Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings Sign Josh Metellus to 2-Year Extension


EAGAN, Minn. – It's not uncommon for a quick exchange of pleasantries with a Vikings player and media members as the player approaches the microphone stand.

But Josh Metellus' answer Thursday was beyond good. He was beaming after signing to a multi-year contract extension with the Vikings, days before his fourth pro season.

The 25-year-old smiled broadly before expressing his appreciation for the deal that runs through 2025 as he spoke with media members inside the locker room. His energy level was palpable, though he admitted he and his wife Haley had a difficult time sleeping the night before.

"We were so happy. We manifested a lot of things, and to see things come to life and being able to live this dream, it's really special for us. Especially as a family," Metellus said. "We've been here for four years, and my goal is to be here my whole career. I love this organization; I love this state. I'm excited, we're excited, to be here."

Originally a sixth-round draft pick in 2020, Metellus has done everything that's been asked of him and more.

The former Michigan Wolverine spent the first two games of his NFL career on the Vikings practice squad, then was elevated to the active roster and has been a special teams standout in each of the past three seasons. In 2022, he also seized additional opportunities when given the chance. Metellus played 258 snaps on defense, starting three games in place of Harrison Smith. He nabbed his first career interception against the Lions in his first career start and totaled 42 tackles and five passes defensed.

After signing the paperwork Thursday, Metellus and Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took some time to reflect on the safety's journey thus far.

"Kwesi was just saying, a guy like me, went to practice squad, working my way up, and we're here four years later and I'm signing an extension … it shows a lot when a guy like me gets the extension," Metellus said. "It's the reward of working hard. It gives hope for a lot of people in my position. We've got a lot of rookies who just got cut, who are on P-squad now, and I was in the same position they are heading into Week 1 of my first season. I just want to be the hope for somebody out there to keep working hard, and it's going to pay off."

Metellus views last season as "a great step in the right direction" but isn't taking his foot off the gas. He's only accelerating.

"I've had goals … about where I want to be and what mark I want to leave when I'm done, and yes, I want to be [an all-down] starter," he said. "I want to play all 80-however-many snaps on defense. But we're working through those goals. This is just a step in the process."

Brian Flores joined the Vikings coaching staff as defensive coordinator this offseason, and he immediately liked what he saw from Metellus – first on film and then in-person on the practice field.

"When I got here, I watched film on everyone, and while it was limited, to a degree, he did have some defensive snaps last year, and they were good," Flores told media members Thursday morning. "I was intrigued by what I saw and by what I'd heard about him – as a player, as a teammate, about his work ethic. And then just by getting to know him, along with all the other guys in the group, he's definitely … it's been a joy to spend some time with him.

"I'm excited for him this season, and obviously this upcoming Sunday – as I am with this entire group," Flores added.

Flores noted Metellus' passion for the game, which has fueled his rapid growth since entering the NFL.

"He's a guy who loves football. Who's smart. Who can play a few different positions. Who's good in the kicking game. Just an overall good football player. A good teammate. Very willing to help younger players," Flores said. "He wants to know every piece of information just from our standpoint, from a coaching standpoint. Understanding the 'why' we do things. Just so he can make himself better. That's been nice."

Adofo-Mensah spoke highly of Metellus earlier this spring during an interview with NFL Network's Peter Schrager.

"You can feel when somebody's teammates really love them, really appreciate them and really want to follow them into battle, and he's one of those guys," Adofo-Mensah said. "He's everything that the Minnesota Vikings are about, and I think people are really going to appreciate that more this season."

Those qualities certainly are seen throughout Minnesota's locker room, as Metellus was recently named one of six Vikings team captains for the 2023 season – roles that are voted on by his teammates.

Veteran safety Harrison Smith has praised Metellus' football I.Q. and appreciates what the younger defensive back brings to the defense and team as a whole.

"Whether it's right guard on punt [team], or safety, or whatever. He's a really smart guy, and he's an explosive player and can do a lot of things athletically," Smith said. "I just think his confidence has grown over the years as he's made plays at pretty much every spot he's ever been put at. And not just in training camp or at practice – it's the same thing on game day. It's really fun to watch."

Metellus made his first major positive contributions for the Vikings on special teams and has become a stalwart in that phase of the game.

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels joked that he wasn't sure he'd receive "much greater news or excitement" this week after his alma mater Duke upset Clemson. Daniels said Metellus' speech to the team during the preseason offered insight to younger players.

"He just kind of talked about the adversity that he went through," Daniels said. "For him to start his career off like that, be released, end up on the practice squad, find a way out to the football field, kind of find his niche from a special teams standpoint, the unbelievable year he had on ST, as well as stepping in when Harrison was out, contributing and having an impact there, I tell the group all the time, if you just do the work, the money will come.

"Football has a way of working itself out, and that's just a true testament to who Josh Metellus is as a player, the dedication he has, the type of teammate he is," Daniels added. "He's as unselfish as anybody who comes in this building."

View the best photos of Vikings S Josh Metellus from the 2022 season.

Metellus said Daniels was one of the first to congratulate him. He added that he credits Smith with much of his development and is grateful to share the field with the 12-year veteran.

"Just being able to rely on that presence – it doesn't get better than that," Metellus said. "Being behind a guy like that for four years definitely rubs off on you in a good way. Him just being the great teammate he is helped me get to this point."

Throughout the offseason program and Vikings Training Camp, it was clear Metellus can fit into Minnesota's defense in a number of ways. In addition to his foundation at safety, he's also sometimes lined up at slot corner or even in one of the linebacker spots, depending on the formation.

Metellus is just one of six safeties on the Vikings active roster, a number the team brass opted for specifically because of the options afforded Flores and his staff come game day.

"It's their flexibility that gives us flexibility. So guys who can play nickel, who can play corner, who can play linebacker," Flores explained. "It allows us as a staff to talk about a guy like Metellus, playing in a few different roles – in this package he's this, in this package he's this, in this package he's that - it just gives us some flexibility."

Metellus is both proud of and excited about securing his spot on the Vikings roster for the next three seasons. But time to celebrate will come later. For now, all focus is on Week 1 and playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"I'm happy for him, excited for him. But, 'Let's have a good practice.' That's what I would tell him," Flores said with a smile.

Metellus plans on doing just that.

"My mind is more focused on Week 1 against Tampa," he said. "This year is still a big year for us, still a big year for me, so that's where my focus is."