Multiple key contributors from the Minnesota Vikings’ NFC North-winning run have signed multiyear deals elsewhere in free agency, including Dalvin Tomlinson. The veteran defensive tackle hit free agency for the second time in his career earlier this week, and he ended up coming to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a reported four-year, $57 million deal that includes $27.5 million guaranteed.
There was a bit of optimism ahead of free agency that Tomlinson would end up staying put in Minnesota. The final year of Tomlinson’s contract with the Vikings was set to void in late February, which would have pushed $7.5 million of dead cap onto Minnesota’s salary cap for this year. The two sides did agree to move the void date to March 15, as it then gave them a bit more time to touch base on a possible extension agreement.
During a press conference at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also expressed interest in keeping the versatile defensive lineman in Minnesota.
In the end, Tomlinson decided to take his talents to the Browns because he believes that this is the “right move” for him at this stage in his career.
“I weighed all of my options and everything, and I just felt like this is the right move for me,” Tomlinson said during his introductory press conference with the Browns. “Minnesota has great things going with great coaches and players, as well as upstairs, management and everything. Kwesi, I love that guy.
“They have a lot of good stuff going on for them too, and I wish them the best, but I just feel like this is the best move for me right now.”
As Tomlinson touched on, he considered all of his options during free agency, but he agreed to sign with Cleveland because of a few reasons.
“The defensive scheme was one of the biggest things and just how physical that defensive scheme is, it is attacking,” Tomlinson said. “It is based all on attacking and getting off the ball pretty much. … Also, just the players. Me and Myles Garrett came in from the same draft class, and I am super excited to play next to him.”
Tomlinson recorded 28 quarterback pressures and five sacks during his two-season run in Minnesota.