The Vikings are bolstering their interior offensive line again in free agency.
Minnesota agreed to terms guard Chris Reed, the team announced Friday.
Originally signed as an undrafted rookie by Jacksonville in 2015, Reed has bounced around the league a bit. He spent 2015-18 with the Jaguars and in 2019 played in five games for the Dolphins and three for the Panthers. He spent 2020 on Carolina's roster and last season played in 14 games for the Colts, starting six of them.
Reed has started 29 of 61 career regular-season games.
Here are five things to know about Reed:
1. MSU Maverick pride
Reed isn't a Minnesota native – he hails from Omaha, Nebraska – but he attended Minnesota State University Mankato, where he played four seasons for the Mavericks after redshirting in 2010.
In addition to playing left tackle for MSU, Reed also participated on the track-and-field team. He was the NCAA DII outdoor shot-put champion in 2013 and 2014, and he holds school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, the indoor weight throw and the outdoor hammer throw.
Reed overlapped at Minnesota State with Vikings receiver Adam Thielen from 2010-12.
Only nine Mavericks have gone on to the NFL, and Reed is now the sixth to land on a Vikings roster. He joins Thielen, receiver Larry Brown (1987), tight end Bob Bruer (1980-83), guard Mark Hanson (1987) and tight end Shane Zylstra, who spent the 2021 offseason with Minnesota before signing with Detroit.
2. High school in Omaha
Reed attended Omaha Central High School, where he played for the football team and also was part of the track-and-field team.
He shares an alma mater with a number of other known alumni, including Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Gayle Sayers, Warren Buffet's children Susan and Peter, Academy Award-winning actor Henry Fonda and former Vikings cornerback Shaun Prater.
3. Unsung hero
Reed wasn't part of the Colts starting offensive line to kick off the 2021 season, but he stepped up to start in place of an injured left guard Quenton Nelson. And when Nelson returned, Reed's performance had earned him the chance to rotate with right guard Mark Glowinski.
Nelson landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list later in the season, and Reed again answered the call.
"He simply outworks defenders in the trenches," wrote Sports Illustrated’s Zach Hicks. "If he catches a defender stopping their feet for a second, he puts them in the ground. This has always been one of the more enjoyable things to watch whenever he touches the field."
4. Learned lessons
In a December interview with Nebraska News Service last year, Reed was asked what he's learned throughout his NFL journey thus far.
"I'd say NFL players who are on the bubble or undrafted free agents, the ones that stick around, I think are extremely coachable and like to take in everything," Reed answered. "Not everything will work for them, but they'll figure out what they can use and different tools and techniques that they can pick up and different ways of looking at something. I think every year just adding to that is key to me being successful."
5. Dad life
Reed and his wife Anna welcomed a daughter, Brynnley Rae, on Jan. 20, 2021 – or, as Reed put it, "the best day of my life."
"Having that family and playing for them hits a little deeper when you have a child," Reed said. "It's a very unique experience and I'm glad I am playing still while being a father.
Reed is also a "dog dad" to two labs, Kona and Kato.