The Vikings traded for defensive tackle P.J. Hall on Monday afternoon, sending a conditional seventh-round draft pick to the Raiders to add another piece to the defensive line.
Hall, a 2018 second-round pick, was going to get cut by the Raiders after two disappointing seasons, according to multiple reports, but General Manager Rick Spielman sent a 2021 seventh-round pick on the condition Hall is on the regular-season roster for at least six games, according to a league source.
Hall can play nose tackle and under tackle, but the former is where the Vikings especially need help after expected starter Michael Pierce opted out of the season last week. Pierce, an ex-Baltimore Raven, had been signed to replace run-stopping Linval Joseph, who joined the Chargers in free agency.
After 18 starts in two years, Hall was called out by Raiders management when coach Jon Gruden said he showed up “overweight” last season. GM Mike Mayock said Hall’s new position coach wouldn’t put up with “anything but” full effort.
Talent is not a question for the 6-foot, 305-pound Hall, who was first a defensive end at Sam Houston State before moving inside as a senior. His 14 blocked kicks in college reflect remarkable athleticism for a big man. Hall gets a chance to restart his NFL career, while becoming the latest defensive line project for co-coordinator Andre Patterson.
Hall joins Shamar Stephen, Jaleel Johnson, Jalyn Holmes, Armon Watts, Hercules Mata’afa, James Lynch and David Moa.
Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer said Monday they respected Pierce’s decision to opt out because of asthma and COVID-19 concerns, with Spielman adding “we’re all going to have to be patient” in adjusting this season to changes, including roster turnover. The Vikings had signed Pierce to a three-year, $27 million deal, which now technically runs through 2021-23.
“If a player doesn’t think he’s safe and should do this, I’m with him 100%,” Zimmer said. “But we’ll figure it out. Without going into too much detail, we’ve got a plan and will stick to it.”
Cook, Vikings seek ‘fair’ deal
The Vikings’ front office and running back Dalvin Cook are still at odds in contract negotiations, according to Spielman, who said Monday talks are ongoing. Cook reported for camp last week and started team workouts Monday.
Cook, who is entering the final year of his contract, held out of a few virtual meetings in June after his agent, Zac Hiller, said he wouldn’t show up until he got a reasonable offer.
Spielman said the Vikings are “working extremely hard” to get a deal done with Cook, who had 1,654 yards from scrimmage last season but has appeared in 29 of 48 regular-season games.
“We’ve been working closely with his agent,” Spielman said, “and we’ll continue to work to try to see if there’s a deal that we feel is not only fair to Dalvin but fair to us as well.”
Barr, Odenigbo exit quarantine
The Vikings got some good news Monday, when linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo were allowed inside TCO Performance Center. Both were activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list after less than a week in quarantine, indicating they either had asymptomatic cases or were cleared after being near someone who had tested positive for the virus.
Five Vikings players, including receiver Justin Jefferson, remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Linebacker Ben Gedeon, whose last season ended after two concussions, was placed on active/PUP (physically unable to perform), meaning he did not pass his physical over the weekend.
Quartney Davis, the undrafted receiver from Texas A&M, has been cleared to practice after starting camp on the non-football injury list. Receiver Davion Davis and cornerback Kemon Hall were cut.