After playing his first four years with the Vikings, Stephen Weatherly signed a two-year deal with the Panthers last offseason. His hope was to show how effective he could be as a full-time starter.
The defensive end started Carolina’s first nine games, but was placed on injured reserve in November as he underwent finger surgery. The club then released Weatherly in mid-February.
It didn’t take long for Weatherly to end up back where his career began, officially signing with the Vikings on Monday. He wrote on Instagram last week that he’d returned to the club.
But meeting with the Minnesota media to discuss his new deal, Weatherly expressed some disappointment in himself for the way his season in Carolina ended up.
“I’ll openly admit that, in Carolina, I was kind of happy about the deal I’d signed. A little bit of complacency set in,” Weatherly said, via Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune. “That can’t happen. I need to be striving and reaching for the next step.”
Weatherly did not record a sack in 2020, making 17 tackles, one tackle for loss, and three quarterback hits.
Weatherly had recorded 3.0 sacks in each of his previous two seasons with the Vikings. He’ll try to get back to at least that level of production in 2021.