Vikings Re-Sign DL Kenny Willekes

Kenny Willekes
Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Kenny Willekes (79) during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After agreeing to terms with multiple new players on Monday, the first day of the NFL’s “legal tampering” period, Tuesday’s theme was continuity for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings. After re-signing players like Garrett Bradury and Andrew DePaola, the Vikings have agreed to terms with young defensive lineman Kenny Willekes as announced by Priority Sports, whose agency represents the Viking.

Willekes was a seventh-round pick by the Vikings in 2020 NFL Draft, but injuries have gotten the better of the young defender so far in his career. The defensive lineman had both his 2020 and 2022 seasons end before they could begin due to injuries. In 2020, he suffered a torn ACL that landed him on IR in preseason, and in 2022, the injury went undisclosed.

However, Willekes certainly showed some positives during his sole healthy season of 2021. In that second NFL season, he appeared in six games and recorded 18 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 7 QB hits, and a pass defended.

The talent as a pass rusher is certainly there for Willekes, so this could be a smart signing by the Vikings solely for the upside of that aspect of the 2020 seventh-rounder’s game. For now, we don’t have the details of the contract, but this likely looks like a very team-friendly contract.

In all, the Vikings have now made four big moves on Tuesday, with free agency set to officially begin on Wednesday, March 15th.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. 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.