Captain Munnerlyn is leaving Minnesota to head back to Carolina, Munnerlyn confirmed on Twitter. The free agent had been in the Panthers’ headquarters today to officially visit his former team.
The corner agreed to a four-year deal worth $17 million. He can make an extra $4 million through incentives. The deal includes $8 million guaranteed.
Munnerlyn, the talkative slot specialist whose accountability after tough games and willingness to shoot the breeze during the week earned him two straight media good guy awards, spent the past three seasons with the Vikings, who sought him out in Mike Zimmer’s first offseason as coach.
Munnerlyn started 30 games over that span and missed only one game. He played nearly every down his first season with the Vikings before becoming the team’s nickelback, an important role that still got him on the field for more than 70 percent of the snaps the past two seasons.
In 47 games here, he had four interceptions and broke up 12 passes. The Vikings, who drafted Mackensie Alexander in the second round last year to potentially be Munnerlyn’s replacement, were receptive to bringing him back. But they knew he would garner interest on the open market.
Munnerlyn remained in touch with some of his old Panthers teammates, so it made sense that he looked to return to the team that drafted the feisty 5-foot-9 cover man in the seventh round of the 2009 draft.
Munnerlyn will have company in Carolina. Vikings free-agent wideout Charles Johnson has also signed with the Panthers after the Vikings opted not to tender him as a restricted free agent before yesterday’s deadline. The Panthers also signed ex-Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil yesterday.