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Vikings Continue Defensive Additions: Jihad Ward Signs; Kamu Grugier-Hill Agrees to Terms


EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Wednesday continued adding to the defense by signing lineman Jihad Ward and agreeing to terms with linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Ward joins the Vikings after spending the past two seasons with the Giants, for whom he started 20 of 34 games played. He recorded a career-high 5.0 sacks in 2023, one season after setting career marks for tackles (43), QB hits (13), passes defensed (4) and forced fumbles (2).

View photos of DL Jihad who joined the Vikings during free agency.

A 2016 second-round draft pick out of Illinois by the Raiders, Ward started 13 games as a rookie. In addition to the Raiders (21 games from 2016-17), Ward also played for the Colts (9 games from 2018-19), Ravens (21 games from 2019-20) and Jaguars (17 games in 2021) before heading to the Big Apple.

The Philadelphia native has totaled 158 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 59 QB hits, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles and 18 sacks.

View photos of LB Kamu Grugier-Hill who joined the Vikings during free agency.

Grugier-Hill has multiple connections with Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores, who was New England's linebackers coach (2016-18) when the Patriots drafted Grugier-Hill in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

After spending that offseason in New England, Grugier-Hill was waived during roster reductions and signed by Philadelphia. After four seasons with the Eagles, which included winning Super Bowl LII against the Patriots in Minnesota, Grugier-Hill joined the Dolphins in 2020 when Flores was Miami's head coach.

Grugier-Hill played for the Texans (2021-22) and Cardinals (2022) before joining the Panthers in 2023.

The Hawaii native has started 42 of the 115 regular-season games he's played, recording 338 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 11 QB hits, three interceptions, eight passes defensed, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 6.0 sacks.

Ward and Grugier-Hill will turn 30 in May.