Vikings fullback C.J. Ham will be sticking around in his home state, the team announced Tuesday.
Ham, a Duluth native, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent with the start of the new league year on Wednesday, but the Vikings signed him to a multiyear extension.
"First and foremost, I want to thank the Wilfs, Rick [Spielman], Rob [Brzezinski], Coach Zimmer and Coach [Gary] Kubiak for having faith in me, and my running back Coach Kennedy Polamalu for helping develop me into the player I am today," Ham said. "My journey has been a blessing, to say the least, and I'm excited to continue to get back to work in Minnesota and earn the contract given to me. My family and I are excited to help Minnesota achieve some great things, both on and off the field, and I can't wait to get started."
Ham originally joined the Vikings in 2016 after participating in the team's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, and he spent the majority of his rookie campaign on Minnesota's practice squad.
He played 16 and 15 games, respectively, in 2017 and 2018, contributing on offense as well as special teams.
Ham saw a big influx in action last season, however, playing 354 (35 percent) of the Vikings offensive snaps under Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak, who will serve as Minnesota's offensive coordinator in 2020.
View the top photos of Vikings FB C.J. Ham from the 2019 season.
"It's been a lot of fun. It was something that was brought to us during training camp, that this thing was going to use a fullback, use tight ends, really get big," Ham said in October. "I'm just blessed to be a part of a team that does that and to try to prolong my career."
The 26-year-old went on to set several career-highs in 2019, including starts (seven), catches (17) and receiving yards (149). He recorded his first career receiving touchdown – and second NFL score – at Detroit in Week 7, helping the Vikings defeat the Lions 42-30.
Ham's 2019 campaign earned him a nod to his first career Pro Bowl, where he joined seven of his Vikings teammates, including Dalvin Cook. Ham helped block for the star running back, who racked up a career-high 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns on 250 carries.
As the Vikings entered the 2019 postseason, Cook emphasized the "very important" connection between himself and Ham.
"C.J. … sees things before me, and I have to go off of how he feels and sees things, so we definitely have to be on the same page," Cook said. "I think us being with each other for [three years] now, I've kind of gotten the feel for how he wants to get things done and how he wants to approach things."
In other roster moves, the Vikings placed a second-round tender on linebacker Eric Wilson, a restricted free agent, and the non-exclusive franchise tag on safety Anthony Harris.
The latter move will keep Harris, who generated substantial buzz as a prospective free agent, in Minnesota for at least one more season.
View the top photos of Vikings S Anthony Harris from the 2019 season.
Harris joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and developed into a special teams standout before blossoming as a starter paired with Harrison Smith. He has started 31 games for the Vikings, including 23 in the past two seasons.
Harris tied for the league-lead with six interceptions in 2019 and has nine picks in the past two seasons. He also had a forced fumble and 11 passes defensed in 2019.
The franchise tag is a fully guaranteed, one-year contract that pays an average of the five largest salaries at the offered player's position.
Wilson joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and has played in all 48 regular-season games since – and four postseason contests – since.
In 2019, Wilson made six starts and played 35 percent of Minnesota's defensive snaps, in addition to continuing playing a key role on special teams. He finished the regular season with 66 total tackles (coaches' tally), 3.0 sacks, five quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Wilson also blocked a punt in the Vikings season opener against the Falcons.
View the top photos of Vikings LB Eric Wilson from the 2019 season.