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Vikings add depth by signing offensive lineman from Dolphins and cornerback from Broncos

NFL: Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos
Oct 31, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Nate Hairston (27) reacts to a defensive stop in the fourth quarter against the Washington Football Team at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings signed veteran offensive lineman Jesse Davis and cornerback Nate Hairston on Monday, and also brought back cornerback Tye Smith after he spent last season on Minnesota’s active roster and practice squad.

Davis, who can play both guard and tackle, was released by the Dolphins last week after five seasons. The 30-year-old had played in 80 games and made 72 starts for Miami since 2017 and played 1,863 snaps at right guard and 2,212 at right tackle. A free agent out of Idaho, Davis first signed with Seattle and then went to the Jets before joining the Dolphins’ practice squad in November 2016.

Last season, Davis was one of the lowest-rated tackles by Pro Football Focus after playing on the right side. The Vikings likely will consider Davis for a backup tackle and guard spot, although he could compete for a starting role at right guard.

Hairston, who will turn 28 at the end of June, has been a backup for most of his five NFL seasons. Last season, he started only one game but played in 16 for the Denver Broncos. A fifth-round pick by the Colts in 2017, Hairston spent two seasons in Indianapolis before being traded to the Jets in August 2019. He was released in October 2020 and joined the Broncos.

Hairston is likely to be a backup at cornerback and contribute on special teams. New Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell held the same job in Denver during Hairston’s time with the team.