Backup defensive tackle Fred Evans has signed the one-year, $1.545 million restricted free-agent tender he received from the Vikings, according to the team’s website. That means Evans was able to begin taking part in the team’s voluntary offseason workout program, which started today.
The Vikings thought enough of Evans to extend a higher tender that would have given them a second-round pick as compensation if another team had attempted to sign him.
Evans served as the backup to nose tackle Pat Williams last season, appearing in all 17 games and starting the final three after Williams was lost because of injury. Evans had 17 tackles and one tackle for a loss during the regular season and had four tackles and a fumble recovery after starting in the Vikings’ playoff loss to Philadelphia.
Evans figures to be the Vikings starter to begin next season if Pat Williams ends up being suspended for the start of the year. Kevin and Pat Williams both are facing four-game suspenions by the NFL for use of a banned diuretic. The league attempted to suspend the two defensive tackles late last year but the Williamses were granted an injunction in mid-December, which enabled them to finish the season. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has set a June 15 trial date in the case.