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.
Sapp, meanwhile, likely will compete with Charles Gordon and Marcus McCauley for a spot in the nickel package.
While the additions of Kenderick Allen and Ellis Wyms begins 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 had an interest in free agent James Hall before he re-signed with St. Louis.
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 versatile free-agent Ellis 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. The latest candidate is Gus Frerotte, who is contemplating his options.
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. News that Birk is skipping the Vikings' voluntary offseason workouts also isn't a good sign. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie's recent legal troubles in Miami have left the Vikings' brass frustrated and 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. NOTES
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I really don't get into too much of all that. Whoever they bring in, they bring in. I'm going to play with the guys that we have here. That's the bottom line." — Defensive end Ray Edwards on the talk about the Vikings' depth issues at that position and the team's failed attempt to land a big name end in free agency.