Vikings Sign Santiago, Two Draftees

The Vikings, as expected, added O.J. Santiago, bringing another training camp battle into sharper focus.

On Monday, the Vikings began the finalization of their roster by signing veteran free agent tight end and coming to terms with two draft picks.

While the terms with sixth-round rookie linebacker Nick Rogers and defensive tackle Chad Beasley are expected to be finalized today, TE O.J. Santiago agreed to a one-year deal with the Vikings for the veteran minimum of $525,000.

Santiago isn't assured of a job, because the Vikings are stocked at tight end already and, barring injuries, only one spot remains open.

Coach Mike Tice has said he will keep four tight ends on the roster, with starters Byron Chamberlain and Jim Kleinsasser, as well as backup Hunter Goodwin being assured of roster spots. That leaves one available opening and four players -- Santiago, Johnny McWilliams, Matt Cercone and Jeff Kostrewa -- fighting for that opening.

Santiago has lost time to impress the coaches, but, seeing as the Vikings chased him for more than two months before signing him Monday, shows the teams' interest was sincere.

* Rogers is already entrenched as the No. 2 middle linebacker on the depth chart behind Henri Crockett and Beasley has been moved to nose tackle and has a shot at getting playing time behind Fred Robbins.

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