Ellis played nine games for the Vikings last year after spending the first four years of his career with the New York Jets, recording five total tackles.
Ellis was a third-round pick by the Jets in 2011 out of Hampton University. He recored 94 tackles in his senior year and was a first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection.
The 28-year-old didn't see much time on the field for the Jets, appearing in 47 games and starting four of them. During his time in New York, he recorded 53 tackles and one sack.
Minnesota signed Ellis on Oct. 20 to fill the void left by 2014 seventh-round pick Shamar Stephen, who was placed on injured reserve after only five games due to a knee injury.
One of the Vikings' biggest strengths is the interior of their defensive line, led by 27-year-old Linval Joseph and 24-year-old Sharrif Floyd. A strong offseason for Ellis could result in some meaningful backup snaps. While he hasn't had many chances to get on the field, the Vikings needed to add depth in the trenches in relief of their star defensive tackles.