The Vikings signed two free agents Tuesday, adding former Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews and ex-Bengals safety Taylor Mays.
Matthews, brother of Packers All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews, played four seasons in Philadelphia after being drafted in the fourth round out of Oregon in 2011.
He started 11 games last season at inside linebacker when starter DeMeco Ryans was injured.
Mays played the past four seasons for the Bengals. He was a second-round pick of San Francisco in 2010 from Southern Cal, and played one season for the 49ers.
He then joined the Bengals, where current Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was defensive coordinator through 2013.
The Vikings’ starting linebackers last season were Chad Greenway, Anthony Barr and Jasper Brinkley, who left in free agency.
“I’m looking forward to a new opportunity and a new chapter in my life,” Matthews told vikings.com.
Matthews’ grandfather, Clay, and father, Clay Jr., also played in the NFL as did an uncle, Bruce Matthews, and cousins Kevin and Jake Matthews. Casey Matthews, 26, is 6-1 and 245 pounds.
Mays, who frequently played a hybrid safety-linebacker position with the Bengals, figures to compete for a backup safety job with the Vikings.
Harrison Smith started at one safety for the Vikings last season, and Andrew Sendejo and Robert Blanton shared the other spot. All three return in 2015.
In five NFL seasons, Mays has 98 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. The 27-year-old has broken up six passes and is still looking for his first NFL interception. Mays, 6-3 and 225 pounds, was the fastest safety at the 2010 combine, running a 4.43 40-yard dash.
• The Vikings’ draft spots were officially announced Tuesday after compensatory picks were doled out.
The Vikings’ selections will be first round (11th overall), second round (45th), third round (76th), fourth round (110th), fifth round (137th) and seventh round (228th and 232nd). They did not receive any compensatory choices.
Replay barely changed
NFL owners shot down nearly every video replay proposal brought to their meetings Tuesday in Phoenix, while approving six safety rules.
Of 13 proposed alterations, including extending the number of coaches’ challenges and letting them challenge penalty calls, the only one passed will allow game officials to go to replay for clock issues at the end of a half, game or overtime if more than 1 second is left.
The owners approved a proposal for stopping play when a medical adviser believes a player should be taken off the field. They also approved rules prohibiting pushing a teammate on the line of scrimmage when the opponent is punting; eliminating all peel-back blocks, and extending defenseless player protection during an interception return.
• The Bears agreed to one-year contracts with two defensive ends, former 49er Ray McDonald and former Redskin Jarvis Jenkins. The 49ers cut McDonald in December after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her.
• Darren Sharper pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to reduced felony attempted sex assault as part of a four-state plea deal that will put him in federal prison for about nine years.
The Associate Press contributed
to this report.