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Harrison Smith reworks contract to stay with Vikings, but salary cap moves are far from finished


March 17, 2023

Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

Safety Harrison Smith was a first-round pick by the Vikings in 2012 and ranks fifth in team history with 34 interceptions.

The secondary the Vikings will use under new defensive coordinator Brian Flores continued to take shape on Thursday: safety Harrison Smith agreed to a restructured deal for a 12th season in Minnesota, while cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. spent part of his introductory news conference talking about how much he enjoys playing the man coverage schemes Flores has frequently used.

For now, Smith and Murphy are the two most experienced members of a Vikings secondary that figures to be more aggressive under Flores than it was under Ed Donatell. Murphy, who counts former Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson as a mentor from the season the two spent together in Arizona, said Thursday how excited he is to play with Smith, as well.

"I saw that news, and I was like, 'Man, that's a great player,'" Murphy said of the six-time Pro Bowler. "Knowing the type of leader he is on this team, that's a big thing to have someone like that. I can't wait to get on the field beside him."


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