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Minnesota Vikings 2022 Signings: Who is Harrison Phillips?

In a new series reviewing the Minnesota Vikings 2022 signings, we will be profiling the new Vikings, reviewing their career to date, asking where they might fit into the roster and making some bold predictions on how their careers in purple will go.

It was no secret that the Minnesota Vikings roster needed significant changes. Whilst there are some positions which were in relatively good shape following the 2021 season, there were a lot of question marks regarding many others.

The new general manager in Minnesota, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, wasted little time in making some big moves. We continue with former Buffalo Bill Harrison Phillips.

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Who is Harrison Phillips?

Harrison Phillips signed a three year deal with the Minnesota Vikings on March 12th. The defensive tackle had spent the previous four years in Buffalo after being selected by the Bills with the 96th overall pick of the 2018 draft. Phillips appeared in 45 games for the Bills, including 26 over the last two years. The Nebraska native has compiled 107 tackles (60 solo), 1.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, three passes defended and three fumble recoveries in his career.

Phillips also had the honor of being the Buffalo Bills' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons for his work through with the Playmakers Organisation, a group which supports children that are developmentally or physically different. Upon signing with the Vikings, Phillips described his role as being "like the fire hydrant at a dog show, you've got a role, you kind of get pi**ed on but you've got to do that to the best of your ability". In an era of flashy footballers, Harrison Phillips does strike you as a bit of a throwback with the kind of enthusiasm which is sometimes lost as players move into the NFL. If his personality translates onto the pitch the Vikings supporters could have a new leader in the locker room as well as on the defensive line.

Where will Harrison Phillips fit in to the Vikings?

As soon as the news of the Michael Pierce release became public it became quite clear that reinforcements would be needed at the defensive tackle position. There was the potential to move Dalvin Tomlinson to nose tackle or to see if Armon Watts was ready to cement his role as a starter, however the leadership team wasted no time in swooping in to pick up one of the more highly coveted  defensive tackles as free agency opened.

The departure of Michael Pierce after the Vikings were unable to agree to a new deal marked a disappointing end to his time in purple, after opting out of the 2020 season due to underlying health issues and the COVID pandemic, Pierce only played in six games throughout the 2021 season due to injuries. Whilst Pierce did perform very well when available, the Vikings clearly view Harrison Phillips as the safer option due to his availability, especially over the past two seasons.

Harrison Phillips is due to earn $19.5m over his three years with the Minnesota Vikings, which feels like a very reasonable contract for a player who PFF ranked 15th out of 109 qualifying defensive linemen. If he can avoid injury, "Horrible Harry" as he has been known since his high school days should be a solid contributor, particularly against the run where the Vikings have really struggled over the past few seasons.

How will Harrison Phillips fare in Minnesota?

If you watch any of the interviews Harrison Phillips has carried out since signing in Minnesota it is almost impossible not to root for him. If he can continue to develop and improve on his performances in Buffalo he should cement his place as a starter very early on. In addition to almost giving the Vikings a monopoly on players named Harrison (see also Dalvin), this signing does solidify a position of need for the Vikings and, if both Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith (more on him later) can stay healthy, the Vikings defensive line could go from being an area of concern to one of the strongest in the NFL.

Article by James Paterson

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