The versatile Wyms, who spent last season with Seattle, can be used as a pass-rusher off the end and also has the ability to play the nose and the 3-technique spots inside.
Pope will be used behind starting middle linebacker E.J. Henderson but is likely to find himself backing up all three positions. The former Miami Dolphin also will strengthen the Vikings' special teams. Sartz, meanwhile, is a street free agent and will provide depth in training camp.
Boulware provides depth at the safety spot and also will be used on special teams. He didn't return to the Houston Texans in part because the team wanted to use him at linebacker and not safety.
Ferguson became the first of the Vikings' nine unrestricted free agents to re-sign when he agreed to a one-year deal that will pay $1 million with a chance to earn another $500,000 or $600,000 in incentives.
While the additions of Kenderick Allen and Ellis Wyms begin to add depth at defensive end, the Vikings need more help in this area. Starting left end Kenechi Udeze will miss the 2008 season after being diagnosed with leukemia and right end Erasmus James' immediate future is uncertain as he tries to return from knee problems.
That leaves the Vikings with a defensive end corps that includes Ray Edwards, Jayme Mitchell, Brian Robison, Otis Grigsby and Wyms. There remains an outside chance that unrestricted free agent Darrion Scott could return and the team has an interest in free agent James Hall.
1. Defensive end: The Vikings were hoping to lure a free agent such as Justin Smith, Antwan Odom or Jevon Kearse, but all three ended up elsewhere. The addition of the versatile Wyms, who can play inside and outside, should help. However, the Vikings must continue to address this area and likely will do so through the draft.
2. Quarterback: Tarvaris Jackson is all but guaranteed the starting job, but if Jackson falters the Vikings could be in big trouble. And they know it. Brooks Bollinger is currently the No. 2 quarterback but doesn't figure to remain in that role. The team continues to explore its options to bring in someone else at this position to at least push Jackson.
3. Offensive line: The Vikings are set with their starters but depth is an issue and needs to be addressed. Center Matt Birk will be entering his 11th season and doesn't have a true backup. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie's recent legal troubles in Miami could mean the NFL will take disciplinary action against him. If McKinnie is suspended his replacement would be Artis Hicks. That's far from an ideal situation.
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