— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 27, 2021
One free agent safety out, another one in.
The Vikings saw starting safety Anthony Harris sign elsewhere this offseason. The team needed to find a player who could be paired with safety Harrison Smith back deep on the defense in 2021.
That player will presumably be Xavier Woods. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Minnesota is signing Woods to a one-year deal worth up to $2.25 million.
With Smith still under contract, safety did not appear to be a high priority for the Vikings this offseason. That said, Woods will be a boost to a defense that struggled in pass coverage this past season. And the team got a starter on what is reportedly a pretty cheap deal.
Woods had a PFF grade of 61.9 in 2020. The year before that, he tallied a PFF grade of 73.0 on a Cowboys defense that was better than it was in 2020. Maybe if the parts around Woods on the Vikings defense perform well in 2021, so will he.