The Vikings targeted a recently released quarterback and didn’t let a bidding war stop them on Sunday.
Quarterback Kyle Sloter, an undrafted free agent coming off a strong preseason for the Broncos, is joining the Vikings practice squad after they offered the highest bid of $20,000 per week, according to an NFL source, nearly triple the minimum for practice squad players. Denver and Washington were also pursuing Sloter after he completed 31 of 43 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns in the preseason.
Sloter, a 23-year-old Northern Colorado product, thanked the Broncos in a social media post, adding: “The opportunity coupled with the best decision for me and my family financially was too much to pass up.”
The Vikings officially re-signed seven of Saturday’s cuts to the 10-man practice squad: linebacker Elijah Lee, defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, cornerback Horace Richardson, tight end Kyle Carter, defensive tackle Dylan Bradley, receiver Cayleb Jones and running back Bronson Hill.
Sloter will give them at least eight players, and surely the highest-paid, on the practice squad. He started his college career as a wide receiver at Southern Mississippi before transferring to Northern Colorado, where he threw a program-record 29 touchdown passes as a senior.
After arriving from Denver, Sloter will be one of three quarterbacks throwing for the Vikings during Tuesday’s practice, alongside starter Sam Bradford and backup Case Keenum.
Vikings claim TE Bell
The Vikings were awarded one player on waivers.
Former 49ers tight end Blake Bell joins the Vikings in place of rookie tight end Bucky Hodges, who will be waived with an injury designation, a NFL source said, confirming ESPN’s report. Hodges left the Vikings preseason finale because of a concussion.
Bell, 26, was a fourth-round pick by San Francisco out of Oklahoma two years ago, when Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano was coaching 49ers tight ends.
The Vikings saw Bell play 25 snaps (19 on special teams) in their 32-31 exhibition win vs. San Francisco last month. He is a 6-6, 252-pound converted quarterback, when he was a five-star recruit out of Wichita, Kan. Bell switched to tight end as a senior for the Sooners.
Two proven punters released by NFL teams this weekend could interest the Vikings, who kept veteran Ryan Quigley following an inconsistent preseason.
Andy Lee and Matt Darr, released by the Panthers and Dolphins this weekend, are at different ends of their careers. Lee, a three-time All-Pro, is searching for his fourth team in three years at age 35. Darr has a 46-yard average in two NFL seasons.
Heinicke to IR
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke (concussion, oblique) cleared waivers and reverted to injured reserve, where the two sides could negotiate an injury settlement that would make the 24-year-old a free agent.
Three players waived by the Vikings were claimed by other teams this weekend. Linebacker Edmond Robinson was picked up by the Jets. The Lions were awarded offensive lineman Zac Kerin, and offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings, who started 31 games for the Vikings in two seasons, is headed to Washington.