Vikings Bolster DL by Stealing Away a Packers Player

Well, we discussed the situation earlier in the day: the team has some cap flexibility and will be contuing to add free agents. The defensive line remains a work in progress, but the latest move should help. Dean Lowry – a former Packers player – is bringing his talents over to Minnesota.

Tom Pelissero shared the news, including the basic contract details:

The team’s two main defensive tackles are Harrison Phillips and Khyiris Tonga. Both are well known for their run-stuffing prowess.

Lowry will also be relied on to slow down the opposition’s rushing attack, but the hope is that he’ll also add a bit of pass rushing help.

The 6’6″, 296 defensive linemen will primarily be a 3T/5T in Minnesota, meaning he’ll often be matched up on the guard or tackle. Fans can think of him as being part of a group that includes James Lynch, Ross Blacklock, and Esezi Otomewo, linemen who are sturdy and yet capable of getting some penetration.

A Simple Look at the Colts in Week 15
Oct 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle James Lynch. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

Since entering the league as a 4th-round selection in 2016, Lowry has been a Packer. Perhaps his most notable season was in 2021 when he had 5 sacks, 9 QB hits, and 5 TFLs. Those numbers sunk to a half sack, 5 QB hits, and 1 TFL in 2022.

Leading up to the draft, Dean Lowry put up 30 reps on the bench press while running a 4.87 forty. In other words, he had an intriguing blend of length, strength, and speed for a 3-4 defensive end. Now, the DE designation need not be prohibitive. He’ll slide up and down the line, demonstrating a flexibility that is needed in today’s NFL. At times, he’ll play more like a DT; at other times, he’ll be lined up as a DE.

Forced to guess, the Lowry deal likely comes with a pretty modest 2023 cap hit. So far, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s preference has been to ink free agents to 2- to 3-year deals that leave the team with increasing amounts of financial flexibility as the contract proceeds. That’s what he did with Jordan Hicks, Za’Darius Smith, and Byron Murphy (among others).

Some of the upcoming deals will be about patching holes so that the team doesn’t feel compelled to force anything in the draft. Raising the floor at pivotal spots will allow the organization to have the luxury of picking the best player available. Lowry accomplishes that goal for the DL by giving Brian Flores another strong veteran to work with in 2023.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.