So It Begins: Vikings Re-Sign Young Safety for 2024

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Theo Jackson (25) intercepts pass intended for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have officially re-signed their first pending free agent of the 2024 offseason.

That player is safety Theo Jackson, who entered the spring as an exclusive rights free agent, meaning the Vikings had first dibs to sign him to a league minimum deal because his contract had expired before three seasons in the NFL.

Vikings Re-Sign Young Safety

Vikings Re-Sign
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Theo Jackson (25) and safety Josh Metellus (44) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings’ team social media accounts announced the move, tweeting, “The #Vikings have re-signed S Theo Jackson.”

Jackson, a Nashville native, was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans following his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee. He spent his rookie training camp with his hometown team but was stashed on the practice squad heading into the regular season.

As Minnesota searched for safety depth following Lewis Cine’s gruesome leg injury, they opted to sign Jackson off Tennessee’s practice squad on October 11th during the 2022 season.

Jackson proceeded to play 11 games in Minnesota to conclude the year with the majority of those snaps (282 of them) coming with the special teams. In total, he recorded nine tackles and had a fumble recovery.

Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell greets safety Theo Jackson (25) before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into 2023, Minnesota had a very deep group at the safety position, but Jackson managed to make an opening week 53-man roster this time around alongside Camryn Bynum, Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus, Jay Ward, and Harrison Smith.

In Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jackson improbably became the first Vikings defender to record an interception by picking off a Jalen Hurts pass in the first quarter. While continuing to contribute on special teams, Jackson would get a steady dose of defensive snaps throughout his second NFL season.

In total, the safety appeared in 15 games (missing the final two games because of injury) put together 126 defensive snaps along with 260 snaps with the special teams. He recorded 21 tackles, a QB hit, and the Week 2 interception.

Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Theo Jackson (25) tackles Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Now, Jackson heads back to the same loaded safety room that he was in last season, but this time around, doors may be opening for him to get another increase in snaps. Smith could be cut to free up cap space for free agency, and Bynum is entering the final season of his rookie deal.

We’ve seen Metellus take a massive leap after beginning his career as a special teamer, so could Jackson be the next in line?

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.