Latavius Murray will remain with the Vikings in 2018.
The running back restructured his contract, which would’ve guaranteed him $5.15 million, before Friday’s deadline. It was one of the richest salaries at his position, but Murray took less money to stay in Minnesota. Terms of the restructure were not immediately available.
Murray, 28, led the Vikings last season with 842 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He originally came to Minnesota on a three-year, $15 million contract that could’ve been a one-year, $4 million deal if the Vikings chose to cut Murray.
General Manager Rick Spielman instead approached Murray about a pay cut to keep him in the fold. Murray is expected to play a secondary role to Dalvin Cook, who is returning from a torn ACL after playing roughly 70 percent of the snaps in Weeks 1-4 last season.
Former Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon left in free agency to sign with the 49ers, leaving Cook and Murray as the top backs.
Vikings receiver Jarius Wright was released Friday, the team announced. Wright’s contract was restructured going into the 2017 season. That dropped his base salary from $2.5 million to $1.05 million. He caught 18 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns in 2017 and proved to be a dependable third option behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as Laquon Treadwell struggled to develop and Michael Floyd never became a threat in the offense.
After adding two quarterbacks and a defensive tackle in free agency’s first wave, the Vikings will start “laying low,” according to Spielman, while turning more attention to the NFL draft. That begins with evaluating college defensive backs this weekend.
“Myself and Coach Zim [Mike Zimmer] are scheduled to watch a lot of defensive backs,” Spielman said. “So this weekend is DB weekend for me.”
The Vikings will monitor the secondary waves of free agency for any other potential signings, according to Spielman. Some re-signings are possible, including free-agent cornerback Terence Newman, kicker Kai Forbath and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen.
Another DT added
On the same day the Vikings finalized a deal with former first-round pick Sheldon Richardson, another defensive tackle was signed.
Dylan Bradley re-signed to return to the Vikings after he spent his 2017 rookie season on Minnesota’s practice squad. He joins Richardson, Linval Joseph and Jaleel Johnson among the team’s current interior defensive linemen. Bradley went undrafted out of Southern Mississippi last year.