Another Packer Defects to Vikings

A fairly common offseason trend, another ex-Green Bay Packers personality has chosen the Minnesota Vikings as his next place of employment.

In 2022, pass rusher Za’Darius Smith and cornerback Chandon Sullivan made the trek across Interstate 94, and now another Packer will follow suit — defensive tackle Dean Lowry.

Another Packer Defects to Vikings

The Vikings needed interior defensive line help after Dalvin Tomlinson signed a behemoth deal with the Cleveland Browns earlier this week, and for now, that solution is the 28-year-old Lowry.

Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry (94) participates in training camp at Ray Nitschke Field, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis tweeted Friday, “The Vikings have agreed to terms with former Green Bay Packers DL Dean Lowry. Lowry played most of his snaps on first & second down this past season. Had had a 9.2% pressure rate, too.”

Lowry joins Minnesota on a two-year, $8.5 million deal and will presumably start in September unless general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah drafts an early-round defensive tackle in next month’s draft or teammates Khyiris Tonga or James Lynch stifle the Lowry plan.

Jul 28, 2021; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry (94) is shown during the first day of training camp. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Northwestern alumnus joins an expanding Vikings free-agent class that so far includes Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), and Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals). The conglomeration of assets seems to hint at a priority of wide receiver or cornerback in the draft 41 days from now.

Green Bay selected Lowry from the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Regarding Packers longevity, his departure from the club is akin to Eric Kendricks leaving the Vikings last week for the Los Angeles Chargers. Lowry has played in 111 games, starting 80, while tabulating 252 total tackles, 34 QB hits, 23 tackles for loss, 16 passes defended, 15.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. He took a few seasons to “get going” in Wisconsin, but by 2019, he was a full-time starting defensive tackle.

Nov 1, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry (94) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s the Pro Football Focus tale of the tape on Lowry:

  • 2016 = 69.2
  • 2017 = 68.7
  • 2018 = 72.6
  • 2019 = 62.3
  • 2020 = 57.3
  • 2021 = 67.0
  • 2022 = 59.3

Packers teams with Lowry had a record of 5-7-1 (.423) against the Vikings. It may not feel like that in the last handful of years, but it is the truth. Green Bay did not dominate Minnesota under Mike Zimmer as it did under Leslie Frazier.

Packers beat writer Ryan Wood opined on Lowry’s arrival to the Vikings, “Longtime Packers defensive lineman staying in the division. Dean Lowry’s lack of pass rush kept him from being a star, but he was a workman on Packers defensive line.”

Lowry becomes the latest Packer to defect Green Bay for Minnesota, a list featuring Brett Favre, Ryan Longwell, Greg Jennings, Za’Darius Smith, Chandon Sullivan, and others.

Lowry will turn 29 in June.

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