The Vikings made an unconventional signing this week, but they weren't the only team interested in raw receiver Todd Lowber.
The Vikings have gotten creative in their attempt to add depth at wide receiver.
After signing Jacksonville free agent Cortez Hankton
on Monday, the Vikings came to terms on a three-year deal with Todd Lowber
Todd who? It's a good question.
Lowber is a former basketball player and won the 2006 NCAA Division III men's high jump at Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J. But the 25-year-old has never played organized football in his life.
Lowber turned his focus to football in recent months after a coach suggested that his athletic ability and 6-3, 205-pound build were perfect for the sport. This came after a brief stint playing pro basketball in Germany.
A few NFL teams became interested in signing Lowber after he worked out in front of several scouts in late March in Wall Township, N.J. Jim Ulrich, who is helping to represent Lowber, said his client ran a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash.
In addition to the Vikings, the Eagles, Rams, Cowboys, 49ers and Panthers talked to Lowber. But he decided the Vikings presented him with the best opportunity and agreed to the contract after going through a workout at Winter Park.
"It was just the people. It's all about the people," Lowber said when asked about his decision to join Minnesota. "It was the coaching staff. (Receivers coach George) Stewart, obviously I'm looking forward to working with him and coach (Brad) Childress. They are good people and that's really a good sign because I'm a good person."
Former Vikings linebacker Pete Bercich, who also was an assistant coach with the team under Mike Tice, has been hired as the team's radio analyst. He replaces former Vikings tight end Joe Senser in that role. Senser resigned after last season.
Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin was arrested on April 15 after an altercation at a Minneapolis nightclub. He was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after getting into an altercation with staff members from the club. Griffin was released on $50 bail and entered a plea of not guilty on Friday.
Vikings coach Brad Childress on the advantage of having Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson visit the team's Winter Park facility: "You do (get more from it) just from the standpoint of the combine (interviews) are 15 minutes or rapid fire, kind of canned questions. Probably canned answers. So you get to see them on your turf, you get to move them around your place, you get to see them in your environment. It really is a much more relaxed atmosphere."
Wide receiver prospect Todd Lowber — Lowber has never played organized football — isn't the only non-football player to get a tryout with the Vikings. Minnesota also looked at former Siena basketball player Michael Haddix. Haddix tried out as a tight end but wasn't signed.
ROMA Design Group of San Francisco unveiled the plans for a $1 billion climate-controlled Vikings facility to be built on the site of the Metrodome and the surrounding area. The ROMA group was hired by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission to come up with the plan. At this point, however, the Vikings have no financial partner to make a new stadium work.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think you've got to get out of the box a little bit and look for athletes. It takes all shapes and forms." — Coach Brad Childress on giving tryouts to guys like Todd Lowber, who was signed to a contract despite never having played organized football.