After they signed Kirk Cousins to a new contract on Monday morning, the Vikings used some of the cap space they cleared with the quarterback’s new deal to pay fullback C.J. Ham.
Ham, who was set to become a restricted free agent this week, agreed to a deal that will keep him in Minnesota through 2023, his agent Blake Baratz announced on Monday morning. The Vikings seemed likely to give Ham a second-round tender as a restricted free agent, and his new deal adds three seasons to his contract in Minnesota.
The fullback will make $4 million in 2020, and earn $12.25 million over four years, a league source told the Star Tribune. He becomes the league’s second highest-paid fullback, behind San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk.
The Duluth native played his way into a long-term deal last season after carving out a larger role in the Vikings’ offense and playing more snaps than any fullback in the NFL other than Juszczyk. He caught 17 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, while blocking for Dalvin Cook and occasionally serving as a third-down pass protector for Cousins.
The Vikings also gave safety Anthony Harris a franchise tag Monday.
The Vikings agreed to a three-year contract extension with punter/holder Britton Colquitt, according league sources.
The veteran punter can earn up to $9 million and has $5 million in guarantees on the new deal after what Colquitt called his “best year” during his 10th NFL season. Colquitt, 34, was originally signed by the Vikings a week before the 2019 season opener after being released by the Cleveland Browns. He quickly made a difference while averaging a career-high 42.6 net yards on 62 punts and holding for the NFL’s fourth-best field goal operation.
Colquitt gets a $2.15 million signing bonus with the new contract. His $1.05 million base salary for the 2020 season is fully guaranteed and $1.8 million of his 2021 salary becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster next March.
Kicker Dan Bailey, also a pending unrestricted free agent, may return as well. A league source told the Star Tribune on Sunday that contract talks were ongoing between the Vikings and Bailey’s camp.
Wilson gets second-round tender
The Vikings gave linebacker Eric Wilson a second-round tender valued around $3.1 million, according to a league source.
Wilson, who has made 12 starts for the Vikings since going undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2017, is a restricted free agent. The move nearly ensures he’ll remain with the Vikings in 2020, but he can still negotiate with other teams before signing. The Vikings have the right to match any offer he receives from another team. A second-round tender means the team also needs to give up a second-round pick before signing Wilson.
Entering his fourth NFL season, Wilson’s expected return will keep much of the Vikings’ linebacker depth intact. Wilson has developed into a trusted spot starter and special teams ace who recorded three sacks while filling in for Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Ben Gedeon at times. Kentrell Brothers is the only Vikings linebacker scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins Wednesday afternoon.
Wilson had the Vikings’ only blocked kick during the 2019 season on the punt return team in the Week 1 win vs. Atlanta.