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Minnesota Vikings waive DT, sign another

By Alex Butler
Minnesota Vikings waive DT, sign another
Former Chicago Bears DT Will Sutton signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday. Sutton played the first three years of his career for the Bears. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- Defensive tackle Will Sutton is staying in the NFC North after joining the Minnesota Vikings' 90-man roster Wednesday.

The Bears cut Sutton on May 11. Chicago drafted him in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Sutton, 25, has 60 tackles and seven passes defended in 36 career games. He started 18 games during his three-year NFL tenure.

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In a corresponding move, the Vikings waived second-year defensive tackle Toby Johnson. Minnesota signed rookie offensive lineman Freddie Tagaloa on Tuesday and waived defensive end B.J. Dubose. Wide receiver Michael Floyd joined the team last week as a free agent. The Vikings also signed free agent defensive tackle Datone Jones this offseason and drafted defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson in the fourth round of April's 2017 NFL Draft.

Sutton will likely step in at nose tackle, using his 6-foot-1-inch, 290-pound frame to stuff the gaps. He had 15 tackles and one pass defended in eight games last season.

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Sharrif Floyd, Shemar Stephen and Tom Johnson are all playing on the final year of their contracts with the Vikings.

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Floyd, 25, is still recovering from a 2016 knee operation.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told reporters after the draft that the franchise took Jaleel Johnson for "flexibility" on its defensive line.

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"The Senior Bowl he had was outstanding," Speilman said. "The way he showed he can rush the passer. I think he ended up with maybe three or four tackles and a couple assists in the game and you got to see him go against some pretty good guards in that game. So he had a great week of practice down there and we felt that he gives us some flexibility and some pass rush ability in the line."

Linval Joseph currently tops the team's depth chart at the position. Joseph made his first Pro Bowl in 2016 after accumulating 77 tackles and three forced fumbles. He started all 16 games.

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