The Minnesota Vikings' loaded defense added even more firepower.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday morning that free-agent safety George Iloka signed a one-year deal with the Vikings, per sources informed of the decision. The team later made the deal official.
Iloka was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer served as the Bengals defensive coordinator during the safety's first two seasons, providing a comfort level to add the veteran at this late stage.
Iloka started 16 games for the Bengals last season, compiling 80 tackles, five passes defended and one pick. Pro Football Focus graded 2017 as Iloka's best season, and the safety allowed only a 68.4 passer rating against last year.
The 28-year-old safety could slide alongside All-Pro safety Harrison Smith. Pairing Iloka with Smith would give Minnesota a dynamic duo on the back end. The pairs' versatility would give Zimmer scheme flexibility to get creative at the safety position.
The addition of Iloka thrusts into question the future of incumbent strong safety Andrew Sendejo in Minnesota.
Bringing in Iloka upgrades an already stout Zimmer defense that has no visible weakness. Adding a starting safety of Iloka's caliber to a stud defense that already boasts Pro Bowlers at every level is akin to tossing bits of Oreo cookie into your double-chocolate fudge Sunday that is already topped with sprinkles, chocolate chips, candied nuts, whipped cream, and four cherries.
With the Vikings' moves this offseason to lock up its in-house playmakers, and now bring in talent off the street, one thing is abundantly clear: Signing Kirk Cousins to a massive deal did not necessitate dismantling a dominant defense.