The Vikings made another in-house signing, bringing back cornerback Benny Sapp.
Sapp became an important piece of the Vikings defensive puzzle in the second half of the 2008 season when Charles Gordon went down with a season-ending knee injury. Sapp took over Gordon's role as the team's primary nickel back, sharing time in that role with Marcus McCauley. While terms have not been disclosed, the deal is believed to be worth at or around $700,000; the minimum contract for a six-year veteran is $620,000.
The re-signing of Sapp likely brings an end to rumors of the Vikings pursuing Denver CB Karl Paymah – who has been linked to visits with the Vikings over the past few days. Paymah spent the weekend visiting with the Buccaneers and is scheduled to meet with the Browns today.
Sapp spent his first four years with the Chiefs and came to the Vikings last season on a one-year deal that was written up to give both sides options for the future. With the Vikings having questions at cornerback beyond the 2009 season – Antoine Winfield is entering the final year of his contract - taking a corner in the first round of next month's draft is a possibility.
The Vikings haven't initiated talks with Winfield for an extension – at least not publicly – and potentially could see one of the two top corners in the 2009 draft fall to them at pick No. 22 in the draft. Malcolm Jenkins of Ohio State is viewed as the top cornerback in the draft and Vontae Davis of Illinois is a regarded as the No. 2 option at the CB position. If either of them remains available when the Vikings make their first choice in the draft, they would likely receive strong consideration. As of the latest VU mock draft, both will be gone long before the Vikings make their first pick.
It would seem that, for the time being, the Vikings are set at the cornerback position for the start of the 2009 season. That may change, but the groundwork has been laid by solidifying the backup roles behind Winfield and Cedric Griffin.
Vikings re-sign Sapp
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