Vikings Run It Back with Veteran Defender

Vikings Part Ways with Longtime Pro Scout
Vikings Helmet

The Minnesota Vikings have been hard at work over the past two days bringing in new talent to fill their roster for 2024.

They’ve brought in a number of new players, including multiple defenders, a quarterback, and even a new kicker. However, this latest Vikings free agency move involves bringing back one of their own free agents. Reports came out on Wednesday afternoon that Minnesota has agreed to terms on a new deal with defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard.

Another Vikings Free Agency Move

Vikings Free Agency
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The agreement was reported by Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune, who tweeted, “The #Vikings have agreed to terms with Jonathan Bullard; the defensive lineman comes back on a new deal.” Goessling later suggested that the contract was a one-year deal for Bullard.

Goessling also added, “Jonathan Bullard definitely has some fans in the #Vikings’ coaching staff, especially with where he fits in the run defense. He’ll have a role in base packages again.”

This is a welcomed reunion in Minnesota. Bullard joined the Vikings in 2022 on a one-year contract after being a journeyman throughout his early NFL career. The defensive lineman was selected out of Florida by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

He spent his first three NFL seasons with the Bears where he appeared in 46 games and made 5 starts. During this time, he recorded 62 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 passes defended, and a forced fumble.

Vikings Free Agency
Jan 6, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (95) and defensive end Jonathan Bullard. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports.

Prior to the 2019 season, Bullard was waived by the Bears and picked up by the Arizona Cardinals, thus beginning his path as a journeyman. He played in 9 games for the Cardinals before being placed on IR in December. In all, he recorded 22 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and a career-high 1.5 sacks for Arizona during the season.

Bullard remained with the Cardinals early on in the 2020 season by being a member of the practice squad, but he was released in October and signed by the Seattle Seahawks. He played a very small role with the Seahawks, appearing in 6 games and recording 8 tackles.

After playing nine games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021, Bullard joined the Vikings for the 2022 campaign and he jumped into a starting role. However, a bicep injury landed him on IR in December, and he played 12 regular season games for the Vikings. In the regular season, he put together 23 tackles and 5 tackles for loss. He also played in Minnesota’s playoff game against the New York Giants, recording a sack.

DL Jonathan Bullard
Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Bullard decided to come back in 2023, and he was fully healthy this past season, playing all 17 games and recording 44 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks. Seeing as the Vikings released Dean Lowry on Tuesday, Bullard provides some much-needed depth to a defensive line that has only gotten thinner since Monday.

Bullard will turn 31 years old in October. Financial terms of this contract are unknown at this time.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

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.