news via Twitter, writing, “Cardinals signed Zach McCloud.”

Arizona Cardinals
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebackers Zach McCloud (59) and Andre Mintze (31) warm up during training camp at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout six college seasons, McCloud played in 59 games at Miami, recording 22.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and 192 tackles.

McCloud signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent last year, getting a massive deal from the Vikings that gave him a guaranteed salary of $250,000. He was a popular prospect going into the draft, but due to some size concerns (standing at 6’2″ and only weighing 235 pounds), he went undrafted.

He played all three preseason games for the Vikings last summer, totaling 100 defensive snaps. He put together four tackles during those games and had a QB hit against the Denver Broncos.

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Zach McCloud (53) forces the fumble of Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

However, with the Vikings having some decent depth at that OLB position in Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, D.J. Wonnum, and Patrick Jones, McCloud was part of the final group of cuts heading into the 2022 season.

The second-year pass-rusher has spent time with the Broncos and Titans since leaving the Vikings. He was actually waived by the Titans prior to last week’s joint practices in Minnesota.

He now joins a large group of pass-rushers in Arizona as the Cardinals cope with the loss of J.J. Watt, who retired this offseason. The Cardinals now employ:

  • Zaven Collins
  • Dennis Gardeck
  • Victor Dimukeje
  • Cameron Thomas
  • Myjai Sanders
  • BJ Ojulari
  • Jesse Luketa
  • David Anenih
  • Zach McCloud

McCloud also joins plenty of former Vikings in Arizona. Kris Boyd signed there in free agency, and they also have QB David Blough, CB Nate Hairston, and IOL Pat Elflein.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.