EAGAN, Minn. — Welcome back, Mack.
The Vikings announced Monday that they have agreed to terms with cornerback Mackensie Alexander, who was a second-round pick by Minnesota in the 2016 NFL Draft. The deal is pending a physical exam.
Alexander spent the first four seasons of his career in Purple but left for Cincinnati via free agency a year ago.
He played in 13 games and made 10 starts for the Bengals, recording 47 total tackles (32 solo) with a tackle for loss, six passes defensed and an interception in 2020. He played a career-high 642 defensive snaps with the Bengals.
View photos of Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander who is back in purple after spending time on the Bengals in 2020.
Alexander's return provides an important depth piece in the Vikings secondary, as well as multiple years of experience.
Minnesota added eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson last week, but the 27-year-old Alexander is now the second-oldest cornerback on Minnesota's roster.
Alexander is also familiar with the ins and outs of Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer's defensive scheme.
After an admitted reluctance to transitioning from playing outside corner at Clemson to nickel in the NFL, Alexander blossomed into one of the league's top slot cornerbacks in his final two seasons with the Vikings.
Minnesota might return Alexander to the slot, which would allow 2020 first-round pick Jeff Gladney to focus on the outside opposite fellow second-year pro Cameron Dantzler or Peterson. Gladney played inside and outside for a group hard hit by injuries last season.
Alexander has 150 career tackles with 10 tackles for loss, three interceptions, 27 passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
The former Clemson star also had 4.5 career sacks, 4.0 of which came in 2018 when he had the fifth-most sacks of any Vikings player that season.
Alexander could also help on special teams, as he was a gunner on punt returns before he left for the Bengals. He played 297 total special teams snaps in four seasons, but strictly played defense in Cincinnati.