The Minnesota Vikings continued to address their secondary during the 2021 offseason on Friday, by signing Mackensie Alexander. Minnesota brought back the veteran cornerback on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum salary. Since Mackensie Alexander has played three credited seasons, the veteran minimum for him is roughly $825,000.
The Vikings also added veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson this offseason after they agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal. Meanwhile, Mackensie Alexander returns to Minnesota after signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Bengals last year. Reports suggest he didn't mesh with the Bengals coaching staff in 2020.
This led to the Bengals letting Alexander enter the free agent market this offseason, only for the Vikings to bring him back to Minnesota. How does bringing back Mackensie Alexander help the Vikings secondary?
NFL Free Agency: How does bringing back Mackensie Alexander help the Vikings defense in 2021?
Mackensie Alexander spent the beginning of his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings. As a result, he's familiar with the players on defense and the defensive scheme the Vikings run. Alexander also put together the best years of his career while playing for Minnesota.
Mackensie Alexanders Career Stats with the Minnesota Vikings
-- Total tackles: 103
-- Pass deflections: 21
-- Tackles for loss: 10
-- Quarterback hits: 8
-- Sacks: 4.5
-- Interceptions 2
During his first stint with the Minnesota Vikings, Mackensie Alexander was molded into a slot corner for the Vikings defense before he was replaced by Terence Newman during the 2019 season. This makes one wonder, why the Vikings bring Alexander back?
Mackensie Alexander will give the Minnesota Vikings flexibility in their secondary. Let's not forget, the Minnesota Vikings lost free safety Anthony Harris to the Eagles through free agency last week. With the loss of Harris, the Minnesota Vikings are in need of a free safety to play on the opposite side of Harrison Smith.
The Vikings were able to mold an outside corner into a slot corner. Could they mold Mackensie Alexander into a safety next season? It certainly looks like that's what their plan is.
Minnesota has mentioned moving veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson to safety next season. When asked about moving to safety, Patrick Peterson said "the plan" was for him to come in and play corner. This leaves Mackensie Alexander to fill the gap that the Vikings had at free safety in 2021.