New Vikings Cite Reasons for Move

Each of the three Vikings signed over the weekend gave different reasons why the team was a good fit for him.

The Vikings struck quickly in the first 48 hours of free agency, taking an aggressive approach with their $31 million in salary cap room to fill many of the team's biggest needs.

Running back Chester Taylor was signed by the Vikings away from Baltimore. His deal is for four years and $14.1 million with $5.6 million in guaranteed money.

"Just getting out there and seeing what I can do," Taylor said when asked about his reason for signing with Minnesota. "Being the go-to guy and being the right man. Going out there and taking it independently on me. I want the ball in my hands when it comes down to it."

Kicker Ryan Longwell defected from division-rival Green Bay. Already one of the league's top kickers, Longwell should benefit from playing eight games a year in the Metrodome instead of Lambeau Field.

"It absolutely factored in," Longwell said of kicking indoors. "I've braved the winds and the field and the cold in Lambeau for a long time. There's always been an appeal to me to see what I could do in a neutral environment. I've had good games here in the past and I expect to continue on that. Certainly it was a factor to be able to play in a controlled environment. It's not an intimidation to go to Lambeau or Soldier Field and kick there. I'm very comfortable kicking there. I do think we're at an advantage in playing in this division, which is huge. You've gotta win the division to get in the playoffs."

Linebacker Ben Leber left one of the league's top defenses to help fill a big need for the Vikings.

"I had the opportunity to play in this style of defense in my first two years in San Diego, so I'm familiar with the schemes," Leber said. "I think everyone is very familiar with the Tampa 2 coverage and that whole scheme. So I've had two years of experience with it, and I think I will fit in pretty well."

And wide receiver Koren Robinson agreed to a new three-year contract.

But the biggest splash might have come Sunday when the Vikings signed Seattle Pro Bowl left guard to a gigantic offer sheet. Hutchinson's deal is reportedly for seven years and a total of $49 million, with $16 million in guaranteed money. Hutchinson is Seattle's transition player, so the Seahawks have seven days to match the deal or lose him without compensation.


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