Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn signed a four-year, $21 million deal with $10.5 million guaranteed and playing-time incentives built in, according to ESPN. The contract pays him nearly twice what his Vikings contract – three years, $11 million – did on an annual basis.
Munnerlyn initially came to the Vikings three years ago from Carolina, playing outside and nickel cornerback, but transitioned into strictly a nickel cornerback the last two years. He may have a shot to see more playing outside with the Panthers, where he started a career that got him his first free-agent contract with the Vikings.
After accepting the techniques and philosophies of Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, Munnerlyn turned himself into one of the better nickel cornerbacks in the NFL and his contract with the Panthers proves that.
Munnerlyn’s departure from Minnesota opens the door for 2016 second-round pick Mackensie Alexander to receive more playing time and potentially earn the starting role as a nickel back. The Vikings will likely add competition there as well in a draft deep with cornerbacks or through free agency.
In addition to signing Munnerlyn and, before that, Kalil, the Panthers also signed former Vikings receiver Charles Johnson on Friday to a one-year contract. He will help make up for the loss of departed Panthers receivers Ted Ginn Jr.