Vikes Sign Crockett To Three-Year Deal

The Vikings continued to build their defense with the signing of Henri Crockett.

Apparently, having Bernardo Harris as an option helped Mike Tice.

After a long weekend of struggling to get Atlanta LB Henri Crockett signed, the Vikes got it done Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year contract with the fifth-year linebacker.

Crockett, who can play all three linebacker positions, is being groomed as the team's middle linebacker. His deal calls for him to be paid $2.6 million over the next three years, with $500,000 of that being in the form of a signing bonus.

The Vikings had hoped to get a deal with Crockett done over last weekend, but couldn't agree on the length of a contract deal. Instead, when Tice said that MLB Bernardo Harris was a possibility and whichever of the two signed first, the Vikings were able to get off of square one with Crockett.

He becomes the third player from outside the organization to be brought in to bolster the Vikings defense, joining Kenny Mixon and Darius Holland. The team expects to sign one or two more free agents in this phase of the process and it's expected that the next target will be offense.

THURSDAY NOTES
* The Vikings are expected to get back on the chase route for a wide receiver to replace Cris Carter, who is doing his best to get back in the good graces of the Rams. After losing out on Donald Hayes, the Vikings are scheduled to bring in veterans Jerome Pathon (Colts) and Germane Crowell (Lions) for visits.
* Those close to the Packers say the Vikings are one of the teams interested in restricted free agent WR Donald Driver, but, to date, the Vikings have not mentioned any public interest in signing the Packers wideout.
* Tice is apparently ready to play hardball again with players -- this time Byron Chamberlain. After being encouraged by Chamberlain's willingness to open up talks and not schedule visits with other teams, talks broke off Wednesday and Chamberlain is scheduled to fly out to Detroit. Tice said once he leaves for a visit, the negotiation process will change, indicating the Vikings offer may be reduced.
* Several draft analysts have the Vikings being interested in Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth, but, in a school-sponsored workout, Haynesworth did only 17 reps with 225 pounds, not impressive for a 317 pound defensive tackle. To put it in perspective, cornerback Teddy Gaines did 15 reps at the same workout.

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