EAGAN, Minn. —The Vikings on Monday announced that they have signed exclusive rights free agents Anthony Harris and Mack Brown.
Harris, a safety, joined Minnesota as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Brown, a running back, was claimed off waivers last fall after his release from Washington.
Harris played in all 16 games and started three in place of Andrew Sendejo last fall. He delivered one of the most important Vikings takeaways of 2017 when he forced a fumble by Rams receiver Cooper Kupp just shy of the goal line.
Brown made his Vikings debut at Carolina, returning one kickoff 17 yards.
Harris recently swung by Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, the Vikings new headquarters, and Vikings.com asked his impressions of Minnesota's new home and spoke with him about community initiatives that he's worked on this offseason.
"It's an amazing facility, just pulling up, the size of it and the look is amazing," Harris said. "Walking in and seeing the indoor [practice facility] and all of the different designs and things they added and then walking through and checking out the locker room, they've really got some nice, state-of-the-art stuff here, from the weight room to the training room, the updated saunas and different things that guys use daily to get ready for practice and the day.
"I feel like it's really accommodating for everybody," Harris continued. "We should be able to get in and out of the facility really well, have plenty of space for everybody to do what they need to do to get ready for the practice or whatever we have going on that day."
The Vikings voluntary offseason training program will start in about a month inside the sparkling new facility.
In addition to the reserve role, Harris has been a strong contributor on special teams, totaling 17 tackles in the past two regular seasons, and has been part of two division titles in three seasons.
"It's exciting [to return with the Vikings]," Harris said. "Obviously to have a facility like this to come back to is amazing, but I think for the most part, just knowing the guys that are on this team and the type of organization it is, from the coaching staff to the people upstairs, they're all wonderful people and seem to have things going in the right direction, bringing in the right people on the staff and players, so it's exciting for that opportunity, and to come back and have a facility like this is definitely amazing."
Harris has used his free time this offseason to make a difference in the community. He joined Stephen Weatherly for an "Unsung Heroes" luncheon during the week of Super Bowl LII. The luncheon honored nonprofits – most of them local – that work to end domestic violence, physical assault and human trafficking.
Harris also treated youth in Virginia to a free screening of Black Panther.
"One thing I've wanted to do since I came into the NFL was to be able to give back to my community and be a face that kids, adults and anybody in the community can attach to and be able to inspire and motivate them, that they could pursue whatever dreams or goals that they wanted to accomplish in life," Harris said. "One thing I wanted to focus on was single-parent homes. As a guy who came from a single-parent home, just knowing it's tough not only on the kid but the parent as well. I just kind of wanted to do something to encourage those mothers out there to continue to keep inspiring and giving the child strength, whether it's a single-parent home or a two-parent home, but they can find a way to find happiness and enjoy one another."
Harris partnered with a Virginia radio station that drew names for winners. The screening included treats from the concession stand and a discussion before and after.
Next week, Harris is heading for Capitol Hill to help the American Diabetes Association with its "Team Tackle" initiative.
"It's going to be a panel discussion to bring awareness of diabetes," Harris said. "My grandmother is suffering from that right now. She's been diagnosed with it for a while. We're trying to raise awareness for that, for health and care, and trying to improve and expand our lifespan. I think it's important for me to go there, kind of share my story a little bit on how it's impacted me and try to raise awareness for people who have it and for prevention."
In the first two years of the Team Tackle program, 64 players have attended the annual Call to Congress/Capitol Hill Advocacy Day on behalf of more than 30 million American children and adults who are affected by the disease. Another 84 million Americans have been diagnosed with prediabetes.