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In a rush: Former Vikings defensive end announces he will be returning to team

Stephen Weatherly
Carolina Panthers defensive end Stephen Weatherly warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Stephen Weatherly is returning to the Vikings.

The defensive end, who was released by the Carolina Panthers last month, posted on Instagram on Thursday morning that he will be rejoining Mike Zimmer’s team. Weatherly signed a two-year deal, $12.5 million deal as a free agent with Carolina last offseason.

The Vikings are signing him to a one-year, $2 million deal that includes a $500,000 signing bonus, according to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North and KSTP-TV. Weatherly also will have sack incentives, paying him $100,000 for three sacks; $200,000 for five sacks; and $500,000 if he gets to seven sacks.

Weatherly started the first nine games of last season, but then was placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his finger.

Weatherly, who will turn 27 on March 19, was taken in the seventh round of the 2016 draft by the Vikings out of Vanderbilt. He had six sacks, 14 tackles for a loss and 20 quarterback hits in 58 games (16 starts) over four seasons with the Vikings. He had no sacks and three quarterback hits with the Panthers.

The Vikings finished 28th in the NFL with only 23 sacks last season.