Vikings second-year cornerback Holton Hill was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The league made the announcement Friday through a news release.
Hill is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games, the release said.
He was not drafted in 2018 after ending his college career at Texas, but the Vikings signed him as a free agent and he played in all 16 games with three starts and an interception.
Hill’s salary was set to count as $575,000 against the cap next season. He was expected to be a key figure early in the season because cornerback Mike Hughes, the team’s first-round pick in 2018, is coming back from knee surgery.
The Vikings did sign two defensive backs — Derron Smith and Duke Thomas from San Antonio of the recently folded Alliance of American Football — on Friday.
Smith agreed to a two-year contract. He was drafted by Cincinnati in the sixth round in 2015 out of Fresno State and played two full seasons for the Bengals. He was waived early in the 2017 season before signing with Cleveland, where he played in seven games.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound safety was cut in training camp before last season. In 38 NFL games, he had 17 tackles. For San Antonio, he had 21 tackles in eight games.
Thomas, 24, got a one-year deal. He signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2016 and was also with Philadelphia, San Francisco and Dallas. A 5-10, 192-pound cornerback, he led San Antonio with 22 tackles in eight games, and had an interception.
Dozier signs on
Dakota Dozier, who signed with the Vikings on Thursday to compete for the left guard spot, played four games at the fullback position for the Jets last season at 6-5 and 310 pounds. He was lead blocker on Elijah McGuire’s last-minute touchdown in a 27-23 victory over the Bills on Dec. 9.
“We didn’t have a fullback on the roster,” Dozier said Friday. “They wanted to get me on the field … coordinator reached out and said we want you to do this. … It was different sets, different formations, lot of ‘I.’ It was fun getting in there against Buffalo on fourth-and-1 and sealing the game.”
Dozier, 27, played five seasons for the Jets at various offensive line positions after playing mostly tackle at Furman. His preferred position is guard — “I’m not as long and tall as some of the guys, to interact in that quick space at guard is something I’m more comfortable with,” he said.
His offensive line coach in New York last season was Rick Dennison, who is now the Vikings O-line coach. He is eager to reunite with Dennison, saying “with him, you got to be definitely accountable and ready to support your teammates and your fellow linemen.”
Dozier, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., during the offseason said he would head to Minnesota next week. The Vikings’ offseason workouts start April 15.