Vikings sign linebacker Casey Matthews, safety Taylor Mays


The Minnesota Vikings were busy with free agency on Tuesday, signing a pair of players to add depth on the defensive side of the ball.

The Vikings announced the signing of linebacker Casey Matthews and safety Taylor Mays.

Let's start with Matthews, who comes to Minnesota after spending four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

"It's great to be here," Matthews told on Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to a new opportunity and a new chapter in my life."

The Vikings were thought to be in the market for a linebacker after Jasper Brinkley signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.

Matthews will give them a player with some flexibility at linebacker. According to ESPN, Matthews filled in at both inside linebacker positions for the Eagles last year after the starters Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans missed time because of injury.

In those 11 starts, Matthews finished with 59 tackles and 1.5 sacks. For his career, he has been credited with 109 tackles and 2.5 sacks on defense, while making another 39 stops on special teams.

The most interesting thing about Matthews is that he is one of seven members of his family to play in the NFL. His grandfather Clay, father Clay Jr., brother Clay III (Green Bay), uncle Bruce and cousins Kevin and Jake Matthews all have played or are playing in the NFL.

Vikings sign former Bengals safety Taylor Mays

The Vikings have signed former Bengals safety Taylor Mays to a one-year contract; the news on Tuesday afternoon was first reported by ESPN's Josina Anderson.

The move will reunite Mays with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who Mays played for when Zimmer was Cincinnati's defensive coordinator.

Pro Football Talk notes that Mays never really developed into a starting safety in the NFL, but he did perform well on special teams and as a hybrid linebacker in Zimmer's schemes in Cincinnati.

The Bengals were trying to convince Mays to stay, while both St. Louis and Oakland were also pursuing him in free agency.

Next Up