Vikings sign 2 Minnesota natives, make Za’Darius Smith trade official

The Minnesota Vikings have signed two Minnesota natives and officially traded one of the team’s edge rushers.

Tuesday, the Vikings inked offensive lineman Sam Schlueter and fullback Zach Ojile to deals.

Schlueter attended the team’s rookie minicamp as a tryout and earned a deal. The Victoria native and former Golden Gopher went undrafted last year but spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets.

At the University of Minnesota, he played in 43 career games, starting at both left and right tackle and was part of the group that received the 2019 Offensive Trench Award.

Ojile, a Blaine native, also attended Minnesota’s rookie minicamp as a tryout. The rookie played in 40 games during his career for Minnesota-Duluth, totaling 87 carries for 418 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. He also recorded 61 receptions for 702 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns as a Bulldog.

Their signings mean the Vikings now have four Minnesota natives on the roster, the others being fullback C.J. Ham (Duluth) and tight end Ben Ellefson (Hawley).

Additionally, Minnesota officially announced the trade sending Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns along with 2025 sixth- and seventh-round picks. In exchange, the Vikings receive a 2024 fifth-round draft pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick while freeing up cap space.