Free agency hadn’t even started yet this afternoon before the Vikings found out they were losing punter Jeff Locke and tight end Rhett Ellison.
Locke is headed to the Colts, a league source confirmed to our Andrew Krammer. Locke, a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in 2013, finally found his footing in the NFL last season, setting a career high with 34 punts inside the 20. His 39.0 net punting average was his best mark since his rookie year.
The Vikings are left with only second-year punter Taylor Symmank on their roster. But they could bring in another punter to compete with him.
LIVE FREE AGENCY TRACKER: Follow all of the Vikings’ moves
Ellison, a fourth-round pick in 2012, has joined the Giants. It is a four-year deal for $22 million with $8 million guaranteed, per NFL Network.
He played last season on a one-year deal after injuring his knee late in the season. Mostly used as a run blocker, Ellison caught only one pass but did rush for a 1-yard touchdown against the Lions, which was neat.
The Vikings drafted David Morgan last year as a potential successor to Ellison.
In other news, the Vikings did not offer a tender to restricted free agent Charles Johnson. The wide receiver is now an unrestricted free agent.
Meanwhile, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd remained on the roster past 3 p.m. CT. So his $6.8 million salary is now fully guaranteed for 2017.